The Weeknd Says He’ll Retire His Stage Name With Next Album
The Weeknd performs with Metro Boomin at the Sahara tent during the 2023 Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival on April 21, 2023 in Indio, California (Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images for Coachella).
The Weeknd is readying a new era. In a W Magazine cover story alongside The Idol co-star Lily-Rose Depp, the 4-time Grammy-winner shared that he’ll retire his longtime stage name.
“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,” the singer, legal name Abel Tesfaye, told W. “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.”
The 33-year-old went on to tease that his upcoming album could complete the trilogy following 2020’s After Hours and last year’s Dawn FM. “The album I’m working on now is probably my last hurrah as The Weeknd. This is something that I have to do. As The Weeknd, I’ve said everything I can say,” he said.
Tesfaye started his career in 2011, releasing now-classic mixtapes House of Balloons, Thursday, and Echoes of Silence, which were later compiled into his 2012 album Trilogy. Overall, he’s released five albums so far, including 2013’s Kiss Land, 2015’s Beauty Behind the Madness, and 2016’s Starboy.
This summer, Tesfaye will make his HBO breakout in Sam Levinson-created music drama The Idol, where he’ll play Tedros, a ‘self-help guru’ and cult leader. Although the show debuts on June 4, it received backlash for his controversial filming in a Rolling Stone article published in March. Tesfaye responded by calling the publication “irrelevant” and released a clip from the long-awaited series.
.@RollingStone did we upset you? pic.twitter.com/Uyx06lyRgx
— The Weeknd (@theweeknd) March 1, 2023