Canadian pop star The Weeknd on Monday changed his name on social media to Abel Tesfaye, his birth name.
Tesfaye opted to keep his handles on Instagram and Twitter as The Weeknd, and made no changes to his Facebook at all.
It’s not clear why the 33-year-old artist made the change, but in an interview with W Magazine earlier this month, Tesfaye said that he’s “getting ready to close the Weeknd chapter” and 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 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.”
Tesfaye went on to say that the album he’s currently working on might be his “last hurrah as The Weeknd.”
“This is something that I have to do,” he said. “As The Weeknd, I’ve said everything I can say.”
Earlier this year, the “Blinding Lights” and “Die for You” singer was named the most popular artist in the world following analysis of Spotify data. Guinness World Records awarded Tesfaye with the title, adding that he 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.
The record-keeping site credited Tesfaye’s surging 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 the musician’s Starboy album in 2016.
The only other solo male musician to achieve this record is Michael Jackson, according to Guinness World Records.
Tesfaye and his team did not immediately respond to requests for comment.