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Abel Makkonen Tesfaye, known professionally as the Weeknd, is a Canadian singer, songwriter and actor. Known for his sonic versatility and dark lyricism, his music explores escapism, romance, and melancholia, and is often inspired by personal experiences. Buy The Weeknd Merch Here!
About - The Weeknd Merch
The Weeknd, originally Abel Tesfaye, broke into the music scene with the 2011 mixtape House of Balloons. He went on to work with Drake, Wiz Khalifa and others, while building his own career as an artist. In 2015, the Weeknd enjoyed huge success with the Grammy-winning album Beauty Behind the Madness, which boasted the hit single “Can’t Feel My Face.” His follow-up album, Starboy (2016), also won a Grammy and featured collaborations with artists such as Daft Punk.
Born Abel Tesfaye on February 16, 1990, in Toronto, Canada, the Weeknd has become one of the music industry’s leading alternative R&B performers. He is the son of Ethiopian immigrants but has had little contact with his father, who left the family when the Weeknd was only a toddler.
His early musical influences ranged from traditional Ethiopian music to the “King of Pop,” Michael Jackson. In an interview with Vanity Fair, the Weeknd specifically cited the impact of Jackson’s 1979 hit “Don’t Stop ‘til You Get Enough,” describing it as “the song that helped me find my voice. It’s the reason I sing.”
Tesfaye began dating model Bella Hadid at the beginning of 2015; the couple were first seen together in April at Coachella. Hadid has starred in his music video “In the Night” in December 2015. They also made their red carpet appearance as a couple at the 2016 Grammy Awards in February. On 11 November 2016, it was reported that the couple had split; citing that although the two are still in love, their schedules conflicted too much. He began a relationship with singer Selena Gomez in January 2017, they moved together and dated for a year.
His hairstyle—which was partly inspired by Jean-Michel Basquiat—was by far his most recognizable trait. “There’s not much to maintaining it”, he said — just a hard shampoo every once in a while. He began growing it out around 2011: “I want to be remembered as iconic and different,” he said. “So I was like, ‘Fuck it — I’m gonna let my hair just be what it wants’.
I’ll probably cut it if it starts interfering with my sight. I can kind of see it right now. But if I cut it, I’d look like everyone else. And that’s just so boring to me”. In 2016, he cut his hair, which was visually illustrated in the music video of the first single; the title track off of his third album, Starboy.
On social media outlets such as Twitter, he suffixed his name with “xo”. According to Hoby, it is meant as an emoticon for “a kiss and a hug”, while VH1’s Zara Golden, The Torch and GQ have said that it is instead a reference to his recreational use of ecstasy and oxycodone.
He is a fan of the HBO hit series Game of Thrones. In the context of media outlets reporting cases of police brutality, in 2016, he tweeted “blue lives murder”.
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