THR Names Music's 35 Top Hitmakers
This story first appeared in the Feb. 15 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine.
No label backing, no interviews, just a three-part series of heartfelt mix tapes that blurred his identity: That was how 22-year-old Canadian Abel Tesfaye, aka The Weeknd, caught the attention of fellow Torontonian Drake, who tweeted a link to Tesfaye's song "Wicked Games" in 2011 and in turn massively expanded his fanbase. Last year, Tesfaye returned the favor with a featured role, production and writing credits on Drake's "Crew Love" followed in short order by Wiz Khalifa's "Remember You." The up-and-comer also broke from the indie pack by signing with a major, Universal's Republic Records, and releasing his Trilogy album via his own label XO.Click here to read THR's complete Pop's Top 35 Hitmakers list.