The Weeknd Gave A Subtle Nod To Kanye West In His Coachella Performance

The first weekend of Coachella 2022 went off without a hitch. The festival, which takes place over two consecutive weekends in April, featured acts from all genres of music. This year's lineup included headlining performances from Harry Styles, Billie Eilish, and The Weeknd, who was tapped to replace Kanye "Ye" West after he backed out of the show, and was rumored to be considering seeking mental health treatment, per Page Six. A source revealed to TMZ that Ye made the decision to withdraw after weeks of conflict with ex-wife Kim Kardashian and Pete Davidson.

Following the news that The Weeknd was added to the lineup, Page Six reported that the "Blinding Lights" singer also threatened to pull his performance if he was not paid the same as Ye. The "Stronger" artist was set to receive $8.5 million for his headlining set, plus $500,000 in production fees. "Phil Anschutz [who owns the Coachella Festival through AEG Live] wanted to hold on to Kanye's money and pay The Weeknd far less, just a few million," a source said. "The festival would pocket the rest."

It appears The Weeknd and Coachella organizers have reached an agreement, as the singer's set went off without a problem. During his performance, The Weeknd even took a moment to shout out Ye, who was noticeably missing from the event.

The Weeknd performs his Ye collaboration

There has been a lot of drama surrounding this year's Coachella lineup, and most of it revolved around the show's original headliner, Kanye "Ye" West. Ye — who canceled his performance at this year's festival — was replaced not only by The Weeknd, but also EDM supergroup Swedish House Mafia. "Coachella has a special relationship with Abel and I'm so thankful to have this upcoming performance with these iconic artists all on the same stage," Paul Tollett, president of Coachella promoter Goldenvoice, told Variety.

While Ye was not physically present during the first weekend of the desert festival, The Weeknd took a moment to pay homage to the "Gold Digger" rapper during his set. The Weeknd, who began his set with a barrage of hits from his "Dawn FM" album, also performed his verse from "Hurricane," which is featured on Ye's "Donda" album. The singer went on to perform a series of his own hits, including "Can't Feel My Face," "Blinding Lights," and "Starboy."

Prior to their headlining gig alongside The Weeknd, Swedish House Mafia revealed to the Los Angeles Times that the "I Feel It Coming" singer had already agreed to join their performance. Steve Angello of the group said, "Abel was always coming too."