The Weeknd is one of the most popular and successful artists of the 21st century, with multiple Grammy Awards, Billboard Hot 100 hits, and record-breaking achievements. His music is often compared to that of Michael Jackson, the legendary “King of Pop” who influenced generations of musicians with his iconic style, voice, and dance moves. But is there any blood relation between the two stars? The answer is no, they are not related by family ties, but they do share some similarities and connections in their musical careers.
The Weeknd’s vocal inspiration
The Weeknd, whose real name is Abel Tesfaye, has always been vocal about his admiration for Michael Jackson. He once said that Jackson was his “first and foremost” vocal inspiration, and that he learned how to sing falsetto by listening to his album Off the Wall. He also revealed that he used to imitate Jackson’s voice and mannerisms as a child, and that he was obsessed with his music videos and performances.
The Weeknd has paid tribute to Jackson several times in his songs and shows. He covered Jackson’s hit “Dirty Diana” in his 2011 mixtape Echoes of Silence, and later performed it live at his concerts. He also sampled Jackson’s vocals in his song “D.D.”, and referenced him in his lyrics for “Can’t Feel My Face” and “In the Night”. He even collaborated with Quincy Jones, Jackson’s longtime producer, for a remake of “Don’t Stop ‘Til You Get Enough” for the 2016 documentary Michael Jackson’s Journey from Motown to Off the Wall.
The Weeknd’s record-breaking achievements
The Weeknd has also followed in Jackson’s footsteps by breaking several records in the music industry. He is the only male soloist with multiple Hot 100 No. 1s from three or more albums, a feat that Jackson achieved with Thriller, Bad, and Dangerous. He also holds the record for the highest-grossing tour in history by a Black artist, surpassing Jackson’s Bad tour with his After Hours Till Dawn tour that made more than $350 million in revenue. He has also won 10 Grammy Awards, including three in 2022 for his album After Hours.
The Weeknd has also made history by performing at the Super Bowl halftime show in 2021, becoming the first Canadian solo artist to do so. He delivered a stunning performance that featured his hit songs such as “Blinding Lights”, “Starboy”, and “I Feel It Coming”. He also paid homage to Jackson by wearing a red jacket similar to the one Jackson wore in his Thriller video, and by incorporating some of his signature dance moves into his choreography.
The Weeknd’s musical evolution
The Weeknd has also shown a similar musical evolution to Jackson, as he has experimented with different genres and styles throughout his career. He started out as an underground R&B artist who sang about dark and explicit themes such as drugs, sex, and violence. He then transitioned into a mainstream pop star who embraced a more upbeat and catchy sound that appealed to a wider audience. He has also explored elements of rock, disco, funk, soul, and synth-pop in his music, creating a diverse and eclectic discography.
The Weeknd has also changed his image and appearance over the years, just like Jackson did. He used to have a distinctive hairstyle that featured long dreadlocks that he called his “signature look”. He then shocked his fans by cutting off his hair and adopting a more clean-cut look for his album Starboy. He later sported a fake bandaged face and prosthetic makeup for his album After Hours, as part of an artistic statement about Hollywood’s obsession with beauty and fame.
The Weeknd’s musical legacy
The Weeknd is not related to Michael Jackson by blood, but he is certainly related by spirit. He has inherited Jackson’s musical talent, influence, and legacy, and he has continued to honor him through his own work. He has also established himself as one of the most innovative and influential artists of his generation, who has pushed the boundaries of music and art. He is not trying to be Michael Jackson, but he is definitely worthy of being called the new king of pop.