These Secrets About The Weeknd Will Give You A Deeper Appreciation For the “Starboy” Singer

Watch: The Weeknd Calls Out Recording Academy After Grammys Snub

This may be the weekend that The Weeknd takes it all.

The singer, real name Abel Tesfaye, is the most-nominated artist at this year's Billboard Music Awards, where he is up for a whopping 17 trophies, including Top Hot 100 Artist, Top Collaboration for his single "Save Your Tears" with Ariana Grande and Top R&B Album for his dreamy fifth record Dawn FM. 

Known for his flawless falsetto, despondent lyrics, and slow-grooving backbeats, the 32-year-old from Toronto, Canada, has wowed listeners for over a decade now with a seemingly never-ending string of hits such as, "Wicked Games," "Blinding Lights," "Call Out My Name," "I Can't Feel My Face" and, most recently, "Out of Time." 

He's performed his own halftime show at the Super Bowl. He's written songs for artists including Kanye West and Lana Del Rey. He has romanced Bella Hadid and Selena Gomez

Now, ahead of the Billboard Music Awards, it's officially time for Starboy to shine once again.

photos30 Fascinating Facts About The Weeknd

With 19 Billboard Music Awards already under his belt, we'll have to wait and see just how many more he'll add to his already-impressive collection when the awards ceremony airs live on NBC from the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas on May 15 at 8 p.m. EST/5 p.m. PST.

Until then, catch up on everything there is to know about the "Save Your Tears" singer below.  

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1. Born Abel Makkonen Tesfaye, he initially wanted to use The Weekend as a stage name. But an already existent Ontario rock band forced him to make a slight edit.

2. Emigrating from Ethiopia in the late 1980s, his parents Makkonen Tesfaye and Samra Tesfaye landed in Toronto. Never married, they split up and he and his mom shared a tiny apartment with his grandmother in the city suburb of Scarborough.

3. As a kid, he learned Amharic before English, still speaking it to this day.

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4. He also remains a huge fan of Ethiopian food: "It's the best, man," he told Rolling Stone in 2015. "But it's very fattening. I think I'm still burning off that fat, to be honest. For an Ethiopian mother, if you have a chubby kid, it means you're doing something good."

5. With his dad not around ("I saw him vaguely when I was six, and then again when I was 11 or 12, and he had a new family and kids," he told Rolling Stone), his mom "was working three, four jobs," he recalled to The Guardian in 2016. "Single-mother jobs. The way you see in the movies."


6. He, on the other hand, felt quite lonely, desperate for a sibling. "But I didn't want a sister," he told the outlet, "I wanted a brother."

7. He told Rolling Stone he first approached on-again, off-again love Bella Hadid to collaborate: "I actually asked her to be on the artwork for Beauty Behind the Madness," he said. "My motive was literally to work with her." When she declined, "I was like, 'All right, cool—we can meet up face to face.' It just kind of fell into my lap."

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