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Can't Feel My Face

"Can't Feel My Face"
Single by The Weeknd
from the album Beauty Behind the Madness
Released June 8, 2015 (2015-06-08)
Format Digital download
Recorded 2015
Length 3:35
  • Max Martin
  • Ali Payami
The Weeknd singles chronology
"The Hills"
"Can't Feel My Face"
"In the Night"

"Can't Feel My Face" is a song by Canadian singer The Weeknd from his second studio album Beauty Behind the Madness (2015). The song was released on June 8, 2015 as the third single from the album. It was written by Ali Payami, Savan Kotecha, Max Martin, The Weeknd and Peter Svensson, and produced by Max Martin and Payami.[1]

The song experienced commercial success, peaking at number one on both the US Billboard Hot 100 and the Canadian Hot 100 – apart from its widespread domestic success, the single has also peaked at number one in New Zealand, Denmark, Ireland and South Africa, and was a top-ten hit in other territories, such as Australia, the Netherlands, Norway and the United Kingdom. The single received critical acclaim, who noted its similarities to works by Michael Jackson.[2]


  • Background and composition 1
  • Critical reception 2
  • Chart performance 3
  • Music video 4
  • Live performances 5
  • In popular culture 6
  • Charts 7
  • Certifications 8
  • References 9

Background and composition

"Can't Feel My Face" leaked in late May 2015.[3] It was officially released on June 8, 2015 following a performance by The Weeknd at Apple's Worldwide Developers Conference on the same day.[4]

The song is composed in the key of A minor and has a tempo of 108 beats per minute. The vocal range spans from E3 to E5.[5] Multiple sources have interpreted the song to be about cocaine.[6][7][8] Musically, Alice Vincent of the Daily Telegraph characterised as "a synth-laden, upbeat pop song,"[7] while Andy Kellman of Allmusic described as "a sleek slice of retro-modern disco-funk".[9]

Critical reception

"Can't Feel My Face" received largely positive reviews from music critics. Brennan Carley of Spin called it "pop perfection", "a thoroughly definitive, all-in jam" and predicted the song would "reach 'Uptown Funk' levels of airplay and ubiquity."[3] Time‍‍ '​‍s Esther Zuckerman deemed the song a "New Favorite Contender for Song of the Summer" and wrote that the chorus was "infectious".[10] In June 2015, Jason Lipshutz of Billboard named it one of the "10 Best Songs of 2015 (So Far)".[11]

Consequence of Sound compared the sound of the song to Michael Jackson.[12] Complex wrote: "The song has a classic pop feel to it, with The Weeknd channeling a bit of Michael Jackson while crooning over the bouncy, and energetic production from Max Martin."[13] Pitchfork Media's reviewer Renato Pagnani placed it in the Best New Track category and made the same comparison: "Perhaps recognizing just how dead-on Tesfaye's Michael Jackson impersonation was on his cover of "Dirty Diana", the producers anchor the track with a bassline that could have come from an alternate-dimension "Thriller" produced by New Age composer Vangelis instead of Quincy Jones."[14]

Chart performance

"Can't Feel My Face" debuted at number 24 on the US Billboard Hot 100, making a Hot Shot Debut on the chart; it was The Weeknd's second Hot Shot Debut in a month after his previous single "The Hills". It produced first-week digital sales of 93,000 units and garnered 4.2 million US streams and 38 million airplay audiences.[15] In its third week on the chart, the song reached number six on the Hot 100, making it his third top 10 hit, and his second solo top 10 hit. After three weeks at number two, "Can't Feel My Face" ascended to number one on the Hot 100, replacing OMI‍ '​s "Cheerleader" and becoming The Weeknd's first number-one single on that chart. It has spent three non-consecutive weeks in three separate runs at the top of the Billboard Hot 100, becoming the sixth song to achieve this feat, and the first song to do so since Bruno Mars‍ '​s "Grenade" in 2011. In its third week at number one, "The Hills" reached number two, becoming the first act since The Black Eyed Peas to attain the top two positions on the Hot 100 as a lead artist.[16] The following week, "The Hills" topped the chart, making The Weeknd the first artist since Taylor Swift to replace themselves at the top spot; "Can't Feel My Face" fell to number three. It has spent eighteen weeks in the chart's top ten so far. As of October 2015, it has sold 1,945,000 copies in the US.[17]

It debuted in Australia on June 20 at number 27.[18] It later peaked at number two on that chart. In New Zealand, the song debuted at number 12 on June 22 and spent four non-consecutive weeks at number two, before reaching number one in its ninth week on the chart.[19] In the United Kingdom, "Can't Feel My Face" debuted at number 34, two weeks after "The Hills" had debuted on the chart. It later peaked at number three, becoming The Weeknd's second top 10 single in the country (after "Earned It" peaked at number four earlier in the year), and also his highest-charting single in the country to date.

Music video

The accompanying music video, directed by Grant Singer, was released on July 28, 2015 on Apple Music. As of November 2, 2015, the video has received 176 million views, becoming the second most viewed video after "The Hills."[20] It begins with The Weeknd singing in a bar to an unimpressed audience until a man, who appeared in the "The Hills" video, arrives and sets him on fire. The crowd including his love interest (played by Chanel Iman)[21] then stands up and starts to dance. The video ends when The Weeknd runs out of the bar, still burning.

Time‍‍ '​‍s reviewer Nolan Feeney wrote that The Weeknd "shines the spotlight on Tesfaye as he delivers a (literally) explosive performance".[22] For Bianca Gracie of Idolator, "the usually-moody singer is refreshingly energetic".[21] Jon Blistein of Rolling Stone deemed the video "simple but riveting".[23] Slava Pastuk of Noisey called the video "a bit corny, but weirdly great?"[24] USA Today‍‍ '​‍s Brian Mansfield wrote: "Like his previous video for The Hills, it's sometimes troubling clip, full of fire and mayhem."[25] Jason Lipshutz of Billboard opined that the video is "certainly a sonic homage to MJ, and watching the Weeknd strut around ablaze is an eery coincidence."[26] Similarly, Michelle Geslani of Consequence of Sound wrote: "Abel Tesfaye is seen busting a couple of moves — no doubt, again, channeling Michael Jackson".[27] Eric Diep of BET also described the video as an "homage to Michael Jackson", noting similarities in the vocals and dance moves.[28]

Live performances

The Weeknd performed the song live for the first time at Apple WWDC 2015, the day before its digital release. On July 10, Taylor Swift invited The Weeknd on stage for her 1989 World Tour in East Rutherford at the MetLife Stadium.[29] The song was performed live on television for the first time at the 2015 MTV Video Music Awards.[30] He performed the track at The Jimmy Fallon Show on 14 October.

In popular culture

On July 27, 2015, actor Tom Cruise performed to "Can't Feel My Face" in a "Lip Sync Battle" on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon.[31][32] The song is also featured in the 2015 video game Madden NFL 16.[33] Singer Stevie Wonder performed a parody of the song during a surprise pop-up concert at Central Park's SummerStage in New York City, August 17, 2015.[34] NASCAR driver David Ragan posted a video lip syncing the song to his No. 55 Toyota in response to a commonly asked question "What is it like driving a NASCAR Sprint Cup car?"[35][36] On September 7, 2015, popular YouTube channel Barack's Dubs uploaded a mashup video of Barack Obama singing the song.[37] The song has also been named 2015's US Song of the Summer by Spotify.[38][39] On September 15, 2015, during a game of "The Wheel Of Musical Impersonations" on The Tonight Show starring Jimmy Fallon, Jimmy Fallon sang "Can't Feel My Face" in the style of Sting, and Ariana Grande sang it in the style of Céline Dion. The song also appeared in a season 2 episode of hit soap opera Empire called "Be True", aired 21 October 2015.


Chart (2015) Peak
Australia (ARIA)[40] 2
Australian Urban (ARIA)[41] 1
Austria (Ö3 Austria Top 40)[42] 14
Belgium (Ultratop 50 Flanders)[43] 13
Belgium Urban (Ultratop Flanders)[44] 3
Belgium (Ultratop 50 Wallonia)[45] 24
Brazil (Hot 100 Airplay)[46] 73
Canada (Canadian Hot 100)[47] 1
Croatia (ARC 100)[48] 1
Czech Republic (Singles Digitál Top 100)[49] 47
Denmark (Tracklisten)[50] 1
Finland (Suomen virallinen lista)[51] 11
France (SNEP)[52] 5
Germany (Official German Charts)[53] 14
Hungary (Rádiós Top 40)[54] 34
Hungary (Single Top 40)[55] 11
Ireland (IRMA)[56] 1
Italy (FIMI)[57] 9
Israel (Media Forest)[58] 1
Netherlands (Dutch Top 40)[59] 2
Netherlands (Single Top 100)[60] 3
New Zealand (Recorded Music NZ)[61] 1
Norway (VG-lista)[62] 5
Poland (Polish Airplay Top 20)[63] 9
Scotland (Official Charts Company)[64] 7
Slovakia (Rádio Top 100)[65] 53
Slovakia (Singles Digitál Top 100)[66] 2
South Africa (EMA)[67] 1
Spain (PROMUSICAE)[68] 12
Sweden (Sverigetopplistan)[69] 6
Switzerland (Schweizer Hitparade)[70] 8
UK Singles (Official Charts Company)[71] 3
UK R&B (Official Charts Company)[72] 1
US Billboard Hot 100[73] 1
US Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs (Billboard)[74] 1
US Dance/Mix Show Airplay (Billboard)[75] 2
US Dance Club Songs (Billboard)[76] 20
US Mainstream Top 40 (Billboard)[77] 1
US Rhythmic (Billboard)[78] 1
Venezuela (Record Report)[79] 93
Venezuela English (Record Report)[80] 2
Venezuela Pop (Record Report)[81] 16


Region Certification Sales/shipments
Australia (ARIA)[82] 2× Platinum 140,000^
Denmark (IFPI Denmark)[83] Platinum 60,000^
Italy (FIMI)[84] Platinum 50,000
New Zealand (RMNZ)[85] 2× Platinum 30,000*
Norway (IFPI Norway)[86] Platinum 10,000*
Sweden (GLF)[87] 2× Platinum 80,000x
Spain (PROMUSICAE)[88] Platinum 40,000^
United Kingdom (BPI)[89] Gold 517,189[90]
United States (RIAA)[91] 4× Platinum 1,945,000[17]

*sales figures based on certification alone
^shipments figures based on certification alone
sales/streaming figures based on certification alone

Since May 2013 RIAA certifications for digital singles include on-demand audio and/or video song streams in addition to downloads.[92]


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