The Weeknd is a red-hot band right now, both because their music is fantastic & dark and for the mystery behind the story of how they got hot.
They put their music online, got rave reviews on Pitchfork (the most trusted independent music review website), upped their price to $25,000 a show and snagged $1 million in bookings. Not bad for a mysterious band that gave away their music for free.
Thanks to the great Bob Lefsetz for hipping me to the Weeknd story. As Lefsetz (and others) says, if you're amazing you can give away your music and fans will find a way to pay you. The Weeknd are pretty stunning. That first Pitchfork reviewer praised the dark narratives laid over "incredibly lush, downcast music."
Download both their albums for free: The Weeknd A third album is apparently on the way soon.