The Weeknd


Abel Makkonen Tesfaye (Ge'ez: አቤል ተስፋዬ, ʾÄbel Täsfaye, born 16 February 1990), known professionally as The Weeknd (pronounced the weekend), is a Canadian singer, songwriter, and record producer. The Weeknd is the alias of alternative R&B enigma-turned-pop star, whose aching accounts of emotionally and physically toxic indulgences have translated to multi-platinum sales and Grammy recognition. The singer and songwriter made his early-2010s breakthrough with morose ballads that seemed to have no designs on mainstream appeal. Within a few years, however, Tesfaye had scored Top Ten hits with an Ariana Grande duet ("Love Me Harder"), the lead single from a major motion picture ("Earned It"), and a retro-contemporary disco-funk single ("I Can't Feel My Face"), the last of which was nominated for a Nickelodeon Kids' Choice Award despite its subject (cocaine). Tesfaye received early support from Drake and scored his first Top Ten R&B/hip-hop placement as the featured artist on the fellow Torontonian's "Crew Love," but he swiftly outgrew his status as a Drake affiliate with his own hits and a streak of appearances on high-profile tracks by Wiz Khalifa, Future, Beyoncé, and Lana Del Rey. Tesfaye debuted the Weeknd in late 2010 with three songs uploaded to YouTube. Made with producer Jeremy Rose, they served as a low-key prelude to three mixtapes self-released as free digital downloads the following year. First was with House of Balloons (March), where clear traces of radio-friendly contemporary R&B à la Trey Songz, Jeremih, the-Dream, and Drake were synthesized with the progressive left-of-center likes of Spacek and Sa-Ra. Recorded in collaboration with producers Doc McKinney and Illangelo, among others, the set garnered widespread coverage within days of its release. A similar second mixtape, Thursday (August), preceded several appearances on Drake's album Take Care. Featuring a cover of Michael Jackson's "Dirty Diana," Echoes of Silence (December) completed the trilogy just before the end of the year. The following June, "Crew Love," off Take Care, reached the Top Ten of Billboard's Hot R&B/Hip-Hop chart. A few months later, Tesfaye was featured on another charting single, Wiz Khalifa's "Remember You." After Tesfaye signed with Universal Republic, the three Weeknd mixtapes were remastered and bundled with three new songs for Trilogy, issued in November 2012. Despite consisting of material previously available for free, the set debuted at numb...

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