Canadian-born Abel Tesfaye, known to millions as The Weeknd, has been building quite a name for himself as a singer and songwriter. The incredibly talented 26-year-old hit the scene in 2010 when he anonymously uploaded several songs to his YouTube account. Famous for his elusive personality as much as his unique hairstyle, The Weeknd is here to stay.
Born in February 1990 to Ethiopian parents, he was raised by his grandmother in Toronto where he learned to speak Amharic. Influenced by Iggy Pop and the Ramones, he dropped out of high school at 17 to pursue his music career. Although he originally aspired to be a punk rock star, The Weeknd has become one of the most talented R&B performers of our generation.
His big break came in 2011 when someone from Drake’s camp posted a link to his YouTube account. Drake, a fellow Canadian singer, had just gone double platinum in the US. It caught the attention of millions and created hype for more music. His career soared to the top of the charts with the release of his number-one singles “Earned It” and “The Hills.” He became the first artist to hold all three of the top spots on the Billboard Hot 100.
For the majority of his career, The Weeknd has remained out of the spotlight and declined all interviews. Notoriously shy, he never intended to perform onstage, show his face, or reveal his name. His peculiar hairstyle, a cross between a cresting wave and a mullet, became part of his signature style. He had been growing it out for five years and only recently changed up his look, as revealed on his Saturday Night Live performance a few weeks ago.
Between performing at Coachella, making his third SNL appearance, and embarking on a big arena tour, The Weeknd has had a busy year. His most recent album, Beauty Behind the Madness, yielded seven Grammy nominations including Album of the Year. He scored Spotify’s official “Song Of The Summer” with “I Can’t Feel My Face.”
His newest album, Starboy, is set to drop on November 25. Currently residing in a rented Hollywood Hills home that he claims is haunted, The Weeknd spends his free time with his model girlfriend, Bella Hadid. He loves Ethiopian cuisine and enjoys giving back to the community. He recently donated $250,000 to the Black Lives Matter Network.