Don't Know Who Abel Tesfaye Is? Yes, You Do

Canadian singer known as the Weeknd has started using his birth name on social media
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted May 15, 2023 9:39 AM CDT
The Weeknd Has Started to 'Kill the Weeknd'
The Weeknd performs at Coachella at the Empire Polo Club on April 21 in Indio, California.   (Photo by Amy Harris/Invision/AP)

The most popular singer on Earth (at least according to Guinness World Records stats) is on social media, but you might not recognize his accounts now—at least not until you get used to his new, actual moniker. The Weeknd, whose birth name is Abel Makkonen Tesfaye, is now going by Abel Tesfaye on both his Twitter and Instagram accounts, at least in terms of his display name as of Monday, reports CNN. His handles on both accounts remain "the Weeknd."

The 33-year-old sat down for an interview earlier this month with W Magazine in which he explained that he's phasing out his longtime alias. "It's getting to a place and a time where I'm getting ready to close the Weeknd chapter," he told the publication, calling it "a cathartic path" he was traveling. "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."

That includes saying goodbye to tunes made as the Weeknd, though the artist hints that he may have one more release in him under that label. "The album I'm working on now is probably my last hurrah as the Weeknd," he said. He didn't get into too much detail on why he's retiring his alter ego, but simply noted that he feels compelled to make the change. "This is something that I have to do," he said. "As the Weeknd, I've said everything I can say." (More the Weeknd stories.)

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