After three years since his last full-length album, The Weeknd decided to have a heart and give his fans a taste of what is presumably his next record. The 29-year-old singer, born Abel Tesfaye, released “Heartless” on Nov. 26. Abel is a single man again after reportedly breaking up — for a second time — with model Bella Hadid, 23, in August, and so he declares in his new track, “And I’m back to my ways ’cause I’m heartless.” While that may sound like a line from a classic post-breakup, “I Don’t Fuck With Y**” type of track, The Weeknd just has a tortured soul. Hence, we pick right back up with the bittersweet vibes he delivered in his 2018 EP My Dear Melancholy, to listeners’ delight. Fans are thanking Bella and Selena Gomez, 27, for that.
“I would like to thank Bella Hadid & Selena Gomez for breaking The Weeknd’s heart cause it makes for good music 😊😊😊😊,” one fan tweeted immediately after the song’s release, while another wrote, “Abel back with the haunted strip club music thanks bella for breaking his heart again so i can have this 😌 he belongs to the streets again n i luv it #heartless.”
Some fans think Abel even dedicated a verse to Bella, which did seem to hint at an on-again, off-again romance (AKA, Abel and Bella’s entire romance). “You just came back in my life / You never gave up on me (Why don’t you?) / I’ll never know what you see (Why won’t you?),” read the lyrics that one fan tweeted, who wrote, “The Weeknd heartless lyrics… it better be Bella Hadid 😒.” That echoed the thoughts of another fan, who tweeted, “Bella got a whole different flow/lines on heartless damn.”
We can see the (possible) source material of Abel’s new track, since there have been some lows to go with the highs in his romantic life. In 2015, Abel began dating Bella after they were spotted together at that year’s Coachella. They split in November 2016, beginning an on-again/off-again love affair that would last to this day. During one of the “off-again” periods, Abel struck up a romance with Selena in 2017.
For ten months, it seemed as if “Abelena” was the new “Jelena,” but it was not to be. They called it quits in October 2017, right around the time she was seen hanging out with Justin Bieber. Selena would seemingly inspire the song “Call My Name,” off of My Dear Melancholy, in which he sings, “I said I didn’t feel nothing, baby, but I lied / I almost cut a piece of myself for your life / Guess I was just another pit stop / ‘Til you made up your mind / You just wasted my time.” And then, boom — Abel was back by Bella’s side in the summer of 2018, but alas, they were reportedly broken up right before fall arrived in 2019.
The Weeknd heartless lyrics… it better be Bella Hadid 😒 pic.twitter.com/6r8QB3t4kQ
— 🕷 (@sarahggmorgan) November 27, 2019
It’s been nearly ten years since Abel uploaded several songs to YouTube under the name “The Weeknd,” per All Music, thus kicking off a career that would result in three Grammys, eight Billboard Music Awards, and an Academy Award nomination. Since then, The Weeknd has three chart-topping albums – 2015’s Beauty Behind the Madness, 2016’s Starboy and 2018’s My Dear Melancholy – and three No. 1 singles. In 2015, he became the first artist to hold the top three positions on the Billboard Hot R&B Songs chart with “Can’t Feel My Face,” “Earned It,” and “The Hills.”
“I think the stars definitely did align for me,” he told Time magazine in 2018 about Beauty Behind the Madness, which sold more than 2 million copies, earned him a Grammy Award and got him nominated for an Oscar for Best Original Song (“Earned It”). “Even though we put a lot of hard work into it, I just feel like it was right place, right time,” Abel added.
That, for the most part, was all that fans have heard of The Weeknd since March 2018. He showed up on Travis Scott’s Astroland, collaborated with French DJ Gesaffelstein on “Lost In The Fire,” and worked with Scott and SZA on a For The Throne: Music Inspired by the HBO Series Game of Thrones. Now, he’s poised for an epic comeback, one that may cement him as one of the voices of this new decade.