The Weeknd (born Abel Makkonen Tesfaye; February 16, 1990) is a Canadian singer, songwriter, and record producer. The Weeknd initially gained recognition after anonymously uploading several songs to YouTube in late 2010. This allowed him to release of his debut mixtape, House of Balloons, in early 2011. He released two further independent projects later that year, Thursday and Echoes of Silence, before signing to Republic Records in September 2012.
The three mixtapes received widespread critical acclaim upon release, and proceeded the release of the compilation album Trilogy. In 2013, he released his debut studio album Kiss Land, which debuted at number two on the Billboard 200. It was later confirmed to have sold over 273,000 copies in the United States.
The Weeknd released his second album, Beauty Behind the Madness, in 2015, breaking chart records in the process. It saw him become the first ever artist to have simultaneously held the top three spots on the Billboard Hot R&B Songs chart, with "Earned It", "The Hills", and "Can't Feel My Face". It also became his first number one album on the US Billboard 200, and saw triple platinum certification by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA). The album additionally oversaw his first Grammy Award win for Best Urban Contemporary Album, as well as "Earned It" winning Best R&B Performance. He won both awards at the 58th Annual Grammy Awards ceremony in 2016.
He released his third studio album, Starboy, in 2016 to generally positive critical reception. The album's title track topped the chart in several countries, including the U.S., the UK and Canada, and became The Weeknd's third number-one single. It gave him his second consecutive number one album, which also later saw platinum certification.
Alongside his Grammy Award wins, The Weeknd has won nine Juno Awards and two American Music Awards. He has also founded the record label XO, and is a producer under both his given and stage names.