Who Is The Weeknd?

07 May 2016
He’s won Grammys and in 2015 alone, he managed to become one of music's hottest stars with his album, Beauty Behind the Madness, debuting at number one on the Billboard charts. But who is The Weeknd exactly? Despite his musical success with hits like "Earned It" and "Can't Feel My Face," The Weeknd continues to remain humble and true to who he is.

We've slowly getting bits and pieces of information about his life and are starting to form a picture of who he is, from his troublesome past to his interesting celebrity encounter with Taylor Swift. Keep reading to get to know The Weeknd:

His Real Name Is Abel Makkonen Tesfaye.

He was born in Scarborough, Toronto, and his birthday is on Februrary 16, 1990.

He Is an Only Child and Admits He's a "Mama's Boy."

The Weeknd was raised by his mother, Samra, and his grandmother, both of whom emigrated from Ethiopia in the '80s. He grew up as an only child, but always wanted a brother, so sometimes he would lie to people and tell them he had brothers. He doesn't remember much about his father, who left him and his mom when he was about 1 or 2 years old, other than his name: Makkonen, which is also The Weeknd's middle name.

His First Language Was Amharic.

Before learning English, The Weeknd only knew how to speak Amharic, a language spoken in Ethiopia, and says his vocals are influenced by Ethiopian singers like Aster Aweke. He also speaks French.

He Was Discovered on YouTube.

The Weeknd and his friends uploaded three songs on YouTube, which then found their way to Drake's manager, Oliver El-Khatib, who shared them on the OVO blog where they quickly gained momentum.

In 2011, Drake gave The Weeknd a big break when he featured a ton of his songs on his album, Take Care, which The Weeknd had originally written for his first album, House of Balloons.

Nowadays, The Weeknd refers to Drake as "my closest friend in the industry at that time" and thanks him for his success, adding, "I gave up almost half of my album. It's hard. I will always be thankful — if it wasn't for the light he shined on me, who knows where I'd be. And everything happens for a reason."

He declined ALL interviews at the beginning of his career

Because he was a high school dropout, The Weeknd was worried he wasn't well-spoken, so he chose to keep his identity anonymous and did not do interviews. He revealed that he used to do crossword puzzles to better his vocabulary and confessed to still feeling insecure when he speaks to someone educated.

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