The Weeknd Earns a Standing Ovation for Soulful Grammys 2016 Performance

He "Earned It," all right. After an impressive opening number by Taylor Swift and an on-fire duet between Carrie Underwood and Sam Hunt, the pressure was on for The Weeknd to deliver with his 2016 Grammys performance — and he was more than up to the challenge. 

The Canadian singer (real name: Abel Makkonen Tesfaye) brought the house down at L.A.'s Staples Center on Monday, February 15, earning one of the night's first standing ovations.

He began with a high-energy rendition of the smash hit "Can't Feel My Face," which is up for Record of the Year against Swift's "Blank Space," among others. But it was his soulful solo on "In the Night" that really wowed the crowd.

The Weeknd performs on stage during The 58th Grammy Awards at Staples Center on February 15, 2016, in Los Angeles, California.
The Weeknd performs on stage during The 58th Grammy Awards at Staples Center on February 15, 2016, in Los Angeles, California. Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images for NARAS

Taking center stage with just a spotlight and a microphone, The Weeknd, 25, slowed things down and proved exactly why he's nominated in seven categories. When he finished, the crowd stood, cheering wildly. Leading the applause? Fellow performer Adele, who looked in awe of the singer.

Earlier in the evening, The Weeknd won his first two Grammys, for Best R&B Performance ("Earned It") and Best Urban Contemporary Album (Beauty Behind the Madness). He also walked the red carpet with his girlfriend, Bella Hadid.

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