Abel Tesfaye, known professionally as The Weeknd, has made a significant change on his social media platforms by reverting back to his real name.
This comes after the artist recently expressed his intention to “kill off” his music persona.
For the past 12 years, the 33-year-old singer has been recognized as The Weeknd, but he revealed his plans to drop the name following the release of his next album.
Now, he has updated his username to his birth name, Abel Tesfaye, on his Twitter and Instagram accounts, among others.
The decision to adopt the moniker “The Weeknd” stemmed from a pivotal moment in his life. The artist, who has won four Grammy awards, disclosed that the name originated from a time when he dropped out of school, took his mattress, and “left one weekend and never came home.” The missing “e” in the name was to avoid copyright conflicts with an existing Canadian band called The Weekend.
As news of the name change spread, fans took to social media to express their mixed reactions. Some shared their excitement for the new chapter, with one tweet stating, “going to miss the Weeknd 🙁 but I’m excited for Abel.” Others remained steadfast in their allegiance to the name “The Weeknd,” while one lightheartedly quipped, “anything but The Weekday.”
In an interview with W Magazine, the artist explained his desire to “kill off” his music persona, signaling a personal and creative transition. Abel, who was previously in relationships with Bella Hadid and Selena Gomez, stated, “I’m going through a cathartic path right now. It’s getting to a place and a time where I’m getting ready to close the Weeknd chapter.” He added that he will still continue making music, potentially under his real name or as The Weeknd.
Born Abel Makkonen Tesfaye, the artist rose to fame as The Weeknd with the release of his 2016 album “Starboy.” However, he expressed his resolve to move away from the moniker, stating, “I still want to kill The Weeknd. And I will. Eventually. I’m definitely trying to shed that skin and be reborn.”
Abel believes that his upcoming album will serve as his final hurrah as The Weeknd, as he feels he has already said everything he needed to say under that persona.
The dual life of being both The Weeknd and Abel the actor has taken a toll on his health. Abel spoke candidly about the challenges he faced, mentioning how he had to switch between identities, such as donning Tedros’s wig for acting roles and then transforming back into The Weeknd.
This strain was evident when he lost his voice after a concert, which had never happened before. Reflecting on the experience, he speculated that the transition between characters affected his singing ability. Despite his commitment to performing even with the flu, he acknowledged the complexity of his mindset during that time.
Acting has presented its own set of difficulties for the artist. He shared his dedication to the role in The Idol, even at the cost of his health and personal life. Regardless of the outcome, Abel emphasized that he had given his absolute best, saying, “So, let’s say it comes out and it’s f***ing horrible. I still know I did my absolute best.” He expressed satisfaction knowing that he took risks and approached the project with his all.
Fans can anticipate seeing Abel Tesfaye, now known as The Weeknd, in HBO’s upcoming project, The Idol, alongside Lily-Rose Depp, set to be released on June 4.