What Is The Weeknd's Real Name? It Has Nothing To Do With The Days Between Friday & Monday

I don't know what it is, but something about The Weeknd has always seemed mysterious to me. Was I the only one who had no idea that he was actually just a solo artist and not a band? I had no idea until I saw him perform live on some TV show for the first time and was totally shocked. Another mystery attached to this dude is his real name, which is obviously not The Weeknd (unless, you know, he has the coolest, most hipster parents ever). And before The Weekend performs at the 2015 VMAs this Sunday, Aug. 30, it's time to clear that particular question up. After a little bit of research, I discovered that The Weeknd's real name is Abel Tesfaye, and it has nothing to do with the stage name he picked for himself.

So yeah, for most of his life, The Weeknd did go by Abel, until he decided to try for a career in the music industry. And the way he got his nickname is actually a pretty cool story, which he explained in a Reddit AMA last year. In fact, it's pretty symbolic of how his career got its start. In reply to a fan who asked where the name came from, he said:

I left home when I was about 17 dropped out of high school and convinced Lamar to do the same lol. We grabbed our mattresses from our parents threw it in our friends sh*tty van and left one weekend and never came back home. It was gonna be the title of HOB [House of Balloons, his debut mixtape]. I hated my name at the time though so I tried it as a stage name. It sounded cool. I took out the "e" because there was already a canadian band named the weekend (copyright issues).

It's OK, The Weeknd (Mr. Weeknd? Abel? How do I address you?). We all go through a period in our lives where we hate our own names, like the time Stephanie wanted everyone to call her Dawn on Full House . I get that. And while I doubt his music would be any less loved if he did end up going by Abel professionally, I get that he wanted a change, too.

After all, if you're going to have a stage name, it might as well be something everybody loves, and everyone loves weekends. I can't blame the guy. And it got him to this point, when he's performing on the VMAs, right? A+ stage name choosing, bro. A+.