The Weeknd Biography tells you facts about his Childhood story, Early Life, Parents (Makkonen and Samra Tesfaye), Family, Love Life (Bella Hadid and Selena Gomez).
Moreso, the Canadian Grammy-winning artist’s Lifestyle, and Salary, Personal Life and net worth.
In a few words, we present you a comprehensive picture of the Life history of The Weeknd, a Canadian singer, record producer and songwriter.
Our Biography begins from his cradle moments right until he becomes a household name in the entertainment industry.
To whet your love for Biography, we present a gallery pathway of events surrounding The Weeknd’s life. Undoubtedly, the pictures you find below summarises his life history.
Yes, we know him for making news as the first Canadian solo artist to headline the Super Bowl LV halftime show.
Despite his achievements, we realize that only a few fans have read a concise piece of The Weeknd’s Biography.
Therefore, we see it fit to serve you the thrilling story of The Weeknd and the breakdown of his entertainment experience so far. Now, without further ado, let us begin.
The Weeknd Childhood story:
For Biography starters, he bears the stage name – The Weeknd. Abel Makkonen Tesfaye was born into this world on the 16th day of February 1990 to his mother, Makkonen Tesfaye, and father, Samra Tesfaye.
The Weeknd was born in Toronto, Ontario, in Canada as the only child of his father and mother.
Abel Makkonen Tesfaye was birth of the union between his parents (Makkonen and Samra Tesfaye), whose pictures are below.
The Grammy-winning artist had to overcome obstacles to be a singing sensation and Super Bowl headliner. He was raised in a suburb of Toronto called Scarborough.
The Weeknd grew up in a multicultural neighbourhood filled with East Africans and people from India, the Middle East, and the Caribbean. It was challenging growing up.
Abel Makkonen grew up listening to various song genres, including soul, quiet storm, hip hop, funk, indie rock, and post-punk.
Suffering from shyness and insecurity, Tesfaye made conscious efforts to shun publicity as a kid. He longed for a brother such that he told his peers in class that he had siblings.
The only method to escape the struggles and turmoils he went through was via making movies.
On the contrary, Notwithstanding, music then became a natural therapy. The effect of singing was immediate, and people loved it. It saved my life, he reports.
At 4, his mother, Samra Tesfaye, took him to the theatre to see a movie for the first time.
The film had his fellow Ontario native Jim Carrey featured in the 1994 comedy The Mask. The scenes blew his mind and fueled his dream of an experience attending a film institute.
The Weeknd Family Background:
Undoubtedly, it’s clear how hard life must have been for the Canadian entertainment star. Living without a dad to cater for the family left a vacuum, both emotionally and financially.
In other to escape the reality of their poverty, The Weeknd found entertainment. Abel and his mum, Makkonen, struggled to make ends meet. They were poor.
The Weeknd Family Origin:
Talking about his roots, Abel Makkonen Tesfaye is of Ethiopian descent. His parents Makkonen and Samra Tesfaye became Ethiopian immigrants to Canada in the past ‘80s.
The essence of their migration was due to the political chaos and famine that filled the East African country. Nonetheless, The Weeknd grew up outside Toronto in a multicultural neighbourhood filled with East Africans.
He lived with people from the Middle East and the Caribbean. Ethiopian-Amharic was the first language he learnt because his granny, who raised him, would not speak English. Because of television and being in Canada, he learnt English too.
Regardless, since he attended a French immersion institution, where you’d get in trouble for speaking English, he had to, in addition, master the French language. In all, he speaks three languages.
By connotation, we could infer that the talented entertainer is Afro-Canadian. In extension, he hails from Ontario in Canada. The image below provides a graphical display of his roots.
The Weeknd Early Bio – Career:
The Afro Canadian started his career with a playlist that he launched from his website for free.
His three Mix records, ‘Thursday’ ‘House of Balloons’, and ‘Echoes of Silence’ helped him create a loyal fan base. All of his studio records have positive reviews.
The Weeknd’s rhythm career started when he met producer, Jeremy Rose. The duo soon began rendering an R&B recording titled ‘The Weeknd’.
Nevertheless, the three sounds he created for the producer – ‘What You Need,’ and ‘Rose did not use the Morning.’
So, in 2010, Tesfaye created a YouTube channel with the username ‘The Weeknd’ and uploaded the three songs. The pieces gained popularity quickly and made a blog post featuring vocals by rapper Drake.
His shyness hindered him from the public during his early career. The Weeknd avoided giving interviews and didn’t even use his image in his tape records covers.
Instead, he interacted with his fans on Twitter. Contrariwise, he gained confidence as his productions topped charts worldwide.
The Weeknd Education:
The youngster attended two schools. First was the West Hill Collegiate Institute. Second, was the Birchmount Park Collegiate Institute.
Notwithstanding, he had been kicked out of one and dropped out of the other after six months at 17.
So, after switching schools several times and then dropping out, he persuaded his best friend, La Mar Taylor, to join him.
Along with another friend, Highly Alleyne, the pair moved into a one-bedroom residence in Toronto’s Parkdale neighbourhood.
The Weeknd recalls his mother giving him the worst look anyone could ever have as he dragged his bed out of their home. She looked at him like she had failed in her duties as a mother.
In all that, the Canadian star admits that he still feels insecure when talking to someone educated. Therefore, he had to get involved in crossword puzzles to improve his vocabulary.
The Weeknd Biography – Road to Fame:
In 2011, Abel let out his first playlist, ‘House of Balloons.’ It contained the sound pieces he created for Rose Jeremy, plus other records. The tape got selected as a nominee for the 2011 Polaris Music Prize.
With the fame he had gathered, The Weeknd performed severally within a few months. Soon after, he began a collaborative act with Drake as a vocalist.
Afterwards, in 2011, he launched yet another playlist titled ‘Thursday’, containing another nine tracks.
The Champ’s third mix recording was ‘Echoes of Silence’, published on the 21st of December 2011. This one moreover contained nine songs, then completing the ‘Balloons Trilogy’.
The three Mixtapes together skyrocketed his fame, making him a star within a year. In 2012, he and his band started presenting at various festivals throughout the U.S. and Europe.
The Weeknd’s band Started with the Coachella Festival in California. He then performed at Primavera Sound Festival in Spain. Portugal and Wireless Festival in London came about eventually.
The Weeknd Biography – Rise to Fame:
Soaring his way to greatness, The Weeknd signed a deal with Republic Records in September 2012 and, in a joint venture with his imprint, X.O. launched a compilation titled ‘Trilogy’ in October.
The collection comprised all the tracks from his three Mixtapes, along with three additional entries. From that moment on, the Canadian talent continued to achieve milestones.
He let out his debut studio record, ‘Kiss Land.’ In the collection, Drake appeared guest in the song ‘Live For’. He contributed to the recording of the Hollywood movie ‘The Hunger Games: Catching Fire’.
Abel thereafter accompanied Justin Timberlake on his ‘The 20/20 Experience World Tour. In 2014, he did a partnership with Ariana Grande on the duet.
After which, he released ‘Earned It’ from the soundtrack of the movie ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’.
In 2015, he released ‘Beauty Behind the Madness. The album, featured guest appearances from Labrinth, Ed Sheeran and Lana Del Rey. The album further included ‘Earned It.’
‘Starboy’, his third studio album, had its release in 2016. It as well had guest appearances from famous artists like Daft Punk, Lana Del Rey, Future, and Kendrick Lamar.
The clip below gives the evolution of The Weekend until his fame.
He then collaborated with Kanye West on ‘FML’ from Kanye’s ‘The Life of Pablo’. In addition, he appeared on the piece ‘6 Inch’ from Beyonce’s ‘Lemonade’.
So far, He has sung with stars like Kanye West, Beyoncé, Ed Sheeran, Kendrick Lamar and Drake.
And with five studio records, four No. 1 Billboard hits and three Grammys thereon, The Weeknd emerges among the top-selling artists worldwide.
2021 Super Bowl LV halftime show:
The Super Bowl LV halftime presentation, officially known as the Pepsi Super Bowl LV Halftime Show, took place on the 7th day of February 2021.
The event occurred at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida. CBS in the U.S. televised the parade.
Interestingly, the celebrity singer The Weeknd did the parade. Take a chill, while you have a feel of the show in the clips below.
He is the first Canadian solo artist to headline the presentation. But before all that, on the 5th of February 2021, Tesfaye released his second most excellent hit, The Highlights.
The album debut won second place on the U.S. Billboard 200, making it Tesfaye’s highest-charting compilation and the biggest first-week debut for the greatest hits since Blake Shelton’s 2019 album, Fully Loaded: God’s Country.
In all that, The halftime event earned three nominations at the 73rd, Primetime Emmy Awards.
His laurels include Outstanding Variety Special (Live), the Outstanding Lighting Design/Lighting Direction for a Variety Special.
Moreso, the Outstanding Technical Direction, Camerawork and Video Control. On the 11th of May, Abel accepted his first Brit Honours for International Male Solo Artist.
The once First Lady of the U. S, Michelle Obama, presented the honour to him via a video call.
So far, the Canadian entertainer has been prolific. He has released several productions with smashing acts. The Weeknd became scheduled in January 2022 for an After Hours Tour.
The Weeknd Acting Career:
With regards to the Weeknd’s Biography, Tesfaye has made many movie references in his vocal videos and teasers. He is a cinephile.
The Weekend is so fond of the cinema. During the Telluride Film Festival in 2019, he made his acting debut in the film Uncut Gems.
Progressively, at his third guest appearance on Saturday Night Live, he starred in a skit with actors Kenan Thompson and Chris Redd.
On the 4th of May 2020, he co-wrote and starred in an episode of American Dad!.
The Weeknd again voiced three characters during the 200th episode of Robot Chicken.
On the 29th of June 2021, Tesfaye announced he would be executively producing, starring and co-writing, a new HBO television drama series.
The play is titled, The Idol alongside Euphoria creator Sam Levinson and Tesfaye’s producing partner Reza Fahim.
The Weekend Artistry:
Abel cites Michael Jackson, R. Kelly and Prince as his primary inspirations. So he has attributed Jackson’s Music as key in spurring him to be a singer, referencing the lyrics of “Dirty Diana” as an illustration.
He likewise said Ethiopian singers, including Aster Aweke, influenced his high-flying vocal style. He listened to diverse melody genres, including hip hop, soul, funk, post-punk and indie rock.
Tesfaye’s vocals are built around a fogged, opaque production and feature slow tempos, rumbling bass, and forlorn echoes. He carries a broad light-lyric tenor vocal range, which spans over three octaves.
His recordings incorporate samples that are unconventional in R&B production, including punk and alternative rock. In concert, Tesfaye appropriates his digitized acts with a suite-like arena rock aesthetic.
The emotional, plaintive lyrics often express hurt feelings and deal with sex, drugs, and partying subjects. This we see especially in After Hours and House Of Balloons.
Who is The Weeknd Dating?:
The Weeknd has been in an affair with the runway model Bella Hadid since 2015. She has yet appeared in his singing video ‘In the Night’. Nevertheless, the duo reportedly broke up in 2016 because of conflicting schedules.
In early 2017, he sparked rumours about dating the pop star Selena Gomez. The both of them would have met while on a project together. After his relationship with Bella Hadid, the Canadian move with Selena Gomez was confirmed.
Yet again, Selena and The Weeknd split in October 2017. But then, gradually, he rekindled his relationship with Bella again. Unfortunately, the affair was short-lived, they split shortly after.
The Weeknd Family Facts:
We cannot, but speak of the sacrifice his mother, Makkonen Tesfaye, must have made for him.
She, in conjunction with other household members, must have contributed. So let’s take this moment to look individually into each of them.
About The Weeknd Father – Samra Tesfaye:
The Canadian celebrity’s dad was never a part of Abel’s life while growing up. He reports he only saw his father a few times. The Weeknd’s dad was busy with his new partner and kids.
Samra Tesfaye never married The Weeknd’s mother, Makkonen Tesfaye. Despite that, he desires to be a part of his celebrity son’s life again. He plans an apology for not being available when his son needed him.
Continuing our Biography facts, The Weeknd reports that his dad was not an evil man. The only issue, according to Abel, was that he was never present.
More About The Weeknd Mother – Makkonen Tesfaye:
All his life, The Weeknd has heavily relied on his mother, Makkonen Tesfaye. She has always been there to share in all his life’s experiences. No wonder he calls himself a mama’s boy.
Everything good, he says, he learnt from his mum. In other to make ends meet, Makkonen Tesfaye did several jobs at one time. She laboured in three to four jobs as a single mother.
Makkonen firstly operated as a nurse and caterer to support the family while attending a night class at the same time.
About The Weeknd Siblings:
As you might have noticed, following our Story, The Weeknd has no siblings. He is the only child of the union of his parent (Makkonen and Samra Tesfaye). As a result, he received the full attention of his mum throughout his childhood, right until his fame.
Conversely, even though his parents weren’t married, after separating, the weeknd’s father, Samra Tesfaye, had kids from his next relationship. By implication, he should have step-siblings. Despite that, we have no info about them.
About The Weeknd Relatives:
The Canadian celebrity should have a few relatives aside from his parents. The Weeknd’s relatives should comprise his Uncles, Aunts, and grandparents.
Most deserving of mention should be his maternal grandmother. She took care of the celebrity when his mum went for her job.
It was she who again taught The Weeknd to speak Ethiopian Amharic. See an epic photo with his Aunt below.
Tesfaye wants to be known for being unique. His Jean-Michel Basquiat-inspired hairstyle is his most recognizable feature. Jean-Michel Basquiat is a Brooklyn graffiti artist.
The Weeknd began growing his hair in 2011 and remarks on how easy it is to maintain it with a hard shampoo.
He is amongst the 100 Most Influential People as of 2020. In his spare time, Abel enjoys watching television and playing video games.
Tesfaye grew up as an Ethiopian Orthodox. Howbeit, When asked about his religious beliefs in 2020, Tesfaye said he doesn’t know everything but believes life is a test. He says if you are religious, you have to go through certain odd things.
One of his favourite quotes says Embrace who you are. Be true to yourself. Don’t become scared to let people see the real you and what you can do. Likewise, be confident and always embrace your true self.
The Weeknd Lifestyle:
Undoubtedly, the Canadian Grammy-winning artist has so done well for himself. His accolades have amassed him enough cash to enjoy and buy whatever he wants.
In 2017, The Weeknd purchased a new mansion in Hidden Hills, California, for $18.5 million, which he eventually sold to Madonna in 2021 for $19.3 million. Also, in November 2019, he purchased a penthouse in Westwood, Los Angeles.
Anyhow, since 2018, he has rented a penthouse apartment in New York City. In addition, in 2021, he bought for 70 million dollars the L.A. mansion from dutch actor Reinout Oerlemans.
The transaction is one of the biggest L.A. real estate deals of the year according to the Wall Street Journal. The mansion contains a 5-bay garage with excellent neon lighting.
The parking lots accommodate most of his exotic vehicles such as Porsche 911, McLaren P1, Bentley. Moreso, Mulsanne, Mercedes-AMG G63, Range Rover and the Lamborghini Aventador SVJ which is worth about $517,770.
Despite that, he didn’t earn money from the Super Bowl Halftime parade, he made it a memorable experience. According to celebrity artist, The Weeknd spent $7 million of his own money on his presentation.
Salary and Net Worth:
The 2021 halftime artist for Super Bowl LV has sold over 70 million records in the United States alone. He has won many laurels, plus multiple Grammys. Outside notes and sounds, The Weeknd has similarly been involved in various entrepreneurial pursuits.
His ventures include collaborations with many brands and the creation of his brand called “X.O.” Today The Weeknd is one of the highest-paid entertainers in the world.
In 2017, according to Forbes, his earnings summed up to $92 million. Notwithstanding, according to CelebrityNetWorth.com, The Weeknd’s 2021 net worth is about $100 million.
The Weeknd’s endorsement deal amount to about $700,000. So far, he has dealt with the following brands and products. He’s also had deals with Alexander Wang, Apple Music, H&M, PAX Vaporizers and Puma.
The Weeknd Business:
During the Kiss Land Fall Tour, The Weeknd collaborated with condom company ONE. The collaboration aimed to give away limited-edition condoms at his presentations.
The condoms art inspired by his album Kiss Land printed on one side and “Oxy” printed on the other. By November 2015, to further promote Beauty Behind the Madness, Tesfaye collaborated with Pax Labs.
The collabo was to release a limited edition version of the PAX 2 vaporizer, an electronic cigarette used in parades during The Madness Fall Tour. The e-cigarette featured the “xo” branding and could play “The Hills” when turned on.
The Weeknd Untold Facts:
Besides the information stated above, below are a few biography facts that would tickle your fancy about The Weeknd.
Fact #1: His Stage Name:
Abel chose his stage name in tribute to when he and a friend dropped out of college at seventeen years old. They took their beddings and left one weekend never to come home.
However, his estranged former producer, Rose, claims the name is his idea. The letter E became excluded to avoid trademark problems with the Canadian band the weekend.
Fact #2: Charitable causes:
The Weeknd gave away $1.5 million in June 2020. A third of the giveaway went to MusiCares to help singing artists impacted by coronavirus shutdowns. Also, another third gets earmarked for frontline employees in Scarborough.
The last $500,000 got split among several organizations in the wake of George Floyd’s death. The Weeknd’s hard-knock upbringing has inspired his philanthropic ways.
Fact #3: He served at American Apparel:
Before making it big, The Weeknd did fold shirts at an American Apparel retail store in Toronto around 2010. He made his sounds intending to sell them to another music artist.
His co-employees would listen to his selections while they worked without even realizing it was him singing them.
Fact #4: Homeless at a time:
While The Weeknd was living in his $850-per-month apartment with two college pals, the trio would shoplift food from a close market to survive. They paid for rent with a welfare check.
Eventually selling marijuana for a meagre amount of money, he and his roommates enjoyed a “no restrictions” lifestyle and would get high on such drugs as MDMA, Xanax, cocaine, mushrooms and ketamine.
They became evicted from the house, and The Weeknd admitted he would tell various girls he loved them, so he would have a place to stay.
Fact #5: Drake helped him to launch his career:
Drake initially introduced the then-little-known Singer to his fanbase in 2010 by posting two of his pieces.
Subsequently in 2011, while The Weeknd was promoting his debut House of Balloons mixtape, Drake offered to let him appear on one of his tracks, Crew Love.
Fact #6: Nominations and Accolades:
Abel Tesfaye has won three Grammy Awards, nineteen Billboard Music, two MTV Video Song, five American Music, fifteen Juno Honours, and 1 Academy Awards.
In 2015, he received the Allan Slaight Award. Canada’s Walk of fame gave the honour. It was for “making a positive impact in the fields of sounds, film, literature, visual or performing arts, sports, innovation or philanthropy.”
Fact #7: Love for M.J.:
When Michael Jackson died, it felt like part of his family died. He reports saying; I want my fans to know that my sound pieces are for them.
Furthermore, Abel notes that if god forbid, anything happens to him, it would be like a piece of them is gone.
As a big fan of Michael Jackson, he covered M.J.’s ‘Dirty Diana’ on his third mixtape ‘, Echoes of Silence’.
Inspired by legendary M. J to become a singer, he was then influenced by R&B stars like Aaliyah, Missy Elliott, Timbaland and The Neptunes.
Fact #8: The Weeknd’s Grammys boycott:
After he got snubbed by the Recording Academy in 2020, The Weeknd called the Grammys corrupt.
He failed to receive a single nomination despite the considerable success of his record ‘After Hours’ and its hit singles.
As a result, Abel boycotted the awards event. He has decided not to send more pieces to the Grammys.
Fact #9: Plastic surgery:
At the promotional rollout for his 2020 album After Hours, The Canadian celebrity began sporting a beaten up face, then a face covered in bandages. Also, he then finally unveiled an extreme surgically changed look with the help of prosthetics.
The essence, he explains, was to highlight the absurd culture of Hollywood celebrities. People manipulating themselves for trivia reasons to please and get validated.
Fact #10: Why is The Weeknd’s crew called ‘X.O.’:
Some have claimed that X.O. simply stands for hugs and kisses, while others argue the letters represent ecstasy and OxyContin. Given that X.O. is part of the slogan “X.O. ‘til we overdose”, the latter seems more feasible.
Fact #11: The Weeknd’s First Inspiration:
Jim Carrey is The Canadian’s first inspiration to be any kind of artist. Almost three decades later, both men received an introduction via text. The Weeknd invited Carrey to his Los Angeles condo to hear some new notes in 2019.
Consequently, it turned out that not only did they discover they resided in the same neighbourhood, but Carrey similarly knew the exact theatre his mother took him to see The Mask.
Fact #12: Controversies and legal issues:
In January 2015, Tesfaye obtained an arrest for allegedly punching a Las Vegas Police Department officer. He pleaded not guilty, so he received a sentence for 50 hours of community service.
In January 2019, Tesfaye received criticism for lyrics in “Lost in the Fire”. In the sound piece, Tesfaye refers to a woman’s same-sex attraction as “a phase” and then says he will “fuck her straight”, which a few critics say is homophobic.
Fact #13: Plagiarism allegations
In December 2015, Tesfaye became sued by Cutting Edge Music. They alleged that the bassline for the piece titled “The Hills” is from a composition featured in the fiction film, The Machine.
The music producer sent a private Twitter message to Tom Raybould, the composer of the film’s score, to talk about the sample.
In 2020, Tesfaye and Kendrick Lamar sued the now-defunct indie band Yeasayer. The duo claimed that “Pray for Me” includes an unauthorized sample of their recording “Sunrise”. Following that year, Yeasayer voluntarily dismissed the lawsuit.
The Weeknd Biography Summary:
Tesfaye’s melody style is Contemporary and alternative R&B. Moreso, pop, electro-pop, and synth-pop. Tesfaye Abel has helped broaden R&B’s melodious palette to incorporate indie and electronic techniques. We can classify his pieces as the alternative R&B tag.
Even if you could not go through all the details above, use the table below to get factual information about the Canadian Grammy Award-winning artist.
|Full Name:||Abel Makkonen Tesfaye|
|Date of Birth:||16th Day of February 1990|
|Place of Birth:||Toronto, Ontario, Canada|
|Profession:||Singer, songwriter, record producer and actor|
|Genres:||R&B, alternative R&B, popelectropop and synth-pop|
|Labels:||XO and Republic|
|Associated acts:||Ariana Grande, BellyDaft Punk, DaHeala, Doc McKinney, Doja Cat, Drake, Future, Illangelo, Lana Del Rey, Lil Uzi Vert, Max Martin, NavTravis Scott etc|
|Girlfriend:||Bella Hadid (2015) and Selena Gomes (2017 )|
|Sun Sign (Zodiac):||Aquarius|
|Hobbies:||Watching TV and VideoGames|
In wrapping off The Weeknd’s Biography and Childhood Life Story, We hope you learned a few lessons. It is nоt еаѕу for The Wееknd to rule the world with his artistry in such a short time.
In an era when we go tо соllеgе аnd hung out with frіеndѕ, the celebrity singer quit all. The Weeknd did nоt only stop ѕсhооl but even left his home, tо сhаѕе his drеаmѕ.
Not like we encourage young chaps in dropping out of college. But if the conviction of what you want to do and become in life is firm, then go all out for it. The Weeknd’s story is a grand ехаmрlе of dеdісаtіоn аnd hard work.
Fіndіng, one’s life trajectory, іѕ а сhаllеngіng task. Ѕоmе only does thіѕ аftеr several mistakes. Contrariwise, as for Аbеl Маkkоnеn Теѕfауе, he believed in his рurѕuit and gave it all he could.
We admire that you have found this write-up heartening and appealing. Stay tuned for further biography facts with exceptional quality. Lastly, you could visit The Weeknd’s website to connect with him.