Canadian pop star The Weeknd says he will no longer go by The Weeknd, instead reverting to his birth name, Abel Tesfaye, on his social media accounts.
The name change came after the Grammy-winning artist revealed to W Magazine that he wanted to “kill The Weeknd.”
“I’m going through a cathartic path right now,” he said. “It’s getting to a place and time where I’m getting ready to close The Weeknd chapter.”
“As the Weeknd, I’ve said everything I can say.”
Tesfaye, 33, became famous after he uploaded songs to YouTube in 2010 and Canadian rapper Drake posted them to his personal blog, launching his professional career.
As of March, Tesfaye had 111.4 million monthly listeners on Spotify.
Tesfaye said the end of The Weeknd has been coming over the past few months.
He told Variety that he cut short a concert in Los Angeles in September because he lost his voice and “forgot how to sing.”
“I don’t know what just happened… but I just lost my voice,” the singer told the crowd at the concert. “This is killing me, I don’t want to stop the show but I can’t give you the concert I want to give you right now. I’m gonna make sure everybody’s good — you’ll get your money back — I’ll do a show real soon for you guys. But I wanted to come out and personally apologize.”
He said his role in “The Idol,” an upcoming HBO series, could have been responsible for his lost voice.
“I had to take off the Weeknd outfit, put on Tedros’s (his character in “The Idol”) wig, shoot with Jocelyn, then go back to being the Weeknd,” the singer said. “It was tough to go from one head to another. Then, after the concert, I lost my voice. No voice came out at all. That’s never happened before.
“My theory is that I forgot how to sing because I was playing Tedros, a character who doesn’t know how to sing,” he added. “I may be looking too deeply into this, but it was terrifying. As the Weeknd, I’ve never skipped a concert. I’ve performed with the flu. I’ll die on that stage. But there was something very complicated going on with my mind at that moment.”
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