Aubrey Drake Graham (born October 24, 1986) is a Canadian rapper, singer, songwriter, record producer, actor, and entrepreneur. He is one of the most popular entertainers in the world, and one of the best-selling music artists of the 21st century. Drake’s contributions to music have made him a global figure in popular culture for over a decade.
Drake initially gained recognition as an actor on the teen drama television series Degrassi: The Next Generation in the early 2000s. Intent on pursuing a career as a rapper, he departed the series in 2007 following the release of his debut mixtape, Room for Improvement. He released two further independent projects, Comeback Season and So Far Gone, before signing to Lil Wayne’s Young Money Entertainment in June 2009.
Drake released his debut studio album Thank Me Later in 2010, which debuted at number one on the US Billboard 200 and was soon certified platinum by the RIAA. His next two releases, 2011’s Take Care and 2013’s Nothing Was the Same, were critically and commercially successful; the former earned him his first Grammy Award for Best Rap Album. In 2015, he released two mixtapes—the trap-influenced If You’re Reading This It’s Too Late and a collaboration with Future titled What a Time to Be Alive—both of which earned platinum certification in the U.S.
His fourth album, Views (2016), broke several chart records. The dancehall-influenced album sat atop the Billboard 200 for 13 nonconsecutive weeks, becoming the first album by a male solo artist to do so in over 10 years. The album’s second single, “One Dance”, topped the charts in several countries, including the US, the UK, and Canada, where it became his first number-one single as a lead artist. That year, Drake lead both the Billboard Hot 100 and the Billboard 200 charts simultaneously for eight weeks. Viewsachieved quadruple platinum status in the US, and earned over 1 million album-equivalent units in the first week of its release. Its lead single “Hotline Bling” received Grammy Awards for Best Rap/Sung Performance and Best Rap Song. In 2017, he released the mixtape More Life. Described by Drake as a “playlist”, it became his seventh consecutive number one on the Billboard 200, and set multiple streaming records. A year later, he released the double album Scorpion, which also broke several streaming records.
Drake holds several Billboard chart records. He has the most charted songs (186) among solo artists in the history of the Billboard Hot 100, the most simultaneously charted Hot 100 songs in a single week (27), the most time on the Hot 100 (431 weeks) and the most Hot 100 debuts in a week. He also has the most number one singles on the Hot Rap Songs, Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Airplay and Rhythmic Charts. Drake has also won three Juno Awards, six American Music Awards, a record thirteen Billboard Music Awards, and is one of the most popular and best-selling artists of all time, with over 200 million estimated global sales. As an entrepreneur, Drake has founded the OVO Sound record label with longtime collaborator 40, as well as using the “OVO” moniker to create a clothing line and program on Beats 1 Radio.
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What makes Drake special?
The multi-Grammy-award-winning rapper Drake has had two shots at fame — and nailed them both. He first came to prominence in the teen soap Degrassi: The Next Generation in the role of Jimmy Brooks, a wheelchair-bound character he played for seven years. After leaving the show he became one of the biggest rappers on the planet after signing a deal with Lil Wayne’s label Young Money Entertainment. He is rarely out of the headlines, whether it’s for dating Rihanna or Jennifer Lopez, founding his own label, OVO Sound, or fronting the NBA’s Toronto Raptors as the team’s global ambassador. It’s no surprise that Jay Z labeled him as the Kobe Bryant of hip hop.
He traveled between Memphis and Toronto quite often as a child, due to his parents’ divorce.
His album Take Care popularized the phrase “YOLO,” and the accompanying tour grossed over $42 million in 2012. He provided the voice for the character Ethan in the 2012 film Ice Age: Continental Drift.
He is half Jewish. He supported his mother Sandi Graham with the money he made from acting in Canada. He had an on-off relationship with Rihanna, whom he began dating in 2009. In 2016 and 2017, he dated pop star Jennifer Lopez. In 2018, it was revealed he had a son with Sophie Brussaux. He has also dated tennis icon Serena Williams.
He has collaborated on songs with such prominent artists as Nicki Minaj, Kanye West and Lil Wayne.
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