Abel Tesfaye Biography
Abel Tesfaye (born Abel Makkonen Tesfaye) professionally known as The Weeknd is a famous singer, songwriter, record producer, and actor. From his career, he has accrued various accolades including; 4 Grammy Awards, 20 Billboard Music Awards, 22 Juno Awards, 6 American Music Awards, 2 MTV Video Music Awards, a Latin Grammy Award, and nominations for an Academy Award and a Primetime Emmy Award.
In 2009, he began his career by anonymously releasing music on YouTube. Two years later, he co-founded the XO record label and released the mixtapes House of Ballons, Thursday, and Echoes of Silence which gained recognition for his style of contemporary and alternative R&B and the mystique surrounding his identity. He signed with Republic Records in 2012 and released the mixtapes in the compilation album Trilogy. In his debut studio album Kiss Land (2013), he explored dark wave which debuted at number two on the US Billboard 200. After its release, he began contributing to film soundtracks with his acclaimed single “Earned It” from Fifty Shades of Grey (2015) winning the Grammy Award for Best R&B Performance. While also being nominated for the Academy Award for Best Original Song.
Abel earned critical and commercial success with his pop-learning second album Beauty Behind the Madness (2015) which reached number one in the U.S. It contained the US Billboard Hot 100 chart-topping singles “Can’t Feel My Face” and “The Hills” and won the Grammy Award for Best Urban Contemporary Album and was nominated for Album of the Year. In 2016, his trap-infused third studio album Starboy saw similar commercial success and included the US number-one single of the same name and “Die For You” and won the Grammy Award for Best Urban Contemporary Album. In 2020, his fourth studio album was released After Hours which featured the chart record-setting single “Blinding Lights” and the US-number singles “Heartless” and “Save Your Tears”. His dance-pop-inspired fifth album Dawn FM (2022) included the US top-ten single “Take My Breath” and moderately successful singles “Sacrifice”, “Out of Time”, and “Less than Zero”.
Among the world’s best-selling music artists with over 75 million records sold, Abel holds several streaming and Billboard chart records. Including, he is the first Canadian artist to earn four diamond0certified singles from the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) as well as the first artist to simultaneously hold the top three spots on the Hot R&B/Hop-Hop Songs chart. “Blinding Lights” became the most-streamed song in Spotify history and is the longest-charting song in the Billboard Hot 100’s history. In 2020, he was listed by Time as one of the world’s most influential people. Whereas in 2023, he was dubbed the “world’s most popular artist” by Guinness World Records. An advocate for racial equality and food security, in 2021, he was appointed a World Food Programme Goodwill Ambassador.
Abel Tesfaye Education
He received his education at West Hill Collegiate Institute and Birchmount Park Collegiate Institute. He attended a French immersion school where he learned French and later became fluent in the language.
Abel Tesfaye Career
Abel Tesfaye Early Beginnings
He began anonymously releasing music on YouTube in August 2009. The following year, he met Jeremy Rose, a producer who had an idea for a dark contemporary R&B project. Before adopting the stage name the Weekend, Abel released music under the aliases Noise and Kin Kane. In 2011, he met music executives Wassim “Sal” Slaiby and Amir “Cash” Esmailian with whom along with Taylor, he founded the XO record label. On March 21, he released his debut mixtape House of Balloons. The following year in July, he held his first live performance at the Mod Club Theatre in Toronto. After the performance, he met Drake to discuss collaborations which led to Tesfaye earning an appearance at his OVO Festival. Tesfaye then contributed to four songs on Drake’s second studio album Take Care, which was released on November 15.
Abel Tesfaye Trilogy and Kiss Land
Between January and March 2012, he performed at several Ontario Universities. This included Waterloo’s Laurier University, Hmailton’s Mohawk College, and McMaster University. In September, he signed with Republic Records and XO was assumed as a subsidiary label. That same month, he began his first official concert tour: The Fall Tour. On November 13, 2012, he released Trilogy, a compilation album consisting of re-mixed and remastered versions of his 2011 mixtapes and three additional tracks.
The album debuted and No. 4 on the US Billboard 200 with first-week sales of 86,000 copies. Also, it debuted at No. 5 on the Canadian Albums Chart with similar sales. Later, the album was certified platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) and double-platinum by Music Canada. Moreover, it earned him a nomination for the Sond of 2013 poll award by BBC. On May 17, 2013, he released the title track to his debut studio album, Kiss Land. And announced the album’s release date of September 10. Upon the album’s release, it debuted at No. 2 on the Billboard 200 with 96,000 copies and received generally positive reviews from music critics.
Later, the album was supported by the singles “Belong to the World”, “Love in the Sky”, and “Live For” featuring Drake. On December 23, 2014, he released the song “Earned It” from the soundtrack for Fifty Shades of Grey (2015). The single peaked at No. 3 on the Billboard Hot 100. And it earned Tesfaye’s first Academy Award nomination for Best Original Song. The song won Best R&B Performance and was nominated for Best R&B Song and Best Song Written for Visual Media at the 58th Annual Grammy Awards.
Abel Tesfaye’s Beauty Behind the Madness and Starboy
Abel released the second single from Beauty Behind the Madness “The Hills” on May 27, 2015. The single debuted at No. 20 on the Billboard Hot 100 and peaked at No. 1. This became his first number-one single. On June 8, he released the song “Can’t Feel My Face” as the album’s third single. On August 28, 2015, Beauty Behind the Madness, Abel’s second studio album was released and debuted atop the Billboard 200, earning 412,00 album-equivalent units in its first week. In over ten countries, it reached the top 10 and reached number one in Canada, Australia, Norway, and the United Kingdom.
In September 2016, he announced that his third studio album, Starboy would be released on November 25, and included collaborations with former French electronic music duo Daft Punk. On September 21, he released the album’s title track, which featured Draft Punk. As of March 2023, the song is certified Diamond by the RIAA. Upon the release of the album, it debuted at number one on the U.S. Billboard 200 with 348,000 units, making it Tesfaye’s second consecutive album. As of January 2019, the album is certified triple platinum by the RIAA. At the 60th Annual Grammy Awards, the album won Best Urban Contemporary Album, making it his second win in the category.
Abel Tesfaye My Dear Melancholy and After Hours
On February 2, 2018, he contributed to the soundtrack for Black Panther on the song “Pray for Me” with Kendrick Lamar. The track served as the third single from the soundtrack and peaked at number seven on the Billboard Hot 100. He then released his debut extended play My Dear Melancholy on March 30, 2018. The EP debuted at No.1 on the Billboard 200 with 169,000 units making it his third consecutive number-one album and the shortest album by track count, to top the chart in eight years. Tesfaye announced on June 6, 2018, his new Apple Music 1 radio show Memento Mori.
Two days later, the first episode was released. In support of the album and his EP My Dear Melancholy, he began his sixth concert tour, the Weeknd Asia Tour. The tour began on November 30, 2018, and concluded on December 18, 2018. On November 24, 2019, he released his single “Blinding Lights” through a Mercedes-Benz commercial. Abel revealed on February 19, 2020, that his fourth studio album would be titled After Hours and would be released on March 20. Also, he released the album’s title track as a promotional single. Upon After Hour’s release, it debuted atop the Billboard 200, earning 444,000 units, making its fourth consecutive number-one album. It became the most streamed R&B album of all time, surpassing his own Starboy.
Abel Tesfaye Dawn FM and The Idol
On February 7, 2021, he headlined the Super Bowl LV halftime show. This made him become the first Canadian solo artist t headline the show. The show resulted in a surge in streaming and downloads for his After Hours album as well as for the seven other songs he performed. On May 11, he performed “Save Your Tears” at the Brit Awards. Also, he accepted his first Brit Award for International Male Solo Artist which was presented to him by the former first lady of the United States Michelle Obama. He also performed “Save Your Tears” at the Billboard Music Awards.
On January 7, 2022, he released his fifth studio album Dawn FM. Upon its release, it debuted at number two wo on the Billboard 200 with 148,000 units. This marked Abel’s eighth top-ten entry and his second non-consecutive album to debut at number two. Also, he broke the record for the most simultaneous entries for a male soloist on the Billboard Global 200, with twenty-four songs on the chart. His song “Nothing Is Lost (You Give Me Strength)” from Avatar: The Way of Water (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack) was released on December 16, 2022. On March 3, 2023, he released his first live album, titled Live at SoFi Stadium. He co-created with Sam Levinson the HBO drama series The Idol and stars alongside Lily-Rose Depp. The series premiered at the 2023 Cannes Film Festival.
The Idol became a forbidden love story – the stuff of a toxic man’s fantasy and called it “regressive rather than transgressive”. Because of his acting, Abel received negative reviews with critic Robert Daniels of The Playlist writing “Tesfaye is also a terrible actor”. He lacks the comfortability, gravitas, charisma, and charm, to increase the viability of Jocelyn being attracted to him. The Weeknd announced a series of EPs on June 8, 2023, set to be released featuring music from The Idol.
Abel Tesfaye Acting
He is a cinephile and has made numerous movie references in his music videos and teasers. He made his acting debut on August 30, 2019, in the film Uncut Gems. On May 4, 2020, he co-wrote and starred in an episode of American Dad! He announced on June 29, 2021, that he will co-creating, co-writing, executive producing, and starring in the upcoming HBO television drama series The Idol, alongside his producing partner Reza Fahim and Euphoria creator Sam Levinson.
Abel Tesfaye Business
In 2013, he collaborated with condom company ONE to give away limited-edition condoms at his shows during the Kiss Land Fall Tour. In November 2015, he partnered with electronic vaporizer company Pax Labs to release a limited edition vaporizer. The following year, he became a creative collaborator and global brand ambassador for the clothing brand Puma. On August 31, 2020, he partnered with TD Bank to launch Black HXOUSE, an entrepreneurship initiative within the incubator HXOUSE, where he serves as a sleeping partner. Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced on September 9, a CA$221,000,000 joint venture with HXOUSE for Black Canadian entrepreneurs. In March 2021, he auctioned a collection of visual artwork and an unreleased song in the form of a non-fungible token (NFT) on Nifty Gateway.
Abel Tesfaye Philanthropy
In 2014 after being presented with a Bikila Award for Professional Excellence, he donated CA$50,000 to the University of Toronto to fund a new course on Ge’ez, the classic language of Ethiopia. In August 2016, he founded a new Ethiopian study program at the University of Toronto. The following year in June, he donated US$100,000 to the Suubi Health Centre, a maternity and children’s medical facility in Budongo, Uganda. In April 2020, he launched a line of non-medical face masks with all the proceeds going to the MusiCares COVID-19 Relief Fund, a campaign launched by the Recording Academy to help musicians affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Following numerous reports of police brutality in the United States, in August 2016 Tesfaye donated US$250,000 to the Black Lives Matter Global Network Foundation. In response to the murder of George Floyd and the protests that followed, in May 2020, he donated US$500,000 to the Black Lives Matter Global Network Foundation, Colin Kaepernick’s Know Your Rights Camp, and the National Bail Out. The University of Toronto announced on November 2, that it was able to reach and surpass its fundraising goal of CA$500,000 for its Ethiopic program which included a CA$30,000 donation from Abel.
Abel Tesfaye WFP ambassadorship
He announced on April 4, 2021, a US$1,000,000 donation through the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) to relief efforts in Ethiopia for people affected by the Tigray War. On March 3, 2022, he partnered with the WFP to launch the XO and Humanitarian Fund. Through the fund, Abel will donate US$1 from every ticket sold at his After Hours till Dawn Tour, in addition to a US$500,000 donation to the WFP.
Abel Tesfaye Age
Tesfaye was born on February 16, 1990. Thus he is 33 years old as of June 2023. Abel hence shares his birthday on February 16th of every year.
Abel Tesfaye Height
He stands at a height of 5ft 8 inches (1.73m) tall.
Abel Tesfaye Family
He was born in Toronto, Ontario, Canada to Makkonen Tesfaye (Father) and Samra Tesfaye (Mother). His parents separated shortly after his birth. However, Abel does not have any siblings.
Abel Tesfaye Wife
News on the internet shows that he is reportedly dating DJ Simi Khadra. Abel does not have any children as of June 2023.
Abel Tesfaye’s Net Worth
Tesfaye has a net worth of $300 million which he has earned through being a singer, actor, songwriter, and record producer.
Abel Tesfaye Salary
He earns an annual salary of $30 million+.
Abel Tesfaye The Idol
Abel has had various acting credits, he has managed to secure a main character in the TV series, The Idol. In the series, he is the co-creator with Sam Levinson and Reza Fahim. There, he plays the role of Tedros in all five episodes. The series focuses on Jocelyn (Lily-Rose Depp), an aspiring pop idol who, after having a nervous breakdown that causes her last tour to be canceled, resolves to reclaim her title as the sexiest pop star in America and begins a complex relationship with Tedros (Abel “The Weeknd” Tesfaye), a self-help guru and the head of a contemporary cult.
Abel acts alongside fellow actors and actresses such as;
- Lily-Rose Depp playing the role of Jocelyn
- Suzanna Son playing the role of Chloe
- Troye Sivan playing the role of Xander
- Jane Adams playing the role of Nikki Katz
- Jennie Ruby Jane playing the role of Dyanne
- Rachel Sennott playing the role of Leia
- Hari Nef playing the role of Talia
- Moses Sumney playing the role of Izaak
- Da’Vine Joy Randolph playing the role of Destiny
- Dan Levy playing the role of Benjamin
- Eli Roth playing the role of Andrew Finkelstein
- Ramsey playing as herself
- Hank Azaria playing the role of Chaim
- Melanie Liburd playing the role of Jenna