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The Weeknd 'kills' his stage name - and wants to be 'reborn'

The artist - formerly known as The Weeknd - performing at Cpachella in April
The artist - formerly known as The Weeknd - performing at Cpachella in April Copyright Invision / AP Photo
Copyright Invision / AP Photo
By Saskia O'Donoghue
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The record-breaking Canadian singer has changed his moniker to his birth name Abel Tesfaye across social media, after saying he wants to be 'reborn'.

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Chart-topping singer The Weeknd has announced he wants to “kill” his stage name and “be reborn”.

The 33-year-old has changed his moniker across his social media accounts to Abel Tesfaye, his birth name, after performing as ‘The Weeknd’ since 2009.

Instagram / @theweeknd
The Weeknd's Instagram account - with his new display name Abel Tesfaye on showInstagram / @theweeknd

Speaking to W Magazine earlier this month, the Canadian hinted at the change, explaining, “It’s getting to a place and a time where I’m getting ready to close The Weeknd chapter”. He insisted that the change isn’t a retirement announcement, saying, “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.”

Tesfaye also announced that the album he’s currently working on is his “last hurrah” and that “as The Weeknd, I’ve said everything I can say”.

Copyright 2021 The AP
The Weeknd performing in 2021 at the Super Bowl halftime show in FloridaCopyright 2021 The AP

The performer has had extraordinary success under his stage name - and, in March, Guinness World Records announced that he’s statistically the most popular musician on the planet. That month, he became the first ever artist on the streaming platform to reach 100 million monthly listeners and had the most monthly listeners on Spotify for March, with 111.4 million as of 20 March.

He’s also performed all over the world, including at the iconic Super Bowl Half Time show, and boasts the most streamed Spotify song of all time ‘Blinding Lights’, which has racked up more than 3.565 billion plays since its 2019 release.

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