The Weeknd Reverts To His Real Name After ‘Killing Off’ Persona

The Weeknd announces a name change after 'killing off' his persona.
Credit: Alamy

The Weeknd has announced a name change after ‘killing off’ his persona.

The ‘Can’t Feel My Face’ singer, 33, is one of the biggest-selling artists of this century – with ‘Blinding Lights’ holding the record for the most streamed song on Spotify.

The Weeknd is also known for his hits such as ‘Heartless’, ‘Starboy’ and ‘I Feel It Coming’.

He has picked up a number of awards, including four Grammy Awards, 20 Billboard Music Awards and six American Music Awards.

The Weeknd has also bagged an Academy Award nomination for his song ‘Earned It’ – which was part of the Fifty Shades of Grey soundtrack.

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Along with making chart-topping songs, fans are attracted to the hidden messages scattered throughout his tracks, which adds to the mystique that surrounds his persona.

But it now seems that the ‘Call Out My Name’ artist is making a drastic change to his identity.

The Weeknd has announced that he will be using his real name – Abel Tesfaye – as he plans to ‘kill off’ his current persona.

He has since changed the name of his Twitter and Instagram accounts to his birth name.

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However, the handles to both of these accounts still remain The Weeknd.

The ‘Reminder’ singer announced the news during an interview with W Magazine – in which he said his upcoming album will be his ‘last hurrah’ as The Weeknd.

“I’m going through a cathartic path right now,” he told the publication.

“It’s getting to a place and a time where I’m getting ready to close the Weeknd chapter.

“I’ll still make music, maybe as Abel, maybe as The Weeknd.

“But I still want to kill The Weeknd. And I will. Eventually. I’m definitely trying to shed that skin and be reborn.”

‘The Hills’ singer added that he has ‘said everything’ he can say as The Weeknd.

The Weeknd
The Weeknd has announced he will be going by his birth name Abel Tesfaye after ‘killing off’ his persona. Credit: @theweeknd/Instagram

In a Reddit Ask Me Anything session, the ‘Call Out My Name’ singer revealed where the name The Weeknd came from.

He explained: “I left home when I was about 17 dropped out of high school and convinced Lamar to do the same lol. We grabbed our mattresses from our parents threw it in our friend’s s****y van and left one weekend and never came back home.

“I hated my name at the time though so I tried it as a stage name. It sounded cool. I took out the ‘e’ because there was already a Canadian band named the weekend.”

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After making small appearances in Uncut Gems, American Dad and The Simpsons, The Weeknd is set to star in his first leading role.

The Idol will see the ‘Save Your Tears’ singer act opposite Lily Rose-Depp in the HBO drama The Idol.

The series comes from Euphoria creator Sam Levinson and follows troubled popstar Jocelyn (Rose Depp) who forms a complex relationship with the cult leader and self-help guru Tedros (Tesfaye).

The Idol will be available to watch on HBO Max on June 4 in the US and Sky Atlantic on June 5 in the UK.

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Written by Rosario Monachino

Rosario is a content editor at IGV who specialises in film, TV and entertainment news. He has a degree in English and Film from the University of Salford and a masters in Journalism from Liverpool John Moores University.