No more The Weeknd: The Toronto music superstar now goes by his birth name

The Toronto-born music superstar told W Magazine he’s getting ready to wrap up the Weeknd chapter.

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Toronto-born music superstar The Weeknd has changed his name to Abel Tesfaye, his first name, on social media.

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The four-time Grammy winner has made the breakthrough Instagram And Twitter shortly after posting a photo of him being held by his mother as a child, although his username is still The Weeknd.

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It’s unclear why Tesfaye felt the need to make the change, but in an interview with W Magazine Earlier this month, the artist hinted that he’s “preparing to close the Weeknd chapter” to reinvent himself.

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“I’m on a cathartic path right now,” he told the publication. “I’m getting to a point and a time where I’m preparing 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. Ultimately. I’m definitely trying to shed that skin and be reborn.”

He added that his upcoming album is “probably my last hooray as The Weeknd.”

“It’s something I have to do. As The Weeknd, I’ve said all I can say,” Tesfaye said.

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The update comes ahead of the Cannes premiere of Tesfaye’s TV show the idol at the prestigious film festival later this month.

The HBO series is about pop star Jocelyn (Lily-Rose Depp) who falls under the spell of self-help guru and cult leader Tedros (Tesfaye).

“Abel came to us with a suggestion,” said co-creator Sam Levinson W Magazine. “He said something I’ll always remember: ‘If I wanted to start a cult, I could do it.’

Lily-Rose Depp and The Weeknd in The Idol.
Lily-Rose Depp and The Weeknd in The Idol. Photo by HBO Max

“What he meant was that his fans were so loyal and devoted that they would follow him anywhere,” Levinson added. “That was the seed of the idea the idol: What happens when a pop star falls in love with the wrong guy and no one says anything?

Tesfaye told W Magazine that playing the character could cause him to lose his voice and had to cancel a concert in Los Angeles last year.

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“I had to take off the Weeknd outfit, put on Tedros’ wig, take pictures with Jocelyn and then be the Weeknd again,” the singer said. “It was hard going from one head to another. Then, after the concert, I lost my voice. No voice came out at all. That has never happened before.”

Tesfaye surmised that he forgot to sing because he was “playing a character who can’t sing.”

“I may be delving too deeply into this, but it was terrifying. As The Weeknd, I’ve never missed a concert. I showed up with the flu. I will die on this stage. But at that moment something very complicated went through my mind.”


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