Abel Tesfaye (born February 16, 1990), better known by his stage name The Weeknd, is an R&B Canadian-Ethiopian recording artist and record producer from Toronto. He began recording songs under The Weeknd and uploading them to YouTube in late 2010, though the identity of the individual behind the project was initially unknown. In March 2011, The Weeknd released a nine-song free album, House of Balloons which was critically acclaimed. The title track is based on a sample of Siouxsie and the Banshees' hit single "Happy House. The first album is a part of a trilogy which includes Thursday released in August of the same year and Echoes of Silence issued in December. In June, House of Balloons was named as one of ten shortlisted nominees of 2011 Polaris Music Prize but eventually lost to Arcade Fire's The Suburbs. On December 21, 2011 at 11:07 p.m. EST Tesfaye released his highly anticipated third mixtape Echoes of Silence.
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