Canadian pop star The Weeknd changed his name on social media Monday to Abel Tesfaye, his birth name.
Tesfaye chose to keep his Instagram and Twitter handles as The Weeknd and made no changes to his Facebook account.
It’s unclear why Tesfaye, 33, made the switch. In an interview with W magazine this month, he said he is preparing to reinvent himself as a musician.
«I’m going through a cathartic path right now,» he told the 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 like Abel.» maybe like The Weeknd. But I still want to kill The Weeknd. And I’ll do it. Eventually. I’m definitely trying to shed that skin and be reborn.»
Tesfaye said that the album he is working on could be his «last hurrah as The Weeknd».
«This is something I have to do,» he said. «As The Weeknd, I’ve said all I can say.»
Tesfaye, the singer of «Blinding Lights» and «Die for You», was named the most popular artist in the world this year after analyzing Spotify data. Guinness World Records awarded Tesfaye the title, adding that set two records: Most monthly listeners on Spotify, 111.4 million as of March 20, and first artist to reach 100 million monthly listeners on Spotify.
Guinness credited Tesfaye’s growing streaming figures with the release of the «Die for You» remix featuring Ariana Grande, which went viral on TikTok.
The song was originally released as part of his «Starboy» album in 2016.
The only other solo male musician to have accomplished the feat is Michael Jackson, according to Guinness World Records.
Tesfaye and his team did not immediately respond to requests for comment.