The Weeknd

Canadian singer-songwriter (born 1990)

Abel Makkonen Tesfaye (born February 16, 1990), known by the stage name the Weeknd, is a Canadian singer-songwriter and record producer. The Weeknd was born in Scarborough, Ontario. He is a Canadian citizen of Ethiopian descent. He performs a mixture of R&B, rock and hip hop. On March 6, 2011, the rapper Drake spoke about the Weeknd as a new artist on Twitter, He did this to increase the curiosity of the public.[2][3]

The Weeknd
The Weeknd in 2021
Abel Makkonen Tesfaye

(1990-02-16) February 16, 1990 (age 34)
Ontario, Canada
Other names
  • The Noise
  • Kin Kane[1]
  • Singer
  • songwriter
  • record producer
  • actor
  • businessman
Years active2009–present
Height5 ft 7 in (170 cm)
AwardsFull list
Musical career
  • Vocals
  • keyboards

Early life


Abel Makkonen Tesfaye was born on February 16, 1990, in Scarborough, Ontario, Canada, to parents Samra and Makkonen. His father left when Abel was young. His mother worked several jobs and, as a result, was taken care of by his grandmother. She took Abel to their Ethiopian Orthodox church services.[4]

At age 11, Abel tried marijuana for the first time and moved onto harder drugs.



On March 21, 2011, the Weeknd released his first mixtape, House of Balloons, to public and critical approval.[5] The record contains several successful songs, including "Wicked Games" and "High for This". Also the title track is based on the hit "Happy House" by Siouxsie and the Banshees. The latter has been recognized by the music magazine Pitchfork.[6] The eclectic music of Tesfaye combines samples of other artists like Beach House and Aaliyah. He also released two other albums the same year with singles named "Thursday" and "Echoes of Silence". With Drake’s help, he performed the popular song "The Zone".

In addition, the Weeknd gave his first performance in London in June 2012, and was surprised that among the spectators were famous singers like Katy Perry and Florence Welch. At this first show, he sang a unique interpretation, the reprise of "Dirty Diana" by Michael Jackson.[7] In November 2012, at the age of 22, The Weeknd released Trilogy, comprising the last three albums remixed with Universal Music Group. The Recording Industry Association of America certified Trilogy gold in the U.S. shortly after its release. In 2013, he gave a concert in the Trianon Room in Paris. The audience during the presentation consisted mainly of young adults aged between the ages of 17 and 30.

The Weeknd's songs are known for being rhythmic and sensual. In addition, he had the opportunity to start his career singing alongside rapper Wiz Khalifa with the hit "Remember Me". He has also worked with the artists Kendrick Lamar, J. Cole and Frank Ocean.

The Weeknd's fourth album, Beauty Behind the Madness (2015), spawned the number-one hit singles "Can't Feel My Face" and "The Hills", along with the top-three song "Earned It", which was used in the soundtrack for the film adaptation of Fifty Shades of Grey. On September 22, 2016, The Weeknd released a single, "Starboy", which features French electronic duo Daft Punk. They helped produce the song, and it has topped the Billboard Hot 100 and Canadian Hot 100 charts. The third and fourth singles, "I Feel It Coming" (also featuring Daft Punk) and "Party Monster", were released on November 18. The Weeknd's fifth studio album, also called Starboy, was released on November 25, 2016.[8] The album entered the US Billboard 200 chart at number one, and all 18 songs entered the Billboard Hot 100. Only Drake has more entries from one album, with the 20 songs from his album Views entering the chart.[source?]

On March 30, 2018, he released the EP, My Dear Melancholy, which contains six songs. The first track and first single, "Call Out My Name", entered the US Billboard Hot 100 at number four, with the EP entering at the top of the Billboard 200 album chart with 169,000 copies sold and streamed in its first week.[9]



Awards and nominations


Grammy Awards


Tesfaye has won three Grammy Awards from eight nominations.

Year Award Work Status Ref.
2016 Record of the Year "Can't Feel My Face" Nominated [10]
Best Pop Solo Performance Nominated
Best Urban Contemporary Album Beauty Behind the Madness Won
Album of the Year Nominated
Best R&B Performance "Earned It (Fifty Shades of Grey)" Won
Best R&B Song Nominated
Best Song Written for Visual Media Nominated
2018 Best Urban Contemporary Album Starboy Won [11]

Personal life


The Weeknd dated American model Bella Hadid from September 2015 until November 2016.[12]

In late 2016, he began dating American singer-actress Selena Gomez. They broke up in late 2017.


  1. Marsh, Calum (February 16, 2021). "Everything We Know About The Weeknd Before He Blew Up". Complex. He apparently also recorded music under the names The Noise and Kin Kane.
  2. Erika Ramirez, « Artist to Watch: The Weeknd » [archive], Rolling Stone, March 29, 2011.
  3. Joseph Brannigan Lynch, « Drake-approved R&B upstart The Weeknd: Why all the blog frenzy over an unknown? » [archive], Entertainment Weekly, March 29,2011
  4. "Sex, Drugs and R&B: Inside The Weeknd's Dark Twisted Fantasy". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 2018-04-10.
  5. "House Of Balloons". HotNewHipHop. Retrieved 2018-04-10.
  6. Neyland, Nick, « The Weeknd’s House Of Balloons » [archive], Pitchfork
  7. Soriano, Kristen; Solomon, Michael; Stern, Claire (May 11, 2012). "The Weeknd, 22, recording artist - 30 Under 30: The Essential Names to Know". Elle (New York). Archived from the original on January 21, 2013. Retrieved January 21, 2013
  8. "Starboy by The Weeknd on Apple Music". Retrieved 23 September 2016.
  9. "The Weeknd Scores Third Consecutive No. 1 Album on Billboard 200 Chart With 'My Dear Melancholy'". Billboard. Retrieved 2018-04-10.
  10. "58th Annual GRAMMY Awards Winners & Nominees |". Retrieved 23 September 2016.
  11. Staff, Los Angeles Times. "Grammys 2018: Complete list of winners and nominees". Retrieved 2018-04-10.
  12. Tesema, Martha. "The Weeknd and Bella Hadid's Victoria's Secret encounter was everything". Mashable. Retrieved 2018-04-10.