The Weeknd Biography, Career, Net Worth, And Other Interesting Facts

The Weeknd is a Canadian singer-songwriter born on February 16, 1990. He is famous for his unique music style and high-pitched singing voice.

Starting anonymously in 2009, The Weeknd gained attention with his mixtapes “House of Balloons” “Thursday” and “Echoes of Silence” released in 2011. He blended contemporary and alternative R&B keeping his identity a mystery until he co-founded the record label XO. Signing with Republic Records in 2012 he reissued his mixtapes as the album “Trilogy” in 2012 followed by his debut studio album “Kiss Land” in 2013.

Between 2013 and 2014, The Weeknd collaborated on various projects before shifting to a more pop-oriented sound with his albums “Beauty Behind the Madness” (2015) and “Starboy” (2016) both topping the US Billboard 200 chart. These albums featured hits like “Can’t Feel My Face” “The Hills” and “Starboy.”

In 2018, he returned to alternative R&B with the EP “My Dear Melancholy” featuring the single “Call Out My Name.” His fourth studio album “After Hours” (2020) explored dream-pop and new wave genres producing hits such as “Blinding Lights” “Heartless” and “Save Your Tears.”

The Weeknd’s fifth album “Dawn FM” (2022) ventured into dance-pop and included the hit “Take My Breath.” Beyond music, he co-created and starred in the HBO series “The Idol” in 2023 which received mixed reviews but saw success with its soundtrack.

Known as one of the world’s best-selling artists Tesfaye has sold over 75 million records. He holds records like seven diamond-certified singles and is the first artist to simultaneously dominate the top three spots on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart. His song “Blinding Lights” became the most-streamed song on Spotify and the longest-charting song by a solo artist on the Billboard Hot 100.

Recognized for his influence, The Weeknd was named one of Time’s most influential people in 2020 and holds a Guinness World Record as the “world’s most popular artist” in 2023. He also supports causes like racial equality and food security serving as a World Food Programme Goodwill Ambassador since 2021. His impressive awards include four Grammy Awards 20 Billboard Music Awards and many others marking him as a significant figure in contemporary music.

Full NameAbel Makkonen Tesfaye
Date of BirthFebruary 16, 1990
Place of BirthToronto, Ontario, Canada
OccupationSinger, songwriter, record producer
Height5’8″ (173 cm)
PartnerBella Hadid
Selena Gomez
Simi Khadra
Children1 daughter
Net Worth$300 million

The Weeknd’s Early Life and Education

The Weeknd Biography, Career, Net Worth, And Other Interesting Facts

Abel Makkonen Tesfaye known as The Weeknd was born on February 16, 1990, in Toronto Canada. His parents who are Ethiopian immigrants of the Amhara ethnic group separated shortly after he was born. Raised by his mother and grandmother in Scarborough a suburb of Toronto he grew up learning Amharic from his grandmother and became fluent in French through schooling.

At seventeen, The Weeknd left school and moved with friends to an apartment in Parkdale Toronto. He adopted the stage name “The Weeknd” because he left school on a weekend and changed the spelling to avoid issues with another band called “The Weekend”. During this period he faced challenges like homelessness and spent time in jail which prompted him to turn his life around and focus on his music.

Before finding fame as The Weeknd he used the alias ‘Kin Kane’ and was involved in a hip-hop duo called ‘Bulletz n Nerdz’ and a production team known as ‘the Noise’. Tesfaye’s early life was marked by a hedonistic lifestyle and drug use which he later described as a way to cope while creating music.

The Weeknd’s journey from humble beginnings to international stardom is a testament to his resilience and determination in the face of adversity. His unique blend of R&B pop and alternative music has captivated audiences worldwide making him one of the most influential artists of his generation.

Career

The Weeknd Biography, Career, Net Worth, And Other Interesting Facts

In August 2009, The Weeknd started putting out music anonymously on YouTube. A year later he met producer Jeremy Rose at a party and they began collaborating on a dark R&B project. They made several songs together but eventually went their separate ways due to creative differences.

The Weeknd was allowed to use some of these songs under the condition that Rose got production credits. In December 2010 Tesfaye uploaded tracks like “What You Need” and “The Morning” on YouTube gaining attention. His identity was initially kept secret but was later recognized by rapper Drake and covered by media outlets like Pitchfork and The New York Times.

In 2011, The Weeknd along with music executives Wassim “Sal” Slaiby and Amir “Cash” Esmailian founded the XO record label. He released his first mixtape “House of Balloons” in March 2011 which included tracks produced by Illangelo Doc McKinney and Jeremy Rose although Rose wasn’t credited. The mixtape was well-received and nominated for the Polaris Music Prize.

He started collaborating with Drake and performed at Drake’s OVO Fest in July 2011 followed by his first live show in Toronto. He released his second mixtape “Thursday” in August 2011 which also received positive reviews. Tesfaye contributed to several tracks on Drake’s album “Take Care” released in November 2011. Later that year he released his third mixtape “Echoes of Silence.”

From 2012 to 2014, He gained further recognition with performances at Coachella and other festivals. He signed with Republic Records in September 2012 and embarked on his first tour the Fall Tour. In November 2012 he released “Trilogy” a compilation of his earlier mixtapes and new tracks.

In May 2013, The Weeknsd released the title track for his debut studio album “Kiss Land” followed by the album’s release in September. He promoted the album with a tour across North America and Europe. Throughout 2014 he continued releasing music and collaborating with artists like Drake and Ariana Grande.

From 2015 to 2017, He achieved even greater success with hits like “The Hills” and “Can’t Feel My Face” from his album “Beauty Behind the Madness.” The album topped the charts worldwide and earned him multiple Grammy nominations. He also collaborated with artists like Beyoncé and Kanye West during this period.

In 2016, The Weeknd released his third studio album “Starboy” featuring collaborations with Daft Punk. The album debuted at number one on the Billboard 200 chart and won him a Grammy Award for Best Urban Contemporary Album.

The Weeknd Biography, Career, Net Worth, And Other Interesting Facts

Throughout these years The Weeknd toured extensively and continued to expand his musical influence through various collaborations and solo projects solidifying his position as a prominent figure in contemporary music.

On February 2, 2018, The Weeknd collaborated with Kendrick Lamar on the song “Pray for Me” for the Black Panther soundtrack. It became the third single from the soundtrack and reached number seven on the Billboard Hot 100.

On March 30, 2018, The Weeknd released his first extended play (EP) titled My Dear Melancholy following early leaks and teasers. The EP debuted at number one on the Billboard 200 chart with 169000 units sold. This marked his third consecutive number-one album and it was notable for being the shortest album by track count to top the chart in eight years.

In 2018, he headlined Coachella for the first time and performed at several other festivals to support the EP including the Mawazine Festival in Morocco and Lollapalooza in Chicago and Berlin.

On June 6, 2018, The Weeknd launched his radio show Memento Mori on Apple Music 1. Later that year he featured on two tracks from Travis Scott‘s album Astroworld.

Throughout his career, The Weeknd has continued releasing music and appearing at major events and festivals. His album After Hours released in 2020 was a huge success topping the charts and breaking streaming records.

In 2021, his song “Blinding Lights” made history by staying in the top ten of the Billboard Hot 100 for a full year and becoming the longest-charting song by a solo artist on that chart.

In early 2022, The Weeknd released his fifth studio album “Dawn” FM which also performed well commercially and included hits like “Take My Breath.”

Looking forward he has hinted at new music and collaborations keeping his fans eagerly awaiting his next moves in the music industry.

Net Worth

The Weekend has an estimated net worth of $300 million, according to Celebrity Net Worth. The main source of The Weeknd’s net worth comes from his successful music career. He earns money from selling his albums and songs, performing at concerts and tours, and also from streaming platforms like Spotify and Apple Music where people listen to his music online.

Additionally, he may earn income from endorsements and partnerships with brands that want to work with him because of his popularity and influence. Overall, his music and related activities contribute the most to his wealth.

Personal life

The Weeknd Biography, Career, Net Worth, And Other Interesting Facts

The Weeknd prefers to keep his personal life private. At the start of his career, he avoided interviews and used Twitter instead which he explained was due to feeling shy and insecure. He rarely agrees to interviews even now. He grew up in the Ethiopian Orthodox faith. When asked about his current religious beliefs in 2020 he mentioned that life tests everyone regardless of their spiritual views.

From April 2015 to August 2019, The Weeknd had an on-and-off relationship with Bella Hadid a well-known American model. She appeared in the music video for his song “In the Night” in December 2015. He also dated singer-actress Selena Gomez from January to October 2017. Both relationships attracted a lot of media attention and gossip. Since February 2022, The Weeknd has been in a relationship with Simi Khadra a DJ born in Saudi Arabia. Unlike his past relationships, he has kept this one out of the public eye.

The Weeknd’s hairstyle is famous and has been compared to that of American artist Jean-Michel Basquiat. He started growing it out in 2011 and found it easy to maintain with occasional deep cleaning. He cut his hair in 2016 just before releasing “Starboy”. On social media, he often added “xo” to his name a symbol for hugs and kisses. Some say it referenced his use of ecstasy and oxycodone although he clarified it was for the hugs and kisses meaning. Before releasing “Starboy” he changed his social media handles to match his stage name.

In August 2021 in a GQ interview, The Weeknd described himself as “sober lite” meaning he has stopped using drugs except for marijuana. He also mentioned he drinks alcohol occasionally but not as much as before.

In January 2015, The Weeknd was arrested in Las Vegas for allegedly punching a police officer during an elevator altercation. He pleaded no contest and was sentenced to fifty hours of community service.

As of August 2021, The Weeknd was living in Bel Air Los Angeles. In 2017, he bought a house in Hidden Hills California for $18.5 million which he later sold to Madonna in 2021 for $19.3 million. Before this, he lived in penthouses in Westwood Los Angeles and New York City. In April 2023 Tesfaye publicly disclosed that he has ADHD.

Philanthropy

The Weeknd Biography, Career, Net Worth, And Other Interesting Facts

In 2014, The Weeknd received a Bikila Award for his professional achievements. He then donated CA$50000 to the University of Toronto to create a new course on Ge’ez an ancient Ethiopian language. In 2016, he donated the same amount to St. Mary Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church in Toronto where he grew up and established an Ethiopian studies program at the University of Toronto.

In 2017, The Weeknd gave US$100000 to the Suubi Health Center in Uganda which helps mothers and children. This was inspired by his awareness of humanitarian efforts in Uganda. During the COVID-19 pandemic in April 2020 he launched a line of face masks with proceeds supporting the MusiCares COVID-19 Relief Fund alongside a donation of US$500000 to MusiCares and CA$500000 to the Scarborough Health Network.

In response to police brutality reports in August 2016, The Weeknd donated US$250000 to the Black Lives Matter Global Network Foundation. After George Floyd’s murder in May 2020 he gave US$500000 to organizations like the Black Lives Matter Global Network Foundation Colin Kaepernick’s Know Your Rights Camp and the National Bail Out while urging others in the music industry to contribute.

In August 2020, The Weeknd hosted the “Weeknd Experience” on TikTok a virtual concert that raised over US$350000 for the Equal Justice Initiative and donated US$300000 to Global Aid for Lebanon following the Beirut explosion. Later that year his donation helped the University of Toronto exceed its fundraising goal for its Ethiopic program.

In 2021,He expressed solidarity with civilians affected during the Israel–Palestine crisis. He was recognized for his humanitarian efforts in September 2023 receiving the Quincy Jones Humanitarian Award at the Music in Action Awards. Most recently in January 2024 he partnered with School on Wheels Inc. to support over 1000 homeless students.

Other ventures

The Weeknd Biography, Career, Net Worth, And Other Interesting Facts

The Weeknd really loves movies and he often refers to them in his music videos and previews. He made his acting debut in the movie Uncut Gems at the Telluride Film Festival in 2019.

On March 7, 2020, during his third time on Saturday Night Live as a musical guest he starred in a funny skit called “On The Couch” with Kenan Thompson and Chris Redd. Then on May 4 he helped write and acted in an episode of American Dad!. In July he lent his voice to three characters for the 200th episode of Robot Chicken.

On June 29, 2021, The Weeknd announced that he would co-create co-write produce and act in a new drama series for HBO called The Idol with help from his producing partner Reza Fahim and Euphoria’s creator Sam Levinson. He also voiced two characters on an episode of The Simpsons on March 20, 2022.

Looking ahead to 2023 it was revealed that The Weeknd is co-writing a film with Trey Edward Shults who will direct it. Tesfaye will star in the film alongside Jenna Ortega and Barry Keoghan.

In the business world in 2013, The Weeknd teamed up with ONE a condom company to give away special condoms during his Kiss Land Fall Tour. In November 2015 he worked with Pax Labs to release a limited-edition vaporizer. He also partnered with fashion designer Alexander Wang for a clothing line. In 2016 Tesfaye became a creative partner and global ambassador for Puma releasing several collections and opening pop-up stores.

In 2017, The Weeknd collaborated with H&M for their men’s collection but ended the partnership in 2018 due to a racist incident. In July 2018, he teamed up with Marvel Comics to create a comic book based on his album Starboy. He also released clothing collections with A Bathing Ape in August 2018 and January 2020.

In April 2019, The Weeknd became an owner and global ambassador for the esports company OverActive Media which owns teams in Splyce and the Overwatch League’s Toronto Defiant.

On August 31, 2020, The Weeknd joined forces with TD Bank to launch Black HXOUSE an initiative to support Black entrepreneurs within the HXOUSE incubator where he plays a supporting role. Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced a CA$221000000 partnership with HXOUSE for Black Canadian entrepreneurs on September 9.

In March 2021, The Weeknd auctioned off a collection of visual art and an unreleased song as a non-fungible token (NFT) on Nifty Gateway. Later that year he joined Tom Brady’s NFT platform Autograph as a member of the board of directors in October.