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The Weeknd | Success Story of the Legendary Musician



The Weeknd

Abel Makkonen Tesfaye, popularly known as The Weeknd, is one of the most prominent musicians in the world. He has been a part of the music industry for over a decade now. Born in Toronto, Canada, Abel is famous for his superlative singing and songwriting skills. He has sold more than 75 million records worldwide. In music history, The Weeknd is considered one of the best-selling artists. He has garnered four Grammys, six American Music Awards, seventeen Juno Awards, twenty Billboard Music Awards, and an Academy Award nomination for his exceptional contribution to the musical world.


Abel Makkonen Tesfaye started his musical journey at the age of nineteen. His debut studio album, “Kiss Land,” garnered critical and commercial success. In his career, he has achieved several milestones. The Weeknd is labeled as one of the most awarded male artists of the century. Gen-Z claims that The Weeknd is the new King of Pop. Time has included him in its Most Influential People in the World list. The Weeknd has collaborated with iconic artists like Beyoncé, Ariana Grande, Sia, Daft Punk, Lana Del Rey, Kendrick Lamar, Diplo, Swedish House Mafia, Drake, and Travis Scott. 

Early Life

On the 16th of February 1990, Abel Makkonen Tesfaye was born in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. His parents, Makkonen Tesfaye and Samrawit Hailu, come of Ethiopian descent. Abel’s parents had immigrated to Canada during the late 1980s. His mother, Samrawit, and her relatives had survived the Red Terror (violent political repression) in Ethiopia. Abel’s mother and relatives witnessed thousands of massacres during the Red Terror campaign. After Samrawit and Makkoned moved to Canada during the late 80s, they started living together. In 1990, soon after Abel’s birth, Makkonen and Samrawit separated. They never got married. As a result, Samrawit and her mother raised Abel. Samrawit had to struggle and do several jobs to fulfill the family’s needs. 

Growing up, Abel rarely met his father. During childhood, he spent most of his time with his grandmother. Abel’s mother did part-time jobs to educate him. For schooling, he attended the West Hill Collegiate Institute. Later, he got admitted to Birchmount Park Collegiate Institute. At the age of eleven, Abel got under bad influence. He started consuming marijuana. Following that, Abel began to do hard drugs. To support his bad habits, he started shoplifting with a bunch of friends. By seventeen, Abel had used his welfare cheques and bought cocaine and other illegal substances. Consequently, he dropped out of school and moved out of his home. At the time, Samrawit felt that she had failed as a mother. After moving out, Abel started living with two of his friends. 

Beginning of Career

During his time away from home, Abel experienced many struggles. He was imprisoned several times and later became homeless for a while. As a result, he matured quickly. Simultaneously, he began creating music. Abel claims that drugs helped him in making music. In August 2009, Abel decided to share his musical journey online. Consequently, he began uploading his music on YouTube. The following year, he came across Jeremy Rose, a music producer. They met at a local poutine spot. Jeremy was playing a beat, and Abel started free-styling to it.

Jeremy liked Abel’s style and asked if he wanted to work on a music project together. Abel agreed to it, and the two started making music. Together, the duo worked on three songs. What You Need, The Morning, and Loft Music. Abel released the songs with an anonymous name on YouTube. Gradually, the songs garnered attention from prominent media outlets like Pitchfork and The New York Times. Consequently, Abel received attention from Canadian rapper Drake. 

Initial Years 

Initially, after gaining some recognition with an anonymous identity in the music field, Abel worked at an apparel store. People around him listened to his music, unaware he was the same guy who sang those songs. Later, Abel adopted the stage name “The Weeknd.” In 2011, The Weeknd founded a record label named “XO.” Following that, he released his debut, mixtape House of Balloons. In the same year, Abel released two more mixtapes. All of them garnered reasonably positive reviews. Soon, Abel collaborated with Drake and contributed four songs to Drake’s album Take Care. In November 2012, The Weeknd released a compilation album called Trilogy. The album garnered him considerable recognition in the music industry. 

Worldwide Recognition 

In 2013, The Weeknd released his debut studio album Kissland. The music critics gave positive reviews to the album. After Kissland, Abel performed with artists like Justin Timberlake, Beyoncé, Ariana Grande, Sia, and Diplo. In 2015, The Weeknd released “Earned It.” The song was featured in the Fifty Shades of Grey soundtrack. At the 88th Academy Awards, the song garnered a nomination in the Best Original Song category. In the same year, he released singles like Can’t Feel My Face and The Hills from his second studio album. The songs became a massive hit. Consequently, The Weeknd garnered worldwide recognition.

The following year, he released his third studio album Starboy. Album’s titular track became one of the year’s biggest hits and garnered The Weeknd a prominent place in the music industry. 2020 marked the release of After Hours, Abel’s fourth studio album. The album peaked on the charts in 20 countries, becoming one of The Weeknd’s most successful albums. Presently, The Weeknd is celebrated as one of the century’s most innovative and iconic stars.

Also read: Justin Timberlake | Success Story of the Legendary Musician

What is the actual name of The Weeknd?

The Weeknd’s actual name is Abel Makkonen Tesfaye. He comes of Ethiopian descent. Born in Toronto, Canada, The Weeknd started making music in 2009. Initially, he uploaded his music under anonymous names on YouTube. 

What is the net worth of The Weeknd?

The Weeknd’s net worth is estimated to be $300 million. The Canadian singer and songwriter started gaining recognition during the late 2000s. He has sold more than 75 million copies worldwide. The Weeknd is famous for his superlative singing and songwriting skills. 

Is The Weeknd married?

No, Abel Makkonen Tesfaye is not married. He was in a relationship with renowned model Bella Hadid for a long time. However, the two broke up in 2016. Currently, he claims to be single. 

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