2014 allan slaight honour recipient
Born Abel Tesfaye, The Weeknd gained popularity and critical acclaim through the online release of several mix tapes throughout 2011, including House of Balloons, Thursday and Echoes of Silence. In the same year, The Weeknd united with fellow Torontonian and 2011 Allan Slaight Honour recipient, Drake, for his sophomore album Take Care where he was featured on the hit track “Crew Love” and scored a songwriting and producer credit on the album for the following songs: “Shot for Me,” “Crew Love,” “Cameras/Good One Goes,” “Practice” and “The Ride.”
In 2012, The Weeknd entered into a partnership deal with Universal Republic and his own label, XO and released Trilogy, a re-mastered collection of his three previously released mix tapes, plus three new songs. In September of the following year, he released his first studio album, Kiss Land, which debuted at number two on the US Billboard 200 and No. 1 on iTunes. Kiss Land features the chart-topping track “Wanderlust”, which was recently remixed by Pharell.
On the heels of his album success, The Weeknd, an ASCAP Award winner, also garnered two JUNO Awards in 2013 for Breakthrough Artist of the Year and R&B/Soul Recording of the Year for the certified double platinum compilation album Trilogy; a Grammy Award for his work on Take Care, a Polaris Prize shortlist nomination for House of Balloons, and a Grammy nomination for “Remember You” with Wiz Khalifa. His single, “Wicked Games,” also reached platinum status. He has performed for Jules Holland, David Letterman, Jimmy Fallon and Jimmy Kimmel, was the highlight of Coachella and completed a successful Kiss Land tour that sold out London’s O2 Arena and two nights at The Greek and at Radio City Music Hall.
Born in Toronto, Ontario, he is currently preparing for a North American tour titled King of the Fall featuring sets from hip hop artist Schoolboy Q and singer-songwriter Jhenè Aiko.