A few years back, one of the hottest trends in music was what people were calling "alt R&B" or "hipster R&B." Among the genre's prime movers were Frank Ocean and The Weeknd.
You still hear that kind of music, but you don't hear those rather derisive descriptors anymore, largely because artists such as The Weeknd have proven that their music has credibility and staying power.
See The Weeknd in concert tonight at Tampa's Amalie Arena.
The Weeknd -- a.k.a. Abel Makkonen Tesfaye -- became an immediate hit with critics through his YouTube videos and mixtapes in 2010 and 2011. He released his first album in 2012, but it was mostly songs from his mixtapes. His first "real" album, 2013's "Kiss Land," produced the title single and "Live For."
He was already a major artist, but this year's "Beauty Behind the Madness" launched him into a higher orbit. It debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 200 chart. The singles "Earned It," "The Hills" and "Can't Feel My Face" held the top three spots on the Billboard Hot R&B Songs chart. It was the first time ever that one artists had all three of the top spots.
Opening for The Weeknd on this tour, which he's calling "The Madness," are Halsey and Travis Scott. Halsey's an electro-pop singer who released her first album earlier this year. Scott is a hip-hop artist whose singles include "3500" and "Antidote."
Details: 7:30 p.m. Dec. 17, Amalie Arena, 401 Channelside Drive, Tampa. Tickets: $36.25-$86.25. Information: 813-301-2500, amaliearena.com.
-- Marty Clear