“Starboy” is a song by Canadian singer The Weeknd featuring French electronic duo Daft Punk, released as the lead single from The Weeknd’s upcoming third studio album of the same name on September 22, 2016. The artists co-wrote the song with Doc McKinney and Henry “Cirkut” Walter, both of whom assisted Daft Punk in the song’s production.
“Starboy” was released on September 22, 2016, following the announcement of the album and its accompanying artwork a day earlier. Lyrically, “Starboy” incorporates themes of the extravagance associated with a celebrity lifestyle, as well as discussing how the celebrity lifestyle can make an entertainer fragile.
The music video for the song was directed by frequent collaborator Grant Singer, who directed The Weeknd’s previous music videos for “Can’t Feel My Face” and “The Hills”. It was released through the singer’s official Vevo account on September 28, 2016 on YouTube, along with an accompanying poster which Rolling Stone described as “pulp-horror-inspired”. The video has been described as the singer’s attempt to kill his former/old persona, perhaps signaling he is reinventing himself with this new album, by suffocating himself, clipping his old hairstyle, and crushing his glass-framed platinum records.
Several cars that were mentioned in the song’s lyrics were featured in the video including the Lamborghini Aventador SV Roadster which he sings in his second verse: “Pull off in that Roadster SV/ Pockets overweight, getting hefty,” a Bentley Mulsanne: “No competition, I don’t really listen/ I’m in the blue Mulsanne bumping New Edition,” and the McLaren P1: “I’m trying to put you in the worst mood/ P1 cleaner than your church shoes.” The Weeknd used his own McLaren P1 in the video. Billboard approached John Paolo Canton, McLaren Automotive’s director of public relations, in order to find out the owner of the car, as their website stated ” even the world’s biggest carmaker afford product placement like this, let alone a boutique British brand”. Canton later confirmed that the car did belong to The Weeknd.
“Starboy” additionally topped the US Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart, where it became The Weeknd’s fourth number one single and Daft Punk’s first.
In New Zealand, the single debuted at number five, which was followed by two consecutive weeks at number 2 before moving to number one on the chart for the week of October 24, 2016. This marks The Weeknd’s second number one single, as well as Daft Punk’s first number one single in the country.