Last week after announcing plans to kill off his stage persona The Weeknd, Abel Tesfaye has done just that.
The star has updated his social media accounts to reflect his birth name, rather than his artistic moniker. Tesfaye says the change is part of a broader plan to completely kill ‘The Weeknd’ in a recent interview. “I’m going through a cathartic path right now,” the singer shares with W magazine.
“It’s getting to a place and a time where I’m getting ready to close The Weeknd chapter. 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,” he continues, reflecting on the past and what could be the last song for The Weeknd.
“The album I’m working on now is probably my last hurrah as The Weeknd,” the singer continues. “This is something that I have to do. As The Weeknd, I’ve said everything I can say.” During the same interview, he spoke about his upcoming HBO series The Idol and how it was pitched to the network. Sam Levison weighs in, adding a detail about how the pop star pitched the show to him.
“Abel came to us with a pitch. He said something that I’ll always remember: ‘If I wanted to start a cult, I could.’ What he meant is that his fans were so loyal and devoted that they would follow him anywhere. That was the germ of the idea for The Idol: what happens when a pop star falls for the wrong guy and no one speaks up.”
The Idol will premiere on HBO on June 4 after undergoing several re-writes and creative changes. According to Deadline, the show was overhauled in April 2022 after Tesfaye was reportedly unhappy with the focus on the female perspective of the narrative. HBO commented on the changes.
“The initial approach on the show and production of the early episodes did not meet HBO standards, so we chose to make a change,” an HBO spokesperson said. “Last year, the team made creative changes that felt were in the best interest of the production and the cast and crew.”