Since breaking into the music scene, The Weeknd, a.k.a. Abel Makonnen Tesfaye, has attained mainstream popularity while still maintaining the mysterious persona fans first fell for during his early career. Since releasing music anonymously in 2010, the Toronto-born singer garnered a following for his somber lyrics in songs like "High for This" and "Coming Down," which touch on substance abuse issues, a concept further referenced in his "XO" embossed merch.
However, like his hair, the once strictly R&B, now fully pop, artist has evolved his lyrics to also deal with matters of the heart, chronicling his past relationships with supermodel Bella Hadid and singer Selena Gomez. Recently, the singer took to the Super Bowl LV Halftime Show stage to perform songs from his newest album, After Hours, which features his record-breaking hit "Blinding Lights." Despite the single topping the charts longer than any other song (surpassing the Goo Goo Dolls' "Iris" which held for 18 weeks), The Weeknd was effectively shut out by the Grammys this year. Rumours circulated that he was given an ultimatum between performing at the Super Bowl or the Grammys, which were originally scheduled just a week apart until the award show was postponed due to COVID-19 restrictions. However, prior to the schedule change, when he chose to do the Halftime Show, officials for the Grammys allegedly made the decision to preclude him from inclusion in this year's nominations. Neither party has confirmed these allegations, but many fans continue to claim injustice on his part.
While he may not be receiving a golden gramophone this year, in honor of the artist's 31st birthday, L'OFFICIEL takes a look at 10 facts you should know about The Weeknd.