Abel Makkonen Tesfaye (born February 16, 1990), professionally known as The Weeknd, is a Canadian singer and songwriter. He has emerged as a prominent figure in contemporary popular music, known for his unconventional music production, artistic reinventions, and his distinctive use of falsetto vocals.
Throughout his career, The Weeknd has garnered numerous accolades, including four Grammy Awards, twenty Billboard Music Awards, and twenty-two Juno Awards, among others.
The Weeknd Biography
Abel Makkonen Tesfaye, better known by his stage name, The Weeknd, was born on February 16, 1990, in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. He is also known as The Noise and Kin Kane. The Weeknd is a versatile artist who has established himself as a singer, songwriter, record producer, actor, and entrepreneur. He has been active in the music industry since 2009 and continues to create new music that appeals to his fans.
The Weeknd’s music incorporates various genres such as R&B, pop, hip hop, dance, alternative R&B, and new wave. He mainly uses his vocals and keyboards as instruments in his music. The Weeknd is currently signed to two record labels, XO and Republic.  He has released several albums, songs, and music videos throughout his career.
The Weeknd has received numerous awards for his work in the music industry and remains a significant figure in the entertainment world. Fans can stay up to date on his work and latest releases by visiting his official website, theweeknd.com.
Family Background and Early Career
Abel Tesfaye, who is of Ethiopian descent, was born on February 16, 1990, in Toronto, Ontario. He grew up in Scarborough, raised by his mother and grandmother after his parents separated shortly after his birth. Despite having a distant relationship with his father, Tesfaye remains neutral and recognizes his father’s positive qualities.
He began his musical journey in 2009 by releasing music anonymously on YouTube, gradually building a devoted following. In 2011, Tesfaye co-founded the XO record label and gained recognition for his mixtapes “House of Balloons,” “Thursday,” and “Echoes of Silence.”
These projects showcased his unique blend of contemporary and alternative R&B, captivating audiences with their distinctive sound and the aura of mystery surrounding his identity.
The critical acclaim surrounding the mixtapes led to a record deal with Republic Records in 2012, which resulted in the release of the compilation album “Trilogy,” a collection of the mixtapes along with additional tracks.
Mainstream Success and Artistic Evolution
After gaining widespread recognition with his mixtapes, The Weeknd transitioned to a darker and more atmospheric sound with his debut studio album “Kiss Land” in 2013. The album debuted at number two on the US Billboard 200 chart, introducing his music to a larger audience.
He went on to make contributions to film soundtracks, with his single “Earned It” from the movie “Fifty Shades of Grey” earning critical acclaim, a Grammy Award, and an Academy Award nomination. The Weeknd achieved commercial and critical success with his second studio album, “Beauty Behind the Madness” in 2015.
It topped the charts and included hit singles “Can’t Feel My Face” and “The Hills.” The album earned him multiple Grammy Awards, including Best Urban Contemporary Album. His next album, “Starboy,” released in 2016, continued his success with chart-topping hits such as “Starboy” and “Die For You,” earning him another Grammy Award for Best Urban Contemporary Album.
In 2020, The Weeknd released his fourth studio album, “After Hours,” which featured the chart record-breaking single “Blinding Lights” and other hits like “Heartless” and “Save Your Tears.” The album further cemented The Weeknd’s position as a global superstar.
In 2022, The Weeknd released his fifth studio album, “Dawn FM,” showcasing his versatility with dance-pop-inspired tracks such as “Take My Breath.” The album received widespread acclaim, further solidifying The Weeknd’s status as one of the most successful and talented artists of his generation.
Influence and Personal Life
In addition to his commercial success, The Weeknd has made a significant impact on the music industry through his innovative approach to music production. He is known for pushing the boundaries of contemporary R&B and experimenting with different genres, which has earned him widespread recognition and critical acclaim.
The Weeknd’s music is characterized by its atmospheric melodies and introspective lyrics, which have inspired a new wave of artists and helped redefine the popular music landscape. Despite his immense fame, he maintains a mysterious and enigmatic persona and prefers to keep his personal life private.
During the early stages of his career, he was known for avoiding interviews and communicating mainly through social media. Even now, The Weeknd remains selective about interviews, granting them only on rare occasions.
Is The Weeknd Married? | Relationships
Apart from his music career, The Weeknd’s love life has also been the subject of media scrutiny. He dated American model Bella Hadid for four years on and off from 2015 to 2019, and they made several public appearances together, including in the music video for his song “In the Night.” He also had a brief relationship with American singer-actress Selena Gomez in 2017.
The Weeknd’s hairstyle has become a trademark, and his iconic look, which includes his long, unkempt hair, has become synonymous with his brand. Over the years, he has experimented with different hairstyles, including a shorter cut in 2016.
On social media, he uses “xo” as a suffix to his name, which represents hugs and kisses and has become an emblem of his music. In addition to his artistic endeavors, The Weeknd has also been active in philanthropy.
He has been an advocate for issues such as racial equality and food security and was appointed a Goodwill Ambassador for the World Food Programme in 2021, showcasing his commitment to making a positive impact beyond the realm of music.
Personal Struggles and Growth
The path to success for The Weeknd has been far from smooth. In his early years, he faced hardships such as homelessness and legal issues. However, these challenges motivated him to focus on his music and turn his life around.
The Weeknd has been open about his past drug use, including ketamine, cocaine, MDMA, and cough syrup. But, he has taken steps to address these struggles and expressed his commitment to a healthier lifestyle. In a 2021 interview, he revealed that he has stopped using all drugs except for marijuana and has reduced his alcohol consumption.
In a recent interview with Interview Magazine, The Weeknd shared a personal detail that he had not previously disclosed to the public. He revealed that he has attention deficit disorder (ADD), providing a deeper understanding of his experiences and the challenges he has faced throughout his career. Despite the obstacles he has encountered, The Weeknd has persevered and continues to captivate audiences with his music.
As of August 2021, The Weeknd lives in Bel Air, Los Angeles. He has owned several noteworthy properties, including a mansion in Hidden Hills, California, which he sold to Madonna in 2021. He has also lived in penthouses in Westwood, Los Angeles, and New York City in the past.
Legacy and Continued Success
The Weeknd’s impact on the music industry is noteworthy and enduring. He has a unique sound, which is powerful and introspective, and is loved by fans globally.
His success is not just limited to chart-topping hits and numerous awards, but also his ability to push creative boundaries with every release. The Weeknd’s fan base is devoted, and his artistry inspires future generations to embrace authenticity and innovation in their music.
As he continues to evolve artistically, The Weeknd’s contributions to contemporary music are likely to leave an indelible mark, and his legacy will continue to inspire and influence future artists.
The Weeknd is a Canadian singer, songwriter, and record producer who has made a name for himself with his distinctive blend of indie and electronic music with R&B. He has amassed an impressive net worth of $300 million, according to various sources.  
His wealth has primarily come from his successful singing career, and he is widely recognized as one of the most prominent figures in the Hip-Hop/Rap/R&B genre.
The Weeknd’s earnings have been extraordinary, earning a whopping $90 million between June 2017 and June 2018, followed by $40 million between June 2018 and June 2019 from his diverse projects. 
Abel Makkonen Tesfaye, known professionally as The Weeknd, embarked on his musical journey in 2009. Initially anonymous, he released his music on YouTube, creating a buzz within the online music community. Drawing inspiration from various genres, including R&B, hip-hop, and electronic music, The Weeknd’s unique style began to captivate listeners.
During this period, The Weeknd also co-founded the XO record label. In 2011, he released a series of critically acclaimed mixtapes: “House of Balloons,” “Thursday,” and “Echoes of Silence.” These projects showcased his distinctive sound, characterized by haunting melodies, introspective lyrics, and his signature falsetto vocals. The Weeknd’s enigmatic persona and the air of mystery surrounding his identity added to the intrigue and allure of his music.
2012–2014: Trilogy and Kiss Land
In 2012, The Weeknd signed with Republic Records and released a compilation album titled “Trilogy.” This album featured remastered versions of his three mixtapes, along with three additional songs. “Trilogy” introduced his music to a wider audience and solidified his position as a rising star in the music industry.
The following year, The Weeknd released his highly anticipated debut studio album, “Kiss Land.” With this album, he delved deeper into his artistic vision, exploring dark wave and incorporating cinematic elements into his music. “Kiss Land” debuted at number two on the US Billboard 200, further establishing The Weeknd as a force to be reckoned with in the contemporary music scene.
2015–2017: Beauty Behind the Madness and Starboy
The Weeknd’s breakthrough into mainstream success came with his second studio album, “Beauty Behind the Madness,” released in 2015. The album featured a more pop-oriented sound, blending elements of R&B, pop, and electronic music. It spawned multiple chart-topping singles, including “Can’t Feel My Face” and “The Hills.”
“Beauty Behind the Madness” reached number one on the US Billboard 200 and garnered critical acclaim. The album’s success propelled The Weeknd into superstardom, earning him multiple Grammy Awards and solidifying his mainstream appeal.
In 2016, The Weeknd followed up with his third studio album, “Starboy.” Continuing to experiment with his sound, he incorporated elements of funk, disco, and synth-pop into the album. The title track, “Starboy,” featuring Daft Punk, became a massive hit, topping charts worldwide.
The album received critical acclaim and earned The Weeknd additional Grammy Awards, including Best Urban Contemporary Album. “Starboy” further showcased The Weeknd’s versatility as an artist and his ability to evolve his sound while maintaining his signature style.
2018–2020: My Dear Melancholy, and After Hours
After a brief hiatus, The Weeknd returned in 2018 with the release of the EP “My Dear Melancholy.” The project delved into themes of heartbreak, showcasing a more introspective and emotionally raw side of the artist. The EP received widespread acclaim and further solidified The Weeknd’s position as a boundary-pushing artist.
In 2020, The Weeknd released his highly anticipated fourth studio album, “After Hours.” Exploring new wave and dream pop influences, the album showcased his growth as an artist and cemented his status as a creative innovator. The lead single, “Blinding Lights,” became a global phenomenon, breaking multiple records and earning critical acclaim.
“After Hours” received widespread acclaim and debuted at number one on the Billboard 200. The album’s success reaffirmed The Weeknd’s ability to captivate audiences with his unique blend of genres and his willingness to push creative boundaries.
2021–present: Dawn FM
In 2021, The Weeknd continued his musical journey with the release of his fifth studio album, “Dawn FM.” This album showcased a fusion of dance-pop and his signature R&B sound. “Dawn FM” further demonstrated The Weeknd’s ability to experiment with different musical styles while maintaining his distinct artistic vision.
The album featured the hit single “Take My Breath,” which achieved significant success on the charts and resonated with fans worldwide. Alongside “Take My Breath,” the album also included tracks such as “Sacrifice,” “Out of Time,” and “Less than Zero,” showcasing The Weeknd’s continued evolution as an artist.
Beyond his musical endeavors, The Weeknd has also made an impact through his philanthropic work. In 2021, he was appointed a World Food Programme Goodwill Ambassador, highlighting his commitment to advocating for food security and racial equality.
With his dynamic discography and ability to reinvent his sound, The Weeknd has left an indelible mark on the music industry. His unconventional approach to music production, captivating stage performances, and distinctive vocal style have garnered critical acclaim and a dedicated fan base.
As The Weeknd continues to evolve as an artist, his influence and impact are expected to shape the future of popular music. His ability to seamlessly blend genres, push creative boundaries, and connect with audiences on a profound level solidify his status as one of the most influential and innovative artists of his generation.
Apart from his successful music career, The Weeknd has ventured into various other endeavors, including acting, business ventures, philanthropy, and ambassadorship for the World Food Programme (WFP). These endeavors have allowed him to expand his creative horizons and make a positive impact beyond the realm of music.
The Weeknd has explored his talent for acting, making appearances in both film and television projects. In 2019, he made his feature film debut in the critically acclaimed crime drama “Uncut Gems,” starring alongside Adam Sandler.
His performance received praise for its authenticity and marked the beginning of a promising acting career for the artist. He has also made guest appearances in popular TV shows such as “American Dad!” and “Robot Chicken,” showcasing his versatility as an entertainer.
Recognizing the importance of entrepreneurship and creative control, The Weeknd has ventured into various business endeavors. In 2018, he co-founded the creative enterprise Hxouse, based in Toronto, Canada.
Hxouse serves as a platform to nurture emerging talent in the fields of music, art, fashion, and technology, providing mentorship, resources, and opportunities for aspiring artists and creators.
The Weeknd has also explored the world of fashion and collaborated with renowned brands. He has partnered with Puma to launch his own shoe line and worked with luxury fashion brand H&M on exclusive merchandise. These ventures allow him to express his unique sense of style and creativity beyond the confines of the music industry.
The Weeknd has consistently demonstrated his commitment to philanthropy and social causes. He has made significant donations to various organizations, including Black Lives Matter Global Network, MusiCares, and the Equal Justice Initiative.
In 2020, amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, he donated $1 million to help frontline healthcare workers and pledged additional funds to various relief efforts.
In recognition of his commitment to humanitarian causes, The Weeknd was appointed as a Goodwill Ambassador for the World Food Programme (WFP) in 2021. The WFP is the leading humanitarian organization addressing global hunger and food security.
As an ambassador, The Weeknd uses his platform and influence to raise awareness about food insecurity and advocate for solutions to end hunger worldwide.
Through his philanthropic work and ambassadorship, The Weeknd actively supports initiatives that aim to improve access to nutritious food, tackle hunger crises, and address the root causes of food insecurity. His dedication to making a positive impact extends beyond his artistic endeavors, demonstrating his genuine concern for global issues and his desire to bring about meaningful change.
The Weeknd’s ventures into acting, business, philanthropy, and ambassadorship reflect his multifaceted nature as an artist and his desire to make a difference in various spheres.
These endeavors allow him to explore different creative outlets, contribute to social causes, and leave a lasting impact beyond his music career. As he continues to evolve and expand his influence, The Weeknd’s ventures are sure to shape his legacy as an artist and humanitarian.
The Weeknd, known for his captivating music and unique artistic vision, has established himself as a pioneering figure in contemporary popular music. His artistry encompasses various aspects, including his influences, production and songwriting techniques, voice and music style, as well as controversies surrounding plagiarism and allegations of homophobic lyrics.
The Weeknd draws inspiration from a diverse range of musical influences. Artists such as Michael Jackson, Prince, R. Kelly, and the late Ethiopian singer Aster Aweke have played a significant role in shaping his musical style.
The Weeknd’s ability to blend elements of R&B, pop, hip-hop, and electronic music showcases his eclectic taste and willingness to explore different genres.
Production and Songwriting
The Weeknd is renowned for his unconventional music production and innovative songwriting. He often collaborates with a talented team of producers, including Illangelo, DaHeala, and Max Martin, to create his distinctive sound.
His songs often feature atmospheric and moody production, characterized by intricate layers of synths, haunting melodies, and unconventional song structures.
As a songwriter, The Weeknd delves into introspective and emotionally charged themes, exploring topics such as love, heartbreak, fame, and personal struggles. His lyrics often exhibit a raw vulnerability, offering glimpses into his own experiences and emotions. This authenticity resonates with audiences, further solidifying his connection with his fans.
Voice and Music Style
One of The Weeknd’s most recognizable attributes is his distinctive voice. He possesses a wide vocal range and is known for his masterful use of falsetto, which adds a unique texture to his music. His voice effortlessly transitions between smooth and soulful melodies to more powerful and emotive expressions, allowing him to convey a wide spectrum of emotions within his songs.
The Weeknd’s music style is characterized by a fusion of genres. He seamlessly blends elements of R&B, pop, electronic, and hip-hop, creating a sonic landscape that is both innovative and captivating. His ability to experiment with different sounds and push the boundaries of traditional genre classifications has set him apart as a true musical visionary.
Throughout his career, The Weeknd has faced accusations of plagiarism. Some critics and artists have claimed that he borrowed heavily from their work without proper credit or permission.
These allegations have sparked debates within the music industry and among fans, with discussions surrounding the boundaries of artistic inspiration and originality. The Weeknd has addressed these allegations, asserting that he draws inspiration from various sources but always strives to create something unique and authentic.
Allegations of Homophobic Lyrics
At times, The Weeknd has faced allegations of incorporating homophobic lyrics into his music. Certain lyrics from his earlier projects have been scrutinized for their potential derogatory connotations.
However, it’s important to note that artists’ creative expression can be open to interpretation, and context is crucial in understanding the intended meaning behind their lyrics.
The Weeknd has not made explicit comments regarding these allegations, and it’s essential to engage in nuanced discussions regarding artistic expression, social responsibility, and the evolving cultural context.
Despite these controversies, The Weeknd’s artistry and impact on the music industry cannot be denied. His ability to captivate audiences with his innovative sound, emotive lyrics, and dynamic performances has solidified his status as one of the most influential artists of his generation. As he continues to evolve as an artist, The Weeknd’s artistry will undoubtedly shape the future of popular music and leave a lasting legacy.
The Weeknd’s Discography
The Weeknd has released several successful albums and mixtapes throughout his career. His discography showcases his versatility as an artist and his ability to continually push creative boundaries. Here is an overview of his major releases:
- “Kiss Land” (2013): The Weeknd’s debut studio album, featuring dark wave and alternative R&B influences.
- “Beauty Behind the Madness” (2015): His breakthrough album, blending pop and R&B elements, featuring chart-topping hits like “Can’t Feel My Face” and “The Hills.”
- “Starboy” (2016): An album that incorporates elements of trap, electronic, and pop music, highlighted by the title track and “I Feel It Coming.”
- “After Hours” (2020): A critically acclaimed album exploring themes of heartbreak and self-reflection, including the hit singles “Blinding Lights” and “Save Your Tears.”
- “Dawn FM” (2022): A dance-pop inspired album featuring the single “Take My Breath” and further showcasing The Weeknd’s evolution as an artist.
Mixtapes and Compilation Albums
The Weeknd gained early recognition through his mixtapes, which were later compiled into the album “Trilogy” (2012). Notable mixtapes include “House of Balloons” (2011), “Thursday” (2011), and “Echoes of Silence” (2011).
The Weeknd has ventured into the world of acting, showcasing his talents beyond music. Here are some of his notable appearances:
- “Uncut Gems” (2019): The Weeknd made his feature film debut in this crime thriller, starring alongside Adam Sandler.
- “American Dad!” (2020): He lent his voice to an animated version of himself in an episode of the popular TV series.
- “Robot Chicken” (2021): The Weeknd made a cameo appearance in this stop-motion animated sketch comedy series.
Accolades and Awards
The Weeknd’s unique sound and artistic vision have earned him numerous accolades and recognition throughout his career. Some of his notable awards include:
- Grammy Awards: The Weeknd has won multiple Grammy Awards, including Best Urban Contemporary Album and Best R&B Performance.
- Billboard Music Awards: He has received numerous Billboard Music Awards, including Top Hot 100 Artist and Top R&B Artist.
- Juno Awards: The Weeknd has been honored with several Juno Awards, including Artist of the Year and Album of the Year.
- MTV Video Music Awards: He has won multiple MTV Video Music Awards, including Video of the Year and Best R&B.
- Latin Grammy Award: The Weeknd received a Latin Grammy Award for Best Urban Fusion/Performance for his collaboration on “Elena” with Yatra.
The Weeknd has embarked on several successful tours, captivating audiences around the world with his electrifying performances. Some of his notable tours include:
- “The Madness Fall Tour” (2015): This tour supported the album “Beauty Behind the Madness” and featured sold-out shows across North America.
- “Starboy: Legend of the Fall Tour” (2017): In support of his album “Starboy,” this tour spanned multiple continents and included stunning visual productions.
- “After Hours World Tour” (2022): This highly anticipated tour accompanied his album “After Hours” and included a series of memorable live performances.
The Weeknd’s discography, filmography, accolades, awards, and tours collectively highlight his exceptional talent, artistic growth, and ability to captivate audiences across various mediums. His unique sound, genre-bending approach, and commitment to
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