Aubrey Drake Graham was born in Toronto, Ontario, the son of Dennis Graham, a drummer who worked with Jerry Lee Lewis; he is the nephew of musicians Larry Graham and Teenie Hodges. Graham's father is an African American from Memphis, Tennessee, while Aubrey's mother, an educator, is a white Jewish Canadian. His parents divorced when he was five, and he was raised by his mother in Toronto's wealthy Forest Hill neighborhood, attending elementary school at Forest Hill Public School, and high school at Forest Hill Collegiate Institute, where he began acting, but did not graduate. He also spent many summers with his father in Memphis, Tennessee.
In 2001, Graham began his acting career, playing the role of Jimmy Brooks, a character on Degrassi: The Next Generation . In the show, Brooks is a basketball star who became physically disabled from the waist down after he was shot by a classmate. His role on the show ended in 2009, when producers found out that he was working on his music without their permission and gave him the choice to either continue doing the show or do his music.
Early beginnings (2006–08)
In February 2006, Drake released his first mixtape Room for Improvement. It was made available via his website and official MySpace page. From the success of his first mixtape, he later began releasing more, capitalizing from the buzz. In 2007, he released Comeback Season to much critical acclaim and praise. Which produced a single and a music video for Replacement Girl featuring Trey Songz. It also contained a freestyle over a song with Lil Wayne, a remix of the already popular song "Man of the Year" originally by Brisco and Flo-Rida. Also in 2007, Drake became the first unsigned Canadian rapper to have his music video featured on BET when his first single, "Replacement Girl" was featured as the "New Joint of the Day" on April 30, 2007.
In 2008, Lil Wayne was given some of Drake's music from Rap-A-Lot founder, J. Prince's son and he called Drake immediately to fly to Houston to come and tour with him. Drake and Wayne had recorded a couple of songs during the time including, 'Ransom', The original version of 'I Want This Forever' and the remix to Drake's song, 'Brand New'. Although after becoming apart of Lil Wayne's crew, Young Money, Drake was still not signed.
So Far Gone and Thank Me Later (2009–2010)On February 13, 2009, Drake released his third official mixtape, So Far Gone, for free download on his blog site which included Drake's mentor Lil Wayne, Bun B, Omarion, Lloyd and his friend, Trey Songz. It received over 2,000 downloads in the first 2 hours of release. It was extremely successful in the underground and eventually made its way to radio. Due to the success of the mixtape's two singles, "Best I Ever Had" and "Successful", it was released as an EP featuring only five songs from the mix tape and one new song. MTV named it, "The Hottest Mixtape of 2009 (So Far)'. Since So Far Gone, Drake worked with DJ Khaled, Young Money, Jay-Z, T.I., Kanye West, Young Jeezy, Mary J. Blige, Timbaland, Birdman, Trey Songz, and Jamie Foxx. Drake has also written for Jazz Cartier, Bishop Brigante, and Dr. Dre.
He achieved success before signing to a major record label, according to his management Hip Hop Since 1978. In June 2009, it was revealed that an unauthorized album entitled The Girls Love Drake and credited to Drake was up for sale on iTunes. A lawsuit is planned against the label.
On the Billboard Hot 100 chart of July 4, 2009, both "Best I Ever Had", and "Every Girl" by Young Money Entertainment entered the top ten at positions 3 and 10 respectively. Drake is only the second artist to have his first two top ten hits in the same week. The first was fellow Canadian Nelly Furtado who entered the top ten in 2001 with "I'm Like A Bird" the same week as Missy Elliott's "Get Ur Freak On", a remix of which included a credited contribution from Furtado. On June 29, 2009 it was confirmed Drake signed a record deal with Young Money Entertainment. This followed what Billboard purported to be "one of the biggest bidding wars ever". He plans to release his official debut album, Thank Me Later, in late 2009, and has confirmed collaborations with the likes of Kanye West, Jay-Z, Danny! and Lil Wayne. Drake is currently touring with Wayne and other rap artists on the America's Most Wanted Tour.
On July 31, 2009, Drake fell on stage and injured his knee while performing "Best I Ever Had", with Lil Wayne in Camden, New Jersey. He is able to walk, and had surgery on September 8, 2009
Take Care (2010-2012)
On November 17, 2010, Drake announced the development of his upcoming second studio album, Take Care. It was originally planned to release October 24, 2011, but that was later delayed to November 15. Songs featured on the album were hits such as: Take Care, Headlines, The Motto, and HYFR. This album hit the top of the charts in the United States, Canada, and Australia. In 2012 Take Care won a Grammy for best rap album. Later that month, Drake announced he was working on his third studio album Nothing Was The Same
OVO Sound & Nothing Was The Same (2012-present)
Drake and his producer "40" formed a record label in early 2012. This label is currently distributed by Warner Bros. Drake was featured on many songs with various artists in 2012, such as: Rick Ross, Kendrick Lamar, and A$AP Rocky. At the 55th Grammy's, Drake announced that his hit single Started From the Bottom will be featured on his third project. He released his album Nothing Was The Same on September 24, 2013. In January 2014, Drake was the host on Saturday Night Live, and guest performer. As of 2014, Drake has released 4 songs since NWTS. Those songs are: Trophies, We Made It, Draft Day, and Days in The East.
In 2008, Drake spoke about his past relationships on a song called "Deceiving" using each verse to address different women. In Verse 1, he spoke about video-girl Dia Edwards. In Verse 3, he spoke about classmate Alisha Phillips.
He then spoke about his past relationship with Keshia Chanté on the Verse 2 of his song "Deceiving", referencing Chanté's mother, Tessa, stating "When I say I'm serious, you claim you're only teasing" and "What up Tessa? I love you like my own mama, and your daughter's getting grown, mama, and me, I'm just here working, waiting, patient for her to be ready for love and leave alone drama".In May 2009, Drake finally spoke with MuchMusic about his song "Deceiving" and addressed speculation of his past relationship with Chanté, "Would I call Keshia Chante an ex? I'd be proud to say she is an ex. I'm proud to say we had our time, when we were, like, 16 years old. She's great. She's one of the first people in the industry that I met, we just connected."
In June 2009, Drake did two remixes to Chante's song "Fallen" where he addresses his love for her, on Version 1 he raps "Keshia, Keshia, do you remember the old us? They said we'd never be together that's what they told us. Immature kids, to entrepreneur kids." then on Version 2, he raps "you just hold it down for your boy until the plaques arrive, that's why I love you."
MuchMusic later asked Chanté on how she felt about Drake. She kept mum, later saying, "I will love that man unconditionally for the rest of my life. He knows what it is. We have history. I've known him since I was a little girl. We just have a love/hate relationship, so I prefer to love him from afar."
Online rumors swirled stating that Drake was in a relationship with Rihanna. Both parties denied that claim, with Drake stating "we're just good friends." He was confirmed to have been in a past relationship with Catya Washington, a model who was best known for being a cast member on the fifth season of the hit reality series "The Bad Girls Club".
Drake is a fan of the Kentucky Wildcats and a friend to head coach John Calipari. On October 16, 2009, Drake made an appearance at the University of Kentucky men's basketball event, "Big Blue Madness" at Rupp Arena. On January 2, 2009, Drake also attended Kentucky's game against the University of Louisville and accompanied Calipari to his post game radio show. In 2013, Drake was selected as the celebrity ambassador of the Toronto Raptors.
- Drake is a Scorpio.
- He shares the same birthday as Shenae Grimes, but he's three years older.
- He stated on Jimmy Fallon that he was high during his Degrassi audition.
- He and Stacey Farber played themselves in the Instant Star episode "Personality Crisis" in which they were depicted as Degrassi: The Next Generation actors attending an awards ceremony. Like Degrassi, Instant Star was produced by Epitome Pictures.
- He worked with Jake Epstein and Lauren Collins in both Degrassi and Charlie Bartlett.
|2008||Charlie Bartlett||A/V Jones|
|2001||Blue Murder||Joey Tamarin||1 episode|
|2001–2009||Degrassi: The Next Generation||Seasons 1-7 (Series Regular)
Season 8 (Guest Appearance)
|2002||Soul Food||Fredrick||1 episode|
|Conviction||Teen Fish||Television movie|
|2005||Best Friend's Date||Dater||1 episode|
|2008||Degrassi Spring Break Movie||Jimmy Brooks||Television movie|
|The Border||PFC Gordon Harvey||1 episode|
|Beyond the Break||Himself||1 episode|
Awards and nominations
- BET Hip Hop Awards
- 2009, Lyricist of the Year (Nominated)
- 2009, Track of the Year: "Every Girl" (Won)
- 2009, Rookie of the Year (Won)
- 2009, MVP of the Year (Nominated)
- 2009, Hustler of the Year (Nominated)
- MOBO Awards
- 2009, Best Hip-Hop Act (Nominated)
- 2009, Best International Act (Nominated)
- MTV Video Music Awards
- 2009, Best New Artist in a Video: "Best I Ever Had" (Nominated)
- Soul Train Awards
- 2009, Best New Artist (Nominated)
- 2009, Record of the Year: "Best I Ever Had" (Nominated)
- 2009, Best Collaboration: "Successful" (Nominated)
- Grammy Awards
- 2010, Best Rap Song: "Best I Ever Had" (Nominated)
- 2010, Best Rap Solo Performance: "Best I Ever Had" (Nominated)
- 2013, Best Rap Album: Take Care (Won)
- 2014, Best Rap Album: Nothing Was The Same (Nominated)
- BET Awards
- 2013 "Coca-cola Viewers Choice Award" (Won)