The Weeknd reveals plan to ‘kill’ stage name after last album: ‘I’ve said everything I can say’

The Weeknd is done being The Weeknd.

Abel Tesfaye has performed under the monicker since 2009, winning four Grammy Awards and selling over 75 million records along the way.

In a new interview with W Magazine, the artist revealed his plans to ditch the alter-ego after one “last hurrah”.

“It’s getting to a place and a time where I’m getting ready to close the Weeknd chapter,” he said.

“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 continued: “The album I’m working on now is probably my last hurrah as The Weeknd. This is something that I have to do. As The Weeknd, I’ve said everything I can say.”

Tesfaye appeared in the interview alongside his costar Lily-Rose Depp in Sam Levinson’s forthcoming HBO drama, The Idol.

The Weeknd and Lily-Rose Depp in ‘The Idol’ (HBO)
The Weeknd and Lily-Rose Depp in ‘The Idol’ (HBO)

“Film and TV is a new creative muscle for me,” Tesfaye told W. “I don’t release my music until I think it is great. Why would this be any different?”

The series has already stoked controversy after a Rolling Stone investigation suggested that the series had gone “disgustingly off the rails”, citing a number of troubling claims about proposed storylines.

At the time, Tesfaye brushed off the report in a tweet mocking the publication.

In a statement sent to The Independent, HBO wrote: “The creators and producers of The Idol have been working hard to create one of HBO’s most exciting and provocative original programs. The initial approach on the show and production of the early episodes, unfortunately, did not meet HBO standards so we chose to make a change.”

Director Amy Seimetz departed the project in April 2022 and was replaced by Levinson after several of the episodes had already been shot.

HBO’s statement continued: “Throughout the process, the creative team has been committed to creating a safe, collaborative, and mutually respectful working environment, and last year, the team made creative changes they felt were in the best interest of both the production and the cast and crew. We look forward to sharing The Idol with audiences soon.”

The Idol premieres on HBO and Max on 4 June at 9pm in the US and is expected on Sky and NOW in the UK in the same month.