First appeared in News Break
By Aron Solomon
On Monday, Abel Makkonen Tesfaye, widely known as The Weeknd, announced that he has officially changed his online presence to reflect his birth name.
His Twitter and Instagram accounts now display his real name instead of his stage name. In an interview with W Magazine published on May 8, Tesfaye explained that this change is part of a larger plan to “kill The Weeknd” and embark on a new chapter.
Tesfaye expressed his current journey as a cathartic one, explaining that he is preparing to close the chapter of The Weeknd. He will continue making music, possibly under his real name or potentially still as The Weeknd, but he is determined to shed the persona of The Weeknd and undergo a personal rebirth.
Moreover, Tesfaye hinted that his upcoming album might serve as The Weeknd’s farewell. He stated that this project will likely be his final hurrah as The Weeknd because he feels he has already conveyed everything he wanted to say under that persona.
If you’ve also been considering changing your legal name, it can be a straightforward process, but it’s important to familiarize yourself with the specific requirements in your state. While the details may differ, the general steps for a name change include selecting a new name, gathering necessary documents, submitting a name change application, and notifying relevant government agencies.
To begin, choose the new name you wish to adopt. Ensure that the name meets legal requirements, such as not infringing on trademarks or causing confusion. Once you have decided on a name, it’s time to collect the required documentation.
The necessary documents typically include a name change form, an order to show cause (a legal document explaining why you want to change your name), and a decree (a court order) to legally change your name. You may also need to provide supporting evidence of your current legal name, such as a valid Social Security card, birth certificate, and driver’s license or other government-issued photo ID.
While the process of changing your name is usually straightforward, there may be additional steps depending on your state’s regulations. For instance, some states may require you to publish a notice of your name change in a local newspaper as part of the process.
Residency requirements for name changes vary across states. Some states mandate that you file the name change request in court, while others have different procedures. It’s crucial to research and understand the specific requirements in your state.
Name changes are relatively common, with people opting for a change due to marriage, divorce, or personal preference. In fact, according to a 2016 study conducted by the Social Security Administration, around 88,000 name changes were processed in the United States that year alone.
As Michael Epstein, a New Jersey lawyer, reminds us: “Because the process may vary based on your location, it’s important to consult your state’s official resources or seek legal advice to ensure a smooth name change process.”
About Aron Solomon
A Pulitzer Prize-nominated writer, Aron Solomon, JD, is the Chief Legal Analyst for Esquire Digital and the Editor-in-Chief for Today’s Esquire. He has taught entrepreneurship at McGill University and the University of Pennsylvania, and was elected to Fastcase 50, recognizing the top 50 legal innovators in the world. Aron has been featured in Forbes, CBS News, CNBC, USA Today, ESPN, TechCrunch, The Hill, BuzzFeed, Fortune, Venture Beat, The Independent, Fortune China, Yahoo!, ABA Journal, Law.com, The Boston Globe, YouTube, NewsBreak, and many other leading publications.