Abel Makkonen Tesfaye, known as The Weeknd, was born on February 16, 1990, in Toronto, Canada. He was initially inspired to pursue a career in music by the famous Michael Jackson and was subsequently influenced by R.&B. artists such as Aaliyah, Missy Elliott, Timbaland, and The Neptunes. Since then, he has risen to prominence as an alternative R.&B. artist. He gained notoriety by uploading a number of his songs to YouTube under the moniker The Weeknd. He began his career by distributing mixtapes for free on his website.
The Weeknd, real name Abel Makkonen Tesfaye, is a three-time Grammy Award-winning R.&B. singer-songwriter and music producer whose self-titled first album, “Trilogy,” achieved gold certification. He has multiple Billboard Hot 100 chart-topping singles, including ‘The Hills,’ ‘Can’t Feel My Face,’ and ‘Starboy.’ Although he is the son of Ethiopian immigrants, he has had limited contact with his father, who abandoned the family when he was a child. He dropped out of school and fled home in grade 11, committing himself to unrestrained partying. Tesfaye soon found work at American Apparel and began creating songs about substance abuse, casual sex, and alienation. He met musician and producer Jeremy Rose and the two began collaborating. Their cooperation resulted in three atmospheric songs — ‘The Morning,’ ‘Loft Music,’ and ‘What You Need’—with partly spoken and partly rap lyrics. The Weeknd-credited tracks were uploaded as audio files to the video-sharing website YouTube in late 2010; their popularity skyrocketed after they were featured on the Drake blog.
2012 became a more significant year for him. He earned a seat at the Coachella Music Festival in 2012 and was quickly signed to Republic Records. Later that year, in collaboration with his own imprint label X.O., he released a compilation album titled “Trilogy” comprising tracks from his mixtapes and some new material. However, his formal debut did not occur until 2013. “Kiss Land,” featuring Drake as the lone guest, debuted at No. two on the Billboard Hot 200 and topped R.&B./Hip-Hop Albums. It got favorable critical reception and yielded three singles: the title track, ‘Belong to the World,’ and Drake-assisted ‘Live For.’
Tesfaye maintained his ascension to the top in 2015 with the release of the No. one album “Beauty Behind the Madness.” His disco-pop track ‘Can’t Feel My Face,’ which might be about a love encounter or drug usage, became the unofficial summer song for many, while his ballad ‘The Hills’ also strongly affected music enthusiasts. Tesfaye makes his feature film debut in 2019 as himself in Adam Sandler’s criminal comedy “Uncut Gems.”
Tesfaye starts a YouTube channel and releases three tracks and is even referenced in a blog article promoting rapper Drake's tunes.
On March 21, Tesfaye releases his debut mixtape, "House of Balloons."
In September, Tesfaye releases his first studio album, "Kiss Land," which earns excellent reviews from reviewers and features a cameo appearance by longtime collaborator Drake.
His most popular record, "Beauty Behind the Madness," garners him several prizes and nominations; it is the tenth best-selling album, having sold 1.5 million copies globally and more than two million in the U.S.
Why We Love The Weeknd
He is a generous philanthropist
Tesfaye is a philanthropist. He has contributed financially to a variety of causes, including a $250,000 contribution to the Black Lives Matter campaign.
Holding onto Billboard's top three spots
Tesfaye became the only musician in history to hold the top three spots on the Billboard Hot R.&B. Songs chart simultaneously. In 2018, he produced his own Marvel comic book based on his image, dubbed 'Starboy.'
He has a relationship with Jim Carrey
Tesfaye has said his mother took him to watch fellow Ontario native Carrey's 1994 film "The Mask" when he was four years old. He said the experience fuelled his desire to attend film school one day. The men were introduced nearly three decades later through text, and Tesfaye invited Carrey to his Los Angeles condo in 2019 to hear some new songs.
5 Surprising Facts
He failed to graduate from high school
Tesfaye finally walked out of high school at the age of 17.
He was homeless
Tesfaye claimed that he used to convince various females that he loved them in order to secure a place to stay.
Drake helped launch his career
Drake helped him launch his singing career when he posted Tesfaye's songs on his blog.
He has a car collection
Not only does he possess the $1.2 million orange McLaren P1 used in the music video for 'Starboy,' but the hypercar is just one of the alleged in his $3 million car collections.
He worked at American Apparel
Before he became famous, Tesfaye folded shirts in a downtown Toronto American Apparel retail store in 2010.
The Weeknd FAQs
Is Ariana Grande dating The Weeknd?
Though it was never proven, a common fan rumor suggested that Grande and Tesfaye dated throughout their creative phase.
Is Tesfaye a fan of Autotune?
Yes, he is and he makes it quite evident that he employs the pitch adjustment software on his voice.
What is Tesfaye's most popular song?
His 2020 smash ‘Blinding Lights’ has been officially declared the all-time highest U.S. Billboard Hot 100 single.
The Weeknd’s birthday dates