The Weeknd Short biography
Abel Makkonen Tesfaye (born February 16, 1990), known professionally as The Weeknd, is a Canadian singer, songwriter, and record producer. He is considered one of his generation's most influential and successful artists, with numerous awards and chart-topping hits.
Tesfaye grew up in an Orthodox Ethiopian household. In 2020, he told Variety, in response to his religious beliefs, "I dunno... everything is a test, and if you are religious or spiritual, you have to go through things." He acquired Amharic, his native tongue, from his grandmother. Later, he attended a French immersion school and became fluent. West Hill Collegiate Institute and Birchmount Park Collegiate Institute provided him with additional education.
Tesfaye left school when he was seventeen and relocated to a flat in the Parkdale neighborhood with two companions, one of whom was his best buddy and current creative director La Mar Taylor. Due to their hedonistic lifestyle, he has compared this period to the 1995 movie Kids "without AIDS". Throughout this period, he has also been homeless and has served multiple jail terms, which have motivated him to “smarten up, to focus.”
The Weeknd Career As A Musician
The Weeknd's career has been a masterclass in independent success and artistic evolution. He started anonymously uploading his music to YouTube in 2009, building a dedicated fanbase with his dark, introspective mixtapes like "House of Balloons" and "Echoes of Silence." These early releases established his signature sound – a blend of R&B, pop, and alternative influences, often laced with heavy lyrics about love, loss, and drug use.
In 2012, The Weeknd signed with major labels and released his debut compilation album, "Kiss Land." The album succeeded commercially, reaching the top 10 on the Billboard 200 chart and spawning the hit single "Crew Love" (featuring Drake).
He continued his momentum with the 2015 album "Beauty Behind the Madness," which featured the smash hits "The Hills," "Can't Feel My Face," and "Earned It." This album cemented The Weeknd's status as a superstar, winning him two Grammy Awards and becoming the year's best-selling album.
Since then, The Weeknd has released a string of critically acclaimed and commercially successful albums, including "Starboy" (2016), "My Dear Melancholy," (2018), and "After Hours" (2020). He has also experimented with different sounds and collaborations, showcasing his versatility as an artist.
The Weeknd's career is far from over. He continues to tour internationally, sell out stadiums, and break records. He is constantly pushing creative boundaries and evolving his sound, ensuring his place as one of his generation's most important and influential artists.
The Weeknd Wealth Acquisition
The Weeknd's wealth comes primarily from his music career. He has sold over 70 million records worldwide, making him one of the best-selling artists of all time. His music generates revenue through streams, downloads, album sales, and licensing for films and television.
The Weeknd also earns a significant amount from touring. He is a global concert draw, selling out arenas and stadiums worldwide. His 2017-2018 "Starboy: Legend of the Fall" tour grossed over $140 million, making it one of the highest-grossing tours of all time.
Beyond music, The Weeknd has diversified his income with various ventures. He has launched his clothing line, "XO," which features streetwear and luxury apparel. He has also collaborated with major brands like Puma and Mercedes-Benz.
The Weeknd's smart business decisions and entrepreneurial spirit have helped him build a vast fortune. He is estimated to have a net worth of over US$300 million in December 2023, making him one of the wealthiest musicians in the world.
The Weeknd Awards & Achievements
The Weeknd has won numerous awards throughout his career, including:
- 3 Grammy Awards
- 8 American Music Awards
- 5 MTV Video Music Awards
- 2 Billboard Music Awards
- 1 Juno Award
He has also been nominated for several other awards, including an Academy Award and a Golden Globe Award.
In addition to his awards, The Weeknd has also been recognized for his influence on popular culture. He has been credited with popularizing the dark pop genre and is considered one of the most successful musicians of his generation.
The Weeknd Philanthropic Activities
The Weeknd's generosity extends beyond social justice causes. He has a long history of philanthropic endeavors, supporting various organizations and initiatives.
- COVID-19 relief: He donated $1 million split between the MusiCares COVID-19 Relief Fund and frontline healthcare workers in Toronto.
- Global Aid: He sent $300,000 to Global Aid in Lebanon to help with reconstruction after the devastating 2020 explosion.
- Education: He established the "The Weeknd Academy" in his Ethiopian hometown, providing educational opportunities for underprivileged children.
- Bail funds: He has donated to organizations like the National Bail Out Fund and the Know Your Rights Camp Legal Defense Fund, supporting efforts to address racial disparities in the justice system.
- Humanitarian Efforts in Gaza: According to the release, Abel "The Weeknd" Tesfaye will contribute $2.5 million to emergency humanitarian efforts in Gaza. This amount is equivalent to 4 million emergency meals, which could feed around 173,000 Palestinians for two weeks. Tesfaye, a Goodwill Ambassador for the United Nations World Food Programme, will donate the funds from his XO Humanitarian Fund.
The Weeknd's philanthropic efforts demonstrate his commitment to giving back and making a positive impact on the world, particularly focusing on education, community support, and addressing systemic inequalities.
The Weeknd Controversies & Criticism
Despite his immense success, The Weeknd has faced his share of controversies and criticisms throughout his career.
- Lyrics and imagery: Some have criticized his music for its dark and often explicit themes of drug use, sex, and violence, arguing it glorifies unhealthy behaviors and can be harmful to listeners, particularly young audiences.
- Live performances: His energetic and sometimes provocative live shows have drawn mixed reactions, with some praising their intensity and creativity, while others find them excessive and disturbing.
- Personal life: Aspects of his personal life, including past relationships and substance abuse struggles, have been fodder for tabloid headlines and public scrutiny, which he has not always embraced.
The Weeknd navigates these controversies with a mix of defiance and introspection. He has defended his artistic freedom while acknowledging the potential impact of his work and expressing a desire to evolve and mature as an artist.
By acknowledging the complexities and contradictions surrounding him, The Weeknd continues to push boundaries and spark conversations, both through his music and his actions.
|The Weeknd House and Cars Collection