Abel Makkonen Tesfaye, better known by his stage name The Weeknd, is a Canadian singer, songwriter and music producer. He was born on February 16th, 1990 in Toronto, Canada. The Weeknd, after his early teenage years were plagued by drug addictions, started putting out music videos on YouTube under the username "xoxxxoooxo" in 2009, at age 19. This ultimately led to him being discovered by music producer Jeremy Rose only a year later.
He produced three tracks for his new artist, which were posted on thexoxxxoooxo YouTube channel. It attracted some attention in the online hip hop community. It was even noticed by his fellow Canadian rap superstar Drake, who wrote about it on his personal blog.
Early in his career, Tesfaye performed under two different stage names, "The Noise" and "Kin Kane", before going with his famous alias “The Weeknd”. It refers to him dropping out of high school at age 17, as in “leaving for the weekend and never coming back”.
In early 2011, he and 3 other music executives founded their own record label “XO”. They ended up releasing three mixtapes that year, “ House of Balloons”, “Thursday”, and “Echoes of Silence”. All of them were well received by the audiences, which led to The Weeknd going on tour in his native Canada, then internationally.
His first full studio album was released in November 2012, with the title “Trilogy”. The biggest hit singles on it were “Wicked Games” and “Twenty Eight”. Since then, he produced such hits as "Starboy" (2016), "The Hills" (2015), and "Can’t Feel My Face" (2015). He was also featured on pop star Ariana Grande’s 2014 hit single “Love Me Harder”.
In February 2021, The Weeknd had the honor of performing in the halftime show at Super Bowl LV in Tampa, Florida (the NLF final between the Kansas City Chiefs and the eventual winner Tampa Bay Buccaneers).