The Weeknd has come a long way in just over a decade.
Born in Scarborough, Ontario, Abel Makkonen Tesfaye, known professionally as The Weeknd, became the first Canadian to headline the Super Bowl Halftime Show on Sunday.
The University of Toronto Scarborough campus posted a photo of the musician in 2008 at a talent show, holding a mic, next to one of him at the Super Bowl in 2021, with the caption: “how it started, how it’s going.”
how it started how it’s going pic.twitter.com/9fgWU0l2iz
— University of Toronto Scarborough (@UTSC) February 8, 2021
Toronto Mayor John Tory also commented on The Weeknd’s journey, praising and commending the star’s rise.
“Incredible performance by The Weeknd at the Super Bowl Pepsi Halftime Show. From Scarborough all the way to the world’s biggest stage. Making Toronto proud.”
From Scarborough all the way to the world’s biggest stage.
Making Toronto proud. pic.twitter.com/Tsc2tUJNb7
— John Tory (@JohnTory) February 8, 2021
Toronto’s love for the artist runs deep as February 7 was proclaimed “The Weeknd Day.”
“We celebrate The Weeknd as he becomes the first Canadian to headline a solo halftime show and only the third Canadian ever to perform live at one of the world’s most-watched events,” Tory tweeted.
“Millions of people will be watching him and cheering him on, but we know Scarborough, a community he continues to support, will be cheering the loudest!”
Even Prime Minister Justin Trudeau congratulated the Scarborough star, saying, “You’ve certainly earned it. Hope you heard all the cheers from back home.”
— Justin Trudeau (@JustinTrudeau) February 8, 2021
The musician’s international presence is palpable, but his Scarborough roots will always be rewarded.