Canadian-born artist The Weeknd took home the bragging rights at the BET Awards 2022 after being crowned “Best Male R&B/Pop Artist” beating out several talented acts, including industry veteran Chris Brown, and rising stars Blxst, Givēon, Lucky Daye, Wizkid, and Yung Bleu. Though the singer was not in attendance to accept his award, his presence was most definitely missed. In honor of his big win, we’ve tracked five facts we think you should know about this year’s winner.
Many fans would be surprised to learn that the 3-time Grammy Award-winner considers English his third language. While talking to Variety, the “Blinding Lights” singer opened up about his upbringing growing up in a multicultural neighborhood on the outskirts of Toronto, Ca. “Ethiopian — Amharic — was the first language I learned to form sentences in because my grandma, who raised me with my mom, would not speak English,” he told the outlet. “Because of television and being in Canada, I learned English too, but I went to French-immersion school, where you’d get in trouble for speaking English, and I couldn’t speak it to my grandma, so it’s almost like English is my third language, even though now it’s my first.”
Jim Carrey inspired him to become a performer
During a vintage interview, The Weeknd revealed his unique connection to actor Jim Carrey and how the Golden Globe-winning inspired him to become a performer. After seeing Carrey’s hit 1994 film The Mask, the singer said he was blown away. Nearly three decades later, they met after being introduced via text.
They soon found out that they lived in the same neighborhood, and on his 30th birthday, Carrey took the Super Bowl Halftime performer out for breakfast. “It was surreal,” he told reporters. “Jim Carrey was my first inspiration to be any kind of performer, and I went to breakfast with him on my first day of being 30.”
He didn’t finish high school
Like many artists, The Weeknd didn’t finish his high school journey before becoming a global superstar. At 17, he reportedly convinced his best friend La Mar Taylor to drop out along with him. The pair moved into a one-bedroom apartment where they experienced wild nights filled with various vices.
He stays relatively out of the spotlight
When he’s not delivering critically acclaimed projects such as After Hours, The Weeknd stays relatively out of the spotlight, more often than not, steering clear away from interviews. "We live in an era when everything is so excessive, I think it's refreshing for everybody to be like, 'Who the f-ck is this guy?'" he told GQ. "I think that's why my career is going to be so long: Because I haven't given people everything." He also isn’t afraid to admit that he’s timid—another reason why fans don’t see many interviews.
He hated his Coachella debut
The musician told Rolling Stone that the popular Coachella festival was his first performance in the states, but while fans might’ve had a great time, the singer stated: “I thought I did good, then I watched the tape, and it was a nightmare.”