Well, it depends on what you’re asking.
The Weeknd is involved in many projects besides his flourished musical career. In September 2020, The Weeknd (with fellow collaborators) launched Black Hxouse, a business incubator targeting BIPOC of Canada to foster creative business ventures for racial minorities.
What Happened to The Weeknd’s Personal Life?
The Weeknd was born as Abel Makkonen Tesfaye in Toronto, Ontario on February 16, 1990. While born in Toronto, he was raised in the neighborhood of Scarborough. After his parents divorced early in his life, Tesfaye was raised by his mother and grandmother. He never really had a strong connection with his father who he described as a good guy, but an absent father.
Throughout his childhood, The Weeknd experimented and sometimes abused an assortment of drugs including:
Sometimes, he’d even go so far as to steal from stores in order to pay for his habit.
The Weeknd never graduated from high school and moved out of his childhood home shortly thereafter. In 2010, The Weeknd met Jeremy Rose, a producer, and later that year was noticed by Drake. The rest is history.
The Weeknd’s Dating Life
In 2015, it is reported that Tesfaye started to date Bella Hadid, an aspiring American model who won Model of the Year in 2016. They dated for a couple of years, but due to their crazy schedules as busy superstars, they decided to end the relationship on amicable terms.
Over a year after Hadid and Tesfaye split, reports began to circulate that Tesfaye was dating Selena Gomez. In September 2017, the two music stars moved in together. Unfortunately, it didn’t seem to pan out for the couple as they broke up a month after starting a home life.
As The Weeknd doesn’t just jump from relationship to relationship, he didn’t see anyone else again for at least 6 months. Then, Bella Hadid showed up again, and the two have reportedly gone back and forth several times between dating, splitting up, and just talking.
What Happened to The Weeknd’s Career?
Before he was officially The Weeknd, Tesfaye worked under other various pseudonyms including Kin Kane and Noise.
After meeting producer Jeremy Rose in 2010, The Weeknd begin to really dig into his musical opportunities. The two collaborated on an album. Jeremy Rose played the music, and The Weeknd rapped over the tunes. Three songs did well, but the rest of the initial album was scrapped. These three songs, “What You Need,” “Loft Music,” and “The Morning,” all were eventually posted on YouTube.
He was recognized by Drake in Drake’s blog and received notice from both The New York Times and Pitchfork.
With no firm future planned, The Weeknd dropped his first mixtape entitled House of Balloons in March of 2011. It was such a great first album that he ended up being a nominee for the 2011 Polaris Music Prize which ultimately went to Arcade Fire that year.
As he toured throughout Toronto, someone was in the crowd. It was fellow Canadian, Drake. He approached Tesfaye and the two ended up working together. The Weeknd would open for Drake on Drake’s tour for a while and also help him with his Take Care album as a writer and featured rapper.
On an upward launch, The Weeknd released his second mixtape called Thursday as well as Echoes of Silence before 2011 finished. Together with his first mixtape, the three mixtapes together formed what is colloquially known as the Balloons Trilogy.
And, all of the offers from record labels started pouring in.
He ended up signing with Republic Records in 2012 (as a collab with his personal label called XO) and released Trilogy two months later. This was really more of a mixtape compilation and not a straight-up album.
Kiss Land was released in 2013 as his first official studio album.
From then on, The Weeknd collaborated with such stars as Justin Timberlake, Beyonce, and Sia and would release a song for The Hunger Games: Catching Fire soundtrack.
His other albums include:
- Beauty Behind the Madness
- After Hours
He also released another compilation album of mixtapes called The Weeknd in Japan in 2018.
The Weeknd’s Legal Troubles: What Happened?
When in Las Vegas in 2015, The Weeknd got into a scuffle at the Cromwell Hotel that lasted until the cops showed up. But, that didn’t stop the fight from continuing. As a cop grabbed The Weeknd to separate him from his rival, he allegedly punched the cop in the head.
Later in October, he attended his court date where he pleaded no contest. The judge ordered Tesfaye to:
- Complete a round of anger management
- Attend an evaluation for alcohol use
- Pay a $1000 grant to a fund for injured cops
Besides that incident, The Weeknd has stayed away from any conspicuous trouble.
But, many people have tried to sue him due to alleged copyright infringement problems with his music.
December 2015—Cutting Edge Music sues Tesfaye. In The Weeknd’s song “The Hills,” the bass line was questionable to Cutting Edge Music. It appeared to be very similar to a part of a composition that was part of the score for The Machine, a 2013 British movie.
Yasminah, who is a singer, songwriter, and poet of her own accord, sued both Daft Punk and The Weeknd for supposedly stealing a rhythm. As most do, Tesfaye denies these accusations of copyright infringement.
But it seems that that wasn’t the end of Tesfaye’s troubles. A British group of three won a $150,000 lawsuit against The Weeknd for plagiarization. Supposedly, The Weeknd’s song “A Lonely Night” is a plagiarized version of the British group’s song called “I Need Love.”
What Happened to The Weeknd’s Philanthropy?
Some of The Weeknd’s recent philanthropic endeavors include:
- Helping raise $500,000 for the MusiCares non-profit organization that helps musicians during times of financial need;
- Raising $500,000 more for the Scarborough Health Network to help front-line hospital workers in his hometown to battle the coronavirus epidemic;
- Donating $250,000 to Black Lives Matter;
- Donating $500,000 more to the National Bail Out, Know Your Rights Camp, and Black Lives Matter;
- Holding a concert as a fundraiser for the Equal Justice Initiative which ended up receiving $350,000 from The Weeknd.
As you can see, The Weeknd is very involved in his community. The latest event to happen for The Weeknd professionally and philanthropically is by his collab creation of Black Hxouse which helps BIPOC Canadians to achieve more in their professional lives. The goal is to help knock out the economic instability that BIPOC experience in Canada.
Black Hxouse has helped numerous individuals achieve success, and COVID-19 didn’t stop them. They offered e-learning classes and also raised funds to support any creative artist who may have lost income due to the economic results of the pandemic.
The Weeknd’s Got it Going On
Even though he battled drug abuse, The Weeknd ended up on top. His dark R&B and rap are praised for its insight and innovation, and his sweet falsettos keep your attention. You’ll continue to read about what is happening with The Weeknd for years to come.