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20 Things You Didn't Know about The Weeknd


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.

1.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!

2. He is an Aquarius:

That's right! The Weeknd was born on February 16, 1990, making him an Aquarius along with other big names in the industry like Harry Styles, Justin Timberlake, Ed Sheeran and Shakira. This means the ‘Can’t Feel my Face’ creator is 26 years old as of 2016. The noticeable thing here is he was born two days after Valentine’s day. Think that might count for exceptionally romantic lyrics? We do!

3. 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.

4. 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.

5. 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."

6. 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.

7. 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.

8. 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?

9.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.

10. 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.

11. 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.”

12. 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.

13. 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.

14.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.

15. 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.

16. 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.

17. 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!

18.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.

19. 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.

20. 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.

Garrett Parker

Written by Garrett Parker

Garrett by trade is a personal finance freelance writer and journalist. With over 10 years experience he's covered businesses, CEOs, and investments. However he does like to take on other topics involving some of his personal interests like automobiles, future technologies, and anything else that could change the world.

Read more posts by Garrett Parker

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