What comes to your mind when you hear the name “The Weeknd”? You’re probably already aware of what we’re talking about especially if you love pop music. Well, if you aren’t so sharp, we are talking about the guy who sang “I feel it coming”. I bet you are now all caught up! If that’s not the case with you, have a seat and enjoy this article because we are discussing the starboy.
Popularly known as The Weeknd, Abel Makkonen Tesfaye was born on February 16, 1990, in Toronto, Ontario. The present-day superstar is the only child of Ethiopian immigrants Makkonen Tesfaye and Samrawit Hailu. However, the two split up shortly after his birth and Abel was raised by his mother and grandmother in the district of Scarborough. However, he is considered a Canadian since it is where he resides and is registered nationally.
After two years, Abel co-founded the XO record label where they made several mixtapes. These included; House of Balloons, Thursday, and Echoes of Silence. These masterpieces gained recognition because of his style which comprised contemporary and alternative R&B. Another thing that won him a lot of attention was the mystique surrounding his identity.
Also Read: The Weeknd Wins Billboard Awards 2021
How The Star Boy Becomes Famous
As the pattern goes, he signed with Republic Records after this impeccable success. The Weeknd had to rerelease the mixtapes in the compilation album Trilogy. He also expounded on a dark wave in his first studio album Kiss Land in 2013. The album debuted at number two on the US Billboard 200. This is the moment when Tesfaye started contributing to film soundtracks. He actually made thorough use of his acclaimed single “Earned It” from Fifty Shades of Grey in 2015. Eventually, we saw Abel winning the Grammy Award for Best R&B Performance, while also being nominated for the Academy Award for Best Original Song.
But let’s turn to his shadier. It is evident that there is a darker side to the “Starboy” that you as his fan may not know. Please note that we aren’t talking about conspiracy or cults, but just highlighting Abel’s strange character. For instance, talk about the origins of his signature dark and mysterious sound. His stage name change depending on where the information comes from. Surely, mainstream success does not come without huge connections and some copyright lawsuits. Now, you’re all caught up! Here are 4 dark facts about The Weeknd.
The Weeknd Randomly Left His Single Mom’s House
Abel Tesfaye has a “dark” past and drug use history. It all started when he abruptly decided to drop out of high school at the age of 17. Now, this is not a rumor as he personally told The Guardian in 2015. The Weeknd and his friend, La Mar Taylor, moved into a single-bedroom apartment closer to Toronto. However, this was much of a disappointment to his mother, who had raised him. He personally says that his mum gave him “the worst look” when he and Taylor loaded a mattress to leave his childhood house.
The “Save Your Tears” star told the publication that their new lifestyle was quite illegal. It consisted of stealing food from grocery stores to keep the duo from going hungry and spending their little money on drugs. These included ketamine, cocaine, MDMA, mushrooms, and cough syrup. They even hosted parties at their place, where they invited numerous girls over to hang out.
“I could have ruined my whole life by dropping out of school. The consequences might have been horrible,” he reflected The Guardian
The Weeknd Took His Name From The Weekend
According to producer Jeremy “Zodiac” Rose, he developed Abel Tesfaye’s signature dark and “grimy” sound. However, his name is nowhere to be found on the “House of Balloons” mixtape. He apparently has also never received a single penny from the project. Abel and Rose went their separate ways when Tesfaye wanted to work on “club tracks”. He never wanted the producer’s opinion on their collaborations yet Rose claims that he gave the “Starboy” his stage name. Rose said, “We started as a group; it was he and I, and we called ourselves ‘The Weekend. I came up with that name, by the way.” On The Weeknd’s side, however, the story is quite different. Abel says that he took out the ‘e’ from Weekend because there already existed a band called The Weekend.
Plagiarism Lawsuits Against His Music
The Weeknd’s 2015 hit “The Hills” brought him his first plagiarism case. Cutting Edge Music Limited filed a lawsuit alleging that the singer and his producers stole the bassline. This is because it resembles the score of the 2013 sci-fi movie “The Machine.” The allegation stated that producer Emmanuel “Million Dollar Mano” Nickerson sent a Twitter message to the composer of the movie. It read, “A sample of the score may appear on Tesfaye’s “Beauty Behind the Madness” album.”
Recently, another lawsuit came from Suniel Fox and Henry Strange in 2021. They claimed Tesfaye’s “Call Out My Name” was “strikingly and/or substantially similar, if not identical” to their 2015 song “Vibeking,”. This was reported by Pitchfork.
Toxic Masculinity In His Lyrics
Known for his dark, sensual, and overly sexual lyrics, The Weeknd has not gone scotch free. Some people call it misogynistic, per StudyBreaks. He was once questioned about his regular use of “b****” to refer to women. His song, “The Hills” has these words, “I just f two b***hes ‘fore I saw you,”. A reporter asked if Tesfaye talks to women like that in everyday life.
First of all, Abel has never apologized for the words he uses in his music. He also says that he finds it harder to listen to music he wrote when he was 19 as compared to what he sang as an adult. These were his words as a response: “It’s definitely a character. When you hear some of the drastic stuff, you can tell. I mean, that’s why it’s tricky because it is me singing the words; it is my writing. It’s like you want people to feel a certain way. You want them to feel angry and sad. You want them to feel. It’s never, like, my intent to offend anybody.”
What is your favorite track by The Weeknd? If you found this article interesting, please let us know in the comments section.
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