Ethiopia's The Weekend Reaches a Career Milestone
Ethiopian-Canadian artist Abel Tesfaye (aka The Weeknd) is set to release a greatest hits album titled - 'The Highlights' this week.
For the fast growing bestselling artist, his stardom has grown since he moved from his base in Scarborough, in the suburbs of Toronto a decade ago to the United States looking for an opportunity that seemed rare in Canada. Since then, he has released bestselling albums, toured the world and is on the verge of appearing in the latest edition of the Super-balls half time performance where rare artists such as Madonna, Jennifer Lopez and Michael Jackson made appearances in the past.
The artist has been generous to Ethiopian causes, donating to his local Orthodox church in Toronto and to the Ethiopian Studies Institute at the University of Toronto worth 50,000 Canadian dollars. Most recently, he donated 300,000 USD to Lebanon, for victims of a major blast that affected thousands of people.
He was expected to visit Ethiopia last year for a rare performance and for a potential charity support however according to sources, he was forced to cancel due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Among his fans is current Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau who featured him as a special guest during his state visit to Washington DC. A product of a single mother, a professional chef, he was raised by his late grandmother.
He counts among his musical influences, artist Aster Awake and Ethiopia's modern father of Jazz, Mulatu Astatke which he has said he grew up listening to at home and credits for the partial influence of his music. Mulatu has expressed his willingness for a musical collaboration in the past.