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The Weeknd Introducing, Musical Milestones, Signature Sound and Albums, Behind the Music, Philanthropy, Awards and Achievements, Impact on Music and Culture, FAQs.

Introducing The Weeknd

Abel Tesfaye, known as The Weeknd, was born in 1990 in Scarborough, Ontario. He dropped out of high school at 17 to focus on music, but before finding success as The Weeknd, he had some other projects that didn’t work out.

He started his musical journey as “Kin Kane,” teaming up with rapper Jesse Ray from Scarborough to release a few songs together. These early tracks are hard to find, but they show his beginnings in the music scene.

Stage Name:The Weeknd
Real Name:Abel Makkonen Tesfaye
Occupation:Singer-Songwriter, Record producer, Actor, Businessman
Date Of Birth/Age:16 February 1990 (34 Years Old)
Place of Birth:Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Marital Status:Single
Education:West Hill Collegiate InstituteBirchmount Park Collegiate Institute

The Weeknd’s mysterious image has always been part of his appeal. Fans didn’t know much about him at first, so they filled in the gaps with their own ideas. But over time, Abel decided to shed that mystery and be more open with his audience.

Some fans felt he “sold out” when his music became more mainstream, like when they heard his songs playing in unexpected places like grocery stores. His early music was dark and covered topics that might be seen as controversial today, but it also had an artistic side.

So why did The Weeknd change his style so much? Some think it’s about reaching a wider audience, while others believe artists naturally evolve over time. What’s your take on artists who change their sound or content as they grow?

The Weeknd’s Musical Milestones

The Weeknd joined Republic Records in 2012 and released Trilogy, a compilation of his earlier mixtapes, which became a big hit. His first studio album, Kiss Land, didn’t do as well. After seeking help from his record company, he teamed up with producer Max Martin and singer Ariana Grande for the song “Love Me Harder,” which became a top 10 hit. He followed this with more successful singles like “Earned It,” “The Hills,” and “Can’t Feel My Face” on his album Beauty Behind the Madness. In 2016, he won multiple awards, including Grammys and Junos. His album Starboy, featuring Kendrick Lamar and Daft Punk, was also a hit. He continued to receive praise with his albums My Dear Melancholy and After Hours, the latter debuting at the top of the charts. He even performed at the Super Bowl halftime show in 2021. His fifth album, Dawn FM, was described as a “dance party in purgatory” and featured narration by Jim Carrey.

The Weeknd’s Signature Sound and Albums

The Weeknd, a Canadian singer-songwriter, has quite a musical journey. He has released five studio albums, nine extended plays, three mixtapes, and various singles.

His career kicked off in 2011 with three mixtapes: House of Balloons, Thursday, and Echoes of Silence. In 2012, he signed with Republic Records and released Trilogy, a compilation of his mixtapes. Trilogy was a big hit, with three platinum-certified singles.

His first studio album, Kiss Land, came out in 2013 but didn’t gain as much popularity. However, things turned around with his collaboration with Ariana Grande on “Love Me Harder” and his single “Earned It” for the Fifty Shades of Grey soundtrack.

In 2015, he dropped Beauty Behind the Madness, which topped charts worldwide. The album featured hits like “The Hills” and “Can’t Feel My Face,” earning him Grammy Awards. He continued to soar with his albums Starboy in 2016 and After Hours in 2020, both receiving critical acclaim and commercial success.

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In 2022, he released Dawn FM, featuring singles like “Take My Breath” and “Sacrifice.” He also collaborated with artists like Post Malone, Metro Boomin, 21 Savage, Travis Scott, and Bad Bunny, showcasing his versatility and continued impact in the music industry.


Studio Albums:

  • Kiss Land (2013):
  • Peak: #2 in Canada, #30 in Australia, #6 in Sweden, etc.
  • Sales: 95,000 in the US
  • Certifications: Platinum in multiple countries
  • Beauty Behind the Madness (2015):
  • Peak: #1 in Canada, Australia, UK, etc.
  • Sales: Over 1.2 million in the US
  • Certifications: Multi-Platinum worldwide
  • Starboy (2016):
  • Peak: #1 in Canada, Australia, US, etc.
  • Sales: 484,000 in the US
  • Certifications: Multi-Platinum globally
  • After Hours (2020):
  • Peak: #1 in Canada, Australia, US, etc.
  • Sales: 586,000 in the US
  • Certifications: Multi-Platinum internationally
  • Dawn FM (2022):
  • Peak: #1 in Canada, Australia, US, etc.
  • Sales: 148,000 in the US
  • Certifications: Platinum in various countries


  • House of Balloons (2011): Platinum in the US
  • Thursday (2011): No chart position available
  • Echoes of Silence (2011): No chart position available

Compilation Albums:

  • Trilogy (2012): Platinum in the US
  • The Highlights (2021): Multi-Platinum globally

Soundtrack Albums:

  • Avatar: The Way of Water (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack) (2022): No chart position available
  • The Idol, Vol. 1 (2023): #73 in Australia

These albums have achieved significant success, with many reaching the top of charts and earning multiple certifications for their sales.

Behind the Music: The Weeknd’s Personal Insights

“Real Life” by The Weeknd is a song that digs deep into our feelings and the tough stuff we deal with every day. Its words and melody grab your attention, making you think about your own life.

The song talks about finding yourself, figuring out who you are, and trying to be happy. It’s about feeling stuck because of what others expect from you. The Weeknd shares his own struggles with fame and fortune, showing his vulnerable side.

He talks about the gap between his public image and his true self, showing how hard it is to live under the spotlight. Even though he seems successful, he questions if it’s all real.

“Real Life” also explores love and relationships. It shows how complicated it can be to feel loved while dealing with doubts and fears. The Weeknd’s voice captures the longing for real connections and understanding.

The Weeknd’s Philanthropy

The Weeknd, also known as Abel Tesfaye, has been actively involved in various charitable efforts over the years. He has donated significant amounts to organizations supporting education, healthcare, COVID-19 relief, and social justice causes.

In 2014, he donated CA$50,000 to the University of Toronto to fund a new course on Ge’ez, the classic language of Ethiopia. He also contributed CA$50,000 to the St. Mary Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church in Toronto in 2016 and funded a new Ethiopian studies program at the University of Toronto.

In 2017, he donated US$100,000 to the Suubi Health Center in Uganda and launched a line of non-medical face masks in 2020, with proceeds going to the MusiCares COVID-19 Relief Fund. He also made substantial donations to various organizations supporting Black Lives Matter causes, including US$250,000 in 2016 and US$500,000 in 2020.

Additionally, he held the “Weeknd Experience” virtual concert in 2020, raising over US$350,000 for the Equal Justice Initiative and donating US$300,000 to Global Aid for Lebanon in support of Beirut explosion victims.

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In 2021, The Weeknd expressed solidarity for civilians affected by the Israel–Palestine crisis and was honored with the Quincy Jones Humanitarian Award for his philanthropic efforts.

Most recently, on January 9, 2024, he partnered with the non-profit organization School on Wheels Inc. to support over 1,000 students experiencing homelessness.

As a UN Goodwill Ambassador for the World Food Programme (WFP), The Weeknd has been actively involved in relief efforts, including a US$1,000,000 donation to aid those affected by the Tigray War in Ethiopia. He also launched the XO Humanitarian Fund in partnership with the WFP, directing significant funds toward humanitarian response efforts, including providing emergency meals for those affected by the 2023 Israel–Hamas war.

Celebrating The Weeknd: Awards and Achievements

After founding the XO record label in 2011, The Weeknd gained fame with his mixtapes: House of Balloons, Thursday, and Echoes of Silence. House of Balloons was even considered for the Polaris Music Prize in 2011. He then signed with Republic Records in 2012 and combined his mixtapes into the Trilogy album. His first studio album, Kiss Land, received positive reviews upon its release in 2013.

In 2015, The Weeknd’s song “Earned It” earned him a Grammy and an Oscar nomination for its inclusion in the Fifty Shades of Grey soundtrack. His second album, Beauty Behind the Madness, was a massive hit, winning a Grammy and earning Album of the Year nomination. His next album, Starboy, also won a Grammy, solidifying his success.

In 2021, his Super Bowl performance got him an Emmy nomination. Among his many achievements, he has won multiple Grammys, Billboard Music Awards, Juno Awards, American Music Awards, and Guinness World Records.

Awards and Recognitions

Academy Awards (2016):

  • Nominated for Best Original Song with “Earned It.”

American Music Awards (2015):

  • Nominated for Single of the Year with “Can’t Feel My Face.”

Beauty Behind the Madness:

  • Won Favorite Soul/R&B Album.
  • Nominated for New Artist of the Year and Favorite Male Artist.

Starboy (2016-2017):

  • Nominated for various awards including Favorite Pop/Rock Album and Favorite Soul/R&B Song.

After Hours (2020):

  • Won Favorite Album – Soul/R&B.

AMFT Awards (2020):

  • Won Song of the Year with “Blinding Lights.”

Apple Music Awards (2021):

  • Won Global Artist of the Year.

ASCAP Pop Music Awards (2016):

  • Won several awards including “Can’t Feel My Face” and “Earned It.”

BBC Music Awards (2015):

  • Nominated for International Artist of the Year.

BET Awards (2013-2015):

  • Won Centric Award for “Earned It” and nominated in various categories.

Billboard Music Awards (2016-2021):

  • Won multiple awards including Top Hot 100 Artist and Top R&B Artist.

Billboard Latin Music Awards (2021):

  • Won for Latin Rhythm Song of the Year.

BRIT Awards (2016-2022):

  • Won International Male Solo Artist in 2021.

Canadian Radio Music Awards (2016):

  • Won SOCAN Song of the Year with “Can’t Feel My Face.”

ECHO Music Awards (2016):

  • Nominated for Best International Newcomer.

GAFFA Awards (Denmark & Sweden):

  • Won Best Foreign Male Act and Best Foreign Album.

Grammy Awards (2016-2022):

  • Won awards for Best Urban Contemporary Album and Best R&B Performance.

Juno Awards (2013-2016):

  • Won Breakthrough Artist of the Year and Album of the Year.

MTV Awards (2013-2023):

  • Nominated for various categories including Best Male Artist and Best Collaboration.

NAACP Image Awards (2016):

  • Nominated for Outstanding New Artist and Outstanding Album.

Nickelodeon Kids’ Choice Awards (2016-2021):

  • Nominated for Favorite Male Singer and Favorite Song.

NME Awards (2016-2017):

  • Nominated for Best Track and International Male Artist.

NRJ Music Awards (2015-2021):

  • Won International Achievement Award and Songwriter of the Year.

Soul Train Awards (2015-2020):

  • Won Album of the Year and Best R&B/Soul Male Artist.
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TEC Awards (2021):

  • Nominated for Outstanding Creative Achievement.

Teen Choice Awards (2015-2022):

  • Nominated for Choice Music Artist and Choice Song.

UK Music Video Awards (2017-2022):

  • Nominated for Best Artist and Best Music Video.

Vevo Presents (2020):

  • Won Best Pop Video – International with “Blinding Lights.”

Webby Awards (2016):

  • Won Best Music Video with “In The Night.”

YouTube Music Awards (2015):

  • Named one of the 50 Artists to Watch.

The Weeknd’s Impact on Music and Culture

“The Weeknd’s music is like a delicious blend of different flavors, mixing R&B, EDM, and pop into something truly special.

When you listen closely, you can hear the smooth vibes of R&B, with The Weeknd’s silky voice crooning over soulful tunes. His lyrics dive deep into emotions like love and heartbreak, hitting you right in the feels.

But there’s more to it than just R&B. The Weeknd adds a kick of energy with EDM beats, making you want to dance along to the electrifying rhythm. It’s like a party in your ears!

And let’s not forget about pop. The Weeknd knows how to craft catchy tunes that stick in your head for days. His music is like a pop sensation, with hooks that you just can’t resist singing along to.

But it’s not just about the music. The Weeknd’s songs have meaning too. He talks about real issues like love, addiction, and the pressures of fame, making you think while you groove.

So, when you listen to The Weeknd, you’re not just hearing music – you’re going on a journey through different sounds, emotions, and ideas. It’s like a rollercoaster ride for your ears and your mind!”

The Weeknd’s Discography

The Weeknd has been busy making music! He’s released five albums, nine EPs, and even more singles. According to the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), he’s sold millions of albums and singles in the US alone.

Back in 2011, he dropped three mixtapes: “House of Balloons,” “Thursday,” and “Echoes of Silence.” They were a hit, especially in the UK, where one got a silver certification. The next year, he signed with Republic Records and put out “Trilogy,” which combined those mixtapes with some bonus tracks. It went multi-platinum in Canada and the US.

His first studio album, “Kiss Land,” did well, reaching number two on charts in both Canada and the US.

Things really took off in 2014 with his collaboration with Ariana Grande on “Love Me Harder” and his single “Earned It” for the “Fifty Shades of Grey” movie. They were big hits in both Canada and the US.

But the real breakthrough came with his second album, “Beauty Behind the Madness,” in 2015. It hit number one in several countries and sold millions of copies worldwide. Songs like “The Hills” and “Can’t Feel My Face” topped the charts, earning him platinum certifications.

In 2016, he dropped “Starboy,” another chart-topper with hits like “Starboy” and “I Feel It Coming.” He kept the momentum going with successful features on songs by artists like Beyoncé, Future, and Lana Del Rey.

In 2020, he released “After Hours,” featuring the smash hit “Blinding Lights,” which broke all kinds of records on the Billboard charts. The album itself topped charts around the world.

In 2022, he came out with his fifth album, “Dawn FM,” featuring singles like “Take My Breath” and collaborations with artists like Metro Boomin and 21 Savage. He’s been consistently delivering hits, showing no signs of slowing down.

FAQs About The Weeknd

  1. Can The Weeknd sing, dance, or rap?
    The Weeknd is known for his singing skills, although he sometimes blends singing with rapping, like in the song “Star Boy.”
  2. Has The Weeknd ever won a Grammy?
    Yes, The Weeknd has won three Grammy Awards and has been nominated for many more.
  3. Are The Weeknd and Drake still friends?
    Yes, they are. Despite some ups and downs, they’ve been friends for over ten years.
  4. Are The Weeknd and Ariana Grande friends?
    Yes, they’re pals. Ariana even helped The Weeknd score one of his first big hits with “Love Me Harder.”
  5. Can The Weeknd speak Spanish?
    No, he can’t. He speaks English and Amharic due to his Ethiopian heritage.

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