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Is there anything we love more than the weekend? There is! That’s right, the three days of absolute bliss can take a back seat because even though we love them, we love the Weeknd more. The famous musician has managed to steal our hearts with his enthralling lyrics, his gorgeous smile and his appealing aesthetics so much so that no playlist will be complete without a song from this talented young man.
His rise to fame started with the song that captured our attention; “What You Need”. This song was released on YouTube in December of 2010 and he has been a fan favorite ever since. There are a lot of other things to know and to love about the Weeknd apart from his exceptional vocal abilities.
If you didn’t think you could love him more than you do now, scroll through this list of the 20 facts about the Weeknd and I can guarantee that you will love him a lot more when you’re done.
Emerging from his troubled life, Abel The Weeknd was already interested in music. And when he met Jeremy Rose, a music producer, everything just clicked. Together, they started a dark R&B musical project.
Rose played one of his instrumentals for Abel, and the singer started to freestyle over it. Long story short, his music was born. It may seem like a dream come true, but it was not always a smooth sailing journey.
There have been some disputes between the two, starting from the very basic, who came up with the name The Weeknd. Abel claimed that he invented it. But Rose claimed that it has always been the title of the dark R&B musical project he was pitching.
While Rose insisted on being credited for all the tracks they produced, Abel The Weeknd uploaded them on YouTube anyway. And it drew a pretty good attention. So, with this confidence, The Weeknd went on to release a mixtape for free through his website, House of Balloons with no credit to Rose. But this got him even bigger attention as he got the chance to go on tour which happened to catch Drake‘s attention.
His real name is not The Weeknd
But I guess you already knew that. Our favorite artist was given the name is actually Abel Makonnen Tesfaye at birth by his parents. He allegedly hated his birth name and so he created his stage name The Weekend because it sounded cool. Upon becoming a star, he took the ‘e’ out of the word and made it The Weeknd in order to not run into copyright issues with a Canadian band that went by the same name. We love the personalization of the name, Abel!
He is Canadian
I think that goes without saying as some of the hottest stars alive are Canadian. Ryan Gosling, Ryan Reynolds, Justin Beiber, Drake and Celine Dion are some of the biggest stars in the world that also come from Canada. The Weeknd was born and raised in Scarborough, Ontario, Canada.
He never finished high school
At the age of 17, he dropped out of high school and persuaded his best friend, La Mar Taylor, to join him. In an interview with The New York Times magazine, he says he moved into a one-bedroom with Taylor and another friend and got high at night on many occasions. MDMA, Xanax, cocaine, mushrooms, and ketamine were their drugs of choice.
Some of the best stars we have today never finished high school because they dropped out to pursue their dreams full time. We are glad that it worked out well for The Weeknd. Some say that the best work by an artist is produced when they are high. Judging from his wild success, the myth might just be true.
He used to be homeless
Abel The Weeknd had a life full of struggles ever since he was a kid. Both of his parents were Ethiopian who migrated to Canada together. But his father was never really around. And his mother had to work several odd jobs just to support the family.
After his father abandoned his family, The Weeknd spent most of his time with his maternal grandmother. But even so, rough life welcomed him as soon as he stepped into teenage phase.
He was on drugs and living from stealing. And he told this story bluntly on one of his songs, Tell Your Friends. The lyrics say: “I was broken, I was broken, I was so broke. I used to roam around the town when I was homeless. Me and Lamar would rob a nigga for his Jordans. And flip it just to get these hoes another nose fix.”
But as his career started to shine, Abel started to make enough money to finally stand on his own two feet.
How rich is The Weeknd?
As mentioned earlier, The Weeknd is now one of the top earning celebrities in the world. Forbes recorded that he made $55 million from album sales, performances, and others last year. And that put him as the 30th musician on Forbes Top 100 Celebrity Earnings 2016.
Considering that he started just a few years ago, and that he started from being broke, the fact that he has $30 million of estimated net worth now is incredible. And if he can maintain it, it wouldn’t be a surprise if he ends 2017 with at least $50 million in his net worth bag.
His music is not his only source of income. His unique look and personality interest some of the top brands in the world. Puma endorses him not just to wear the shoes but to promote one particular campaign, Run the Street. The world-renowned shoe company loves him for his laid back swag. Besides Puma, H&M also endorses him.
With all of that money, and all of those sources of income, surely he’s far from being homeless now. Let see what kind of home he chooses to live in on the next page.
Is he living large?
He is indeed. That modernist mansion is what The Weeknd calls home now. And it is not a new sight to those who are up to date to his latest music release. This epic house was the set of his Starboy music video.
This LA house has been recently put on the market. And if you want, you can reenact Starboy anytime you want for the rest of your life by spending $6.3 million to own this house. Are you interested?
Since he hangs out with rappers like Drake, who are commonly known for their love of expensive cool ride, The Weeknd is no exception. He owns not just one supercar, but three (that we know of).
He drives around either on his $300,000 Bentley Mulsanne, $750,000 Lamborghini Aventador Roadster, or $1.3 million McLaren P1. And those are just the starting prices. This should come as no surprise though, since these cars are popular among celebrities who share The Weeknd’s laid back swag such as rappers and NBA players.
But he is also giving large
People who struggled at some point of their lives tend to be the most generous philanthropy the world has ever known. Yes, The Weeknd is living large. And despite all the controversies surrounding his life, he is a good guy after all. At least he is willing to give for others.
With his Ethiopian root, he supports the learning of Ethiopian language in Canada. He donated $50,000 to Ethiopian classic language class, Ge’ ez, at University of Toronto.
Even though most of his songs are not suitable for kids, it doesn’t mean that he doesn’t care about them. Two years ago, he worked together with Ryan Seacrest’s foundation to visit some children hospitals in Atlanta.
And recently, to support one of the biggest movements in 2016, Black Lives Matter, he gave a away a great amount of money. He made a $250,000 donation to
His crew name has a deeper meaning than you thought
The Weeknd’s crew name is XO and it has a deeper meaning than we think. His fans usually make the mistake of assuming that the name XO stands for hugs and kisses like we all know. However, we have confirmation that the letters actually represent the drugs Ecstasy and oxycontin.
Considering the ubiquity of drugs in his songs, the latter seems likely. Regardless, he and all of his regular collaborators have the letters XO at the end of their Twitter handles, and his fans regularly quote their motto “XO ’til we overdose.”
He stayed in his hometown for a long time
Until he was 21 years old, The Weeknd never left his city or his county. He was the definition of Canada born, Canada-bred and Canada-dead, well at least until he became a huge star and had to leave in order to become an even huger star in the United States and also see his scores of fans. He now resides in a rented house in Hollywood Hills.
He’s a big fan of Michael Jackson
The Weeknd has expressed hopes to be as influential as Michael Jackson someday. His obsession also stems from being Ethiopian as Jackson is somewhat of a national icon in Ethiopia because of the song ‘We are the world’. A lot of other stars idolize the late Michael Jackson and we definitely see the appeal. He was an amazing singer/ songwriter before he passed on in June of 2009.
He shies away from the spotlight
Even though he is a famous musician, The Weeknd hates doing things that traditional musicians are required to do, like taking pictures. Yes, that is as surprising to us as it is to you considering his gorgeous face and stunning signature hair style.
He apparently was very insecure and hated how he looked, and so he would either avoid taking pictures completely, or ask to be cropped out of any ones that were accidentally taken of him. Again, with his face, we have no idea what he was insecure about but isn’t it so sweet to realize he is just as human as we are?
His girlfriend is a famous model
The Weeknd is in a long term relationship wth famous model Bella Hadid. After years spent finding himself and exploring with as many people as possible, the Weeknd decided to settle down with no other than the gorgeous model/ Olympic hopeful/ Gigi Hadid’s little sister/ Yolanda Foster’s daughter/ Kylie’s Jenner’s best friend Bella Hadid.
They have been dating ever since she was 18 and it seems their relationship is flourishing like it does when two gorgeous people get together. They are such a sight to see when they go out together, all beautiful and well dressed and stuff.
He doesn’t know all his lyrics
This may come as a shock to you, but the famous singer claims he does not know all of his own lyrics and relies on a “songwriter language” in the booth, which sometimes ends up with him singing gibberish for almost 45 minutes straight.
He claims there are lyrics on his mixtape Thursday where he does not even know what he is saying. If you have ever found yourself listening to one of his songs and you can’t quite figure out the word, don’t beat yourself up about it; the Weeknd probably doesn’t know it either.
He is of Ethiopian descent
The ‘Beauty Behind the Madness’ creator is of Ethiopian descent as his parents were Ethiopian immigrants that moved to Canada before they had him. The Weeknd, therefore, speaks his parents’ native language, Amharic, fluently. It was his first language until he learned to speak English. But did we ever doubt that he was African? I mean just look at his gorgeousness.
Other gorgeous African stars include Chiwetel Ejiofor (from Nigeria), Lupita Nyong’o (from Kenya), Fela Kuti (from Nigeria) and Boris Kodjoe (from Ghana). His favorite thing about Ethiopia is the food! He once said and I quote “It’s the best, man. But it’s very fattening. I think I’m still burning off that fat, to be honest”. For an Ethiopian mother, if you have a chubby kid, it means you’re doing something good.”
He is friends with Wiz Khalifa
The Weeknd has a friend in Wiz Khalifa. In 2013, Khalifa said in an interview that Tesfaye always inspires him. “He’s just very creative and forward thinking. Abel’s my man.” We can only imagine how many blunts they light together. We love it when famous people know each other and are friends above it all.
He has a pre-concert ritual
Before concerts, Tesfaye gets his energy right by blasting Michael Jackson’s “Off the Wall”. It is not so surprising because Micahel Jackson is his favorite musician of all times after all. It’s just like getting a pep talk from your role model before any serious game or event. It is nice to know that ThE Weeknd loves Michael Jackson as much as we love him.
He has other talents
Not only is The Weeknd stepping out of his element by he’s also taking up a little modeling (but only for his close friend Kanye West of course). He makes an appearance in the rapper’s new Adidas collection in the September issue of GQ. About this gig, the Weeknd said “Kanye is such a great friend of mine as well when he asked me I couldn’t say no. It was the least I could do.” Could this get any better? We finally get to see him in full glory rocking some of the most trendy clothes that ever reached the earth.
He has yet to grant a formal interview
That’s right, no one can claim that they have had the honor of formally interviewing this international musical sensation. The Weeknd loves to maintain a certain mystery about himself, so he doesn’t give his fans too much. The Weekend has declined to participate in interviews because he doesn’t like to “spoon feed” his audience.
He would rather have them put a bit more effort into finding out things about him (like reading this list perhaps). Maybe one day he will accept an invitation for an interview (I’m sure he has thousands of those) and we will get to know more about our favorite singer.
He Is Featured in Lana Del Rey’s Music
The Weeknd and Lana Del Rey have been friends for a long time and he admits that they have both inspired each other. He once said, “She is the girl in my music, and I am the guy in her music.” Whatever that means, the best we can do is to guess.
His Hair Has a Meaning
Not that we ever doubted it, but his hair is another of his many obscure statements. The artist has said that his hair was inspired by artist Jean-Michel Basquiat. He has been growing it out for over four years, and he only shampoos it occasionally. Well, since it works for him, we love it!
He lives in a haunted house
The house that The Weeknd rents in the Hollywood Hills is reportedly haunted, and he has said, “I’ve had sleep paralysis. I hear voices sometimes. I heard the Hills are over Indian burial ground. But maybe it’s the wind. Let’s pray that it’s the wind because if anything happens to our precious stars, we will have a lot of questions to ask.
He and Drake are family
Hold the DNA tests. When we say family, we are not being literal. But since it is reported that they are best friends, they might as well be related. In fact, so many songs like crew Love and such on Drake’s album were initially The Weeknd’s. He handed it over to Drake as a result of brotherly love and also because he was really high when Drake asked him.
The Weeknd has said however that he would not be where he is today if not for Drake, and the latter has replied that they are brothers and “it’s just a Toronto thing”. Having our favorite stars be brothers is something we are not complaining about. Who knows? We might just get a Drake and The Weeknd album out of it.
He is a mysterious man
For most of his career, The Weeknd kept himself far removed from the spotlight, declining all interview requests, and building up an air of mystery. Why the seclusion? “We live in an era when everything is so excessive, I think it’s refreshing for everybody to actually wonder who I am. ” Part of that stemmed from shyness, part from doubt.
He noted in an interview “I thought I’d be a punk star – grow my hair out, acne on my face, super…skinny. I was looking at artists like Iggy Pop and the Ramones, or Afropunk. But you evolve and realize your potential. And then it’s like, ‘…yeah. Let’s go” His words, not ours.