The Weeknd has pretty much owned the Billboard charts this summer with smash hits like “The Hills” & “Can’t Feel My Face,” so with his album dropping on Friday (8/28) it’s only fitting that the Toronto crooner graces the front cover of the magazine’s latest issue.

Starring in the cover story, which is also part of the Fall Music Preview 2015, The Weeknd chopped it up with writer Carl Wilson about a plethora of things, including getting inspiration from Michael Jackson, making his mother proud, topping the Hot 100 charts, hitting the stage with Taylor Swift, and more.

In the issue, Abel talked about dropping out of high school and moving to downtown Toronto to focus on his music career. He says he didn’t want to disappoint his mother and go home until he made something out of himself.

“I couldn’t face her until I made something out of myself,” he tells Billboard. “I couldn’t go back home as a nobody.”

Later, Abel also talked about his Dirty Diana cover and how Michael Jackson made him want to be a songwriter. He says he “got emotional” when thinking back on the first time he read its lyrics. “It’s when I first knew I wanted to write songs.” 

Read all this and much more in the latest issue of Billboard when it hits newsstands tomorrow (8/27).