The Weeknd's Journey from Humble Beginnings to Global Superstar

Credit: The Weeknd/Instagram

The Weeknd, whose real name is Abel Makkonen Tesfaye, is a Canadian singer, songwriter, and record producer who has become one of the most popular and influential artists in modern music. With his distinct falsetto voice and dark, moody beats, The Weeknd has captured the attention of audiences around the world. In this article, we'll explore The Weeknd's journey from humble beginnings to global superstar.

Early Life and Career Beginnings

Abel Tesfaye was born on February 16, 1990, in Toronto, Canada, to Ethiopian immigrant parents. He grew up in the Scarborough neighborhood of Toronto and was raised primarily by his grandmother and mother, as his father left the family when he was just a young boy.

As a teenager, Tesfaye turned to drugs and dropped out of high school, spending much of his time hanging out with friends and getting into trouble. However, he also began to develop his musical talents during this time, teaching himself to play piano and guitar and experimenting with songwriting.

In 2010, Tesfaye anonymously uploaded three songs to YouTube under the name "The Weeknd." The songs, which were produced by his friend and collaborator Jeremy Rose, quickly gained attention online, and Tesfaye was soon signed to a record deal with Republic Records.

Breakthrough Success

In 2011, The Weeknd released his debut mixtape, "House of Balloons," which was critically acclaimed and helped to establish his signature sound. The mixtape was followed by two more, "Thursday" and "Echoes of Silence," both of which received similar praise.

In 2012, The Weeknd collaborated with fellow Canadian artist Drake on the song "Crew Love," which became a hit and helped to increase his visibility in the music industry. That same year, he signed with Universal Republic and released a compilation album, "Trilogy," which included remastered versions of his three mixtapes.

The Weeknd's first official studio album, "Kiss Land," was released in 2013 and received mixed reviews from critics. However, his next album, "Beauty Behind the Madness," released in 2015, was a massive commercial success, debuting at number one on the Billboard 200 and spawning hit singles such as "Can't Feel My Face" and "The Hills."

Global Superstar

Since the release of "Beauty Behind the Madness," The Weeknd has continued to dominate the music industry. His 2016 album, "Starboy," which featured collaborations with Daft Punk and Lana Del Rey, was another commercial and critical success, earning him a Grammy for Best Urban Contemporary Album.

In 2018, The Weeknd released an EP, "My Dear Melancholy," which explored themes of heartbreak and loss. The EP was well-received by critics and fans alike and featured collaborations with the likes of Gesaffelstein and Skrillex.

The Weeknd's album, "After Hours," released in 2020, marked a departure from his previous work, featuring a more upbeat, pop-oriented sound. The album was another critical and commercial success, debuting at number one on the Billboard 200 and spawning hit singles such as "Blinding Lights" and "Save Your Tears."

Today, The Weeknd is widely regarded as one of the most influential and successful artists of his generation. He has won multiple awards, including three Grammy Awards, and has collaborated with some of the biggest names in music. His music has inspired countless artists and fans around the world, and his rise to stardom serves as a testament to the power of hard work, talent, and perseverance.

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