The Weeknd's spellbinding Beauty Behind the Madness album featured a small treasure trove of killer cameos, including Ed Sheeran on "Dark Times." He and Abel traded off verses with almost identical melody lines, putting on an impressive compare-and-contrast display of their distinct versions of modern R&B/soul/blues.
On Thursday night's homecoming Toronto gig for the Madness Tour, the Weeknd brought out Sheeran to the delight of his 18,000-person crowd. They did an album-quality rendition of "Dark Times"; it was so sharp that we're suddenly dying for a live Weeknd album. (Sheeran has his own, both filmed and recorded at Wembley, coming next Friday.)
As Sheeran left the stage (did our dude say "make some noise for Ed Sharon"?), Abel had this to offer:
"I've written with a lot of people in my life, but he is the fastest and most talented songwriter I've ever worked with—ever. ... I mean, if we stayed in the studio another week, we could've had a full album, maybe."
There you go: Ed Sheeran and the Weeknd, joint album, 2016.