5 Songs You Didn’t Know The Weeknd Wrote for Other Artists

First introducing himself by releasing music anonymously on YouTube in 2009, followed by a trifecta of his more somber and dizzying EPs in 2011—House of BalloonsThursday and Echoes of SilenceThe Weeknd (Abel Tesfaye) has built an extensive collection of songs over the past decade.

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Working off his earlier releases and collaborations, including co-writing five tracks off Drake‘s 2011 album, Take Care, The Weeknd released his breakthrough debut, Kiss Land, in 2013. The album reached No. 2 on the Billboard 200 and also features the single “Live For,” co-written by Drake, who also co-wrote and appears in The Weeknd’s earlier Thursday track, “The Zone.”

In between releasing his follow-up, Beauty Behind the Madness, through his fifth album, Dawn FM, in 2022, The Weeknd has collaborated with everyone from Sia, Kanye West, Ariana Grande, electronic duo Disclosure, Lil Wayne, Kendrick Lamar, Doja Cat, Post Malone, and even actor Jim Carrey, who co-wrote the track “Phantom Regret by Jim” and also appears in his video for “Out of Time.”

The Weeknd also wrote a number of songs specifically for other artists, including penning one of Beyoncé’s Lemonade tracks and songs for Lana Del Rey, Travis Scott, and more throughout the past decade.

Here’s a look at five songs The Weeknd wrote for other artists over the year.

1. “Elastic Heart,” Sia, featuring Diplo and The Weeknd (2013)
Written by The Weeknd, Sia, Djemba Djemba

Featured on the soundtrack for the 2013 sci-fi drama The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, starring Jennifer Lawrence, Lenny Kravitz, and the late Philip Seymour Hoffman, “Elastic Heart” was performed by Sia and features producer and DJ Diplo and co-writer The Weeknd. Sia later re-recorded a solo version of “Elastic Heart” for her sixth studio album, 1000 Forms of Fear, which was accompanied by a video featuring actor Shia LaBeouf and Sia look-alike dancer played by Maddie Ziegler.

And another one bites the dust
Oh, why can I not conquer love?
And I might’ve thought that we were one
Wanted to fight this war without weapons

And I wanted it, and I wanted it bad
But there were so many red flags
Now another one bites the dust
Yeah, let’s be clear I’ll trust no one

2. “6 Inch,” Beyoncé (2016)
Written by The Weeknd, Beyoncé, The Dream, Belly, Boots, Ben Billions, and DannyBoyStyles

The Weeknd co-wrote just one of the tracks off Beyoncé’s epic Lemonade album, which hit the Top 20 of the Billboard Hot 100 and No. 10 on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop songs chart. More of an anthem of female empowerment, “6 inch” is about flaunting some of the wealth that comes from hard work. In the video, Beyoncé is filmed in a red monochromatic filter, dancing in six-inch heels and walking through a burning house wearing lace.

She’s stacking money, money everywhere she goes
Pesos out of Mexico (de uno)
Commas and them decimals
She don’t gotta give it up, she professional

She mixing up that Ace with that Hennessy
She love the way it tastes, that’s her recipe
Rushing through her veins like it’s ecstasy
She already made enough but she’ll never leave

3. “Lust For Life,” Lana Del Rey (2017)
Written by The Weeknd, Lana Del Rey, Max Martin, and Rick Nowels

The title track of Lana Del Rey’s fifth album, “Lust For Life” was co-written by and also features The Weeknd. Reminiscent of a song from the ’60s era of girl groups, “Lust For Life” is Del Rey’s take on a modern-day “My Boyfriend’s Back” with its doo-wops and sho-roos. She also references the 1963 hit by The Angels in the song.

Then, we dance on the H of the Hollywood sign, yeah
‘Til we run out of breath, gotta dance ’til we die (doo-wop, doo-wop)
My boyfriend’s back
And he’s cooler than ever (shoo-roo, shoo-roo)
There’s no more night, blue skies forever

‘Cause we’re the masters of our own fate
We’re the captains of our own souls
So there’s no need for us to hesitate
We’re all alone, let’s take control

4. “Eyes Closed,” Halsey (2017)
Written by The Weeknd, Halsey, Benny Blanco, Happy Perez, Cashmere Cat

Co-written by The Weeknd, “Eyes Closed” was the lead single off Halsey’s second album, Hopeless Fountain Kingdom. Several versions of the song were released, including one featuring New Zealand singer Rosé and a “Stripped” back version by Halsey.

Now if I keep my eyes closed he looks just like you
But he’ll never stay, they never do
Now if I keep my eyes closed he feels just like you
But you’ve been replaced
I’m face to face with someone new

5. “Wake Up,” Travis Scott (2018)
Written by The Weeknd, Travis Scott, Mike Dean, Sevn Thomas, Travis Scott, Frank Dukes, Kaan Güneşberk, Nima Jahanbin, Paimon Jahanbin

Off Travis Scott’s third album, Astroworld — also the namesake of the ill-fated music festival started by the rapper in 2018 and shut down years later following the death of 10 concertgoers in 2021— “Wake Up” is one of two tracks co-written by The Weeknd. He also co-wrote the Astroworld song “Skeletons” along with Tame Impala, Kanye West, and Pharrell Williams.

Please don’t wake me up, I feel it creeping (yeah)
Controlling how you moving, lucid dreaming (dreams)
Always on the side of different seasons, yeah, yeah
Took the belt-way down to your hood
Say you was in the crowd, I never looked
Looking back how things came back around
Guess I was hooked
Burn the bread and then we burn the town
We both was cooked, yeah
Nah, nah, please don’t wake me up, feel like I’m dreamin’
Any given Sunday, you can get it, Willie Beamon
I can make your Mondays even better like the weekend

Photo by Paras Griffin/Getty Images

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