The Weeknd is Dead! Long Live Abel Tesfaye!
Canadian pop star The Weeknd, born Abel Tesfaye, has officially changed his stage name back to his birth name, signalling the end of an era and the start of a new chapter in his career. The Grammy-winning artist, best known for his dark, sexually charged R&B tracks that often tackle themes of drug use and alienation, has shattered records and boasts a whopping 111.4 million monthly listeners on Spotify as of March 2023, making him one of the most popular artists in the world.
In a candid interview with W Magazine, Abel explained that he’s ready to leave The Weeknd behind and start a new chapter in his career. He revealed that his latest album, titled Dawn FM, may be his final offering under the Weeknd persona. “I want to kill The Weeknd,” he declared. “I’m not abandoning the character. This is God’s gift to me, this name. But it’s like, I don’t want to be a prisoner of it. I want to be me.”
The name change may come as a surprise to fans, but it’s not entirely unexpected. Earlier this year, Abel broke two world records by becoming the most popular artist in the world, with Guinness World Records crediting his success to his surging streaming figures. The Die for You remix featuring Ariana Grande, which went viral on TikTok, helped to boost his popularity even further.
But for Abel, the name change is simply a way to reinvent himself as a musician and close The Weeknd chapter. “I’m not doing it for anyone else,” he explained. “I’m doing it for me. I want to have a different cover for this album. I want to have a different energy. I want to have a different sound.”
Despite retaining his handles on Instagram and Twitter, the name change is expected to be a smooth transition for the artist. Fans have been left wondering what kind of music Abel Tesfaye will create now that he’s shed his old identity. Will he continue to dominate the charts with his abrasive beats and seductive vocals, or will he surprise us all with something completely different? We can’t wait to find out.
So, whether he goes by The Weeknd or Abel Tesfaye, we’ll still be streaming his music on repeat.
One thing is for sure, this pop sensation is not going anywhere anytime soon. Long live Abel Tesfaye!