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The Story Behind The Weeknd's Stage Name And Why There's A Missing 'E'

Jess Hardiman

| Last updated 

The Story Behind The Weeknd's Stage Name And Why There's A Missing 'E'

The Weeknd has managed become one of the world's best-selling artists, having gone from being a homeless 'street kid' in Toronto to a headline Super Bowl act - all before his 31st birthday on Tuesday (16 February).

But while many of us may be familiar with his incredible rise to fame, not everyone knows about his stage name - and why there's an 'e' missing.

The singer, whose real name is Abel Makkonen Tesfaye, once revealed in a Reddit AMA he'd wanted to introduce a professional pseudonym as he 'hated' his real name.

Credit: PA
Credit: PA

Replying to a fan in the thread seven years ago, Tesfaye wrote: "I left home when I was about 17 dropped out of high school and convinced La Mar [Taylor, creative director of The Weeknd and XO crew member] to do the same lol.

"We grabbed our mattresses from our parents threw it in our friends s****y van and left one weekend and never came back home. It was gonna be the title of HOB.

"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 (copyright issues)."

Tesfaye has since spoken out about his experiences growing up, describing himself as a 'street kid' growing up in the Toronto suburb of Scarborough.

Speaking to Variety last year in an interview marking his 30th birthday, he recalled: "It was tough growing up where I was from.

Credit: PA
Credit: PA

"I got into a lot of trouble, got kicked out of school, moved to different schools and finally dropped out.

"I really thought film was gonna be my way out, but I couldn't really make a movie to feel better, you know?

"Music was very direct therapy; it was immediate and people liked it. It definitely saved my life."

More recently, of course, things could not be more different, as the star recently took the headline slot for a compelling half time show during the 55th staging of the Super Bowl.

In the wake of his performance, many fans praised his 'phenomenal' ascent from such humble beginnings, with one tweeting: "The Weeknd's trajectory has really been incredible to witness.

"In a decade he went from homeless high school dropout to one of the biggest artists in the world playing music from his debut mixtape at the Superbowl. Legend."

Another added: "U gotta give it up for the weeknd, dude went from being homeless, to dropping a viral mixtape on soundcloud, to being a superstar singer that eventually performed at the Super Bowl."

Featured Image Credit: PA

Topics: Entertainment, Celebrity, Music

Jess Hardiman
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