Artist Spotlight: Drake

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Aubrey Drake Graham, better known as Drake, is a 34-year-old entertainer from Toronto, Canada. Drake’s career in the entertainment industry started at age 14 on the teen drama “Degrassi: The Next Generation” where he played Jimmy Brooks.

He began rapping at age of 16 after meeting his father’s cellmate. During a GQ interview he explained that he and his father’s cellmate used to rap back and forth to each other over the phone. In 2006, Drake dropped his first mixtape titled ‘Room For Improvement’. At the time he was still a regular cast member on Degrassi which was causing conflict because he was doing early mornings on set and late nights in the studio. This lasted for about two more years until the production team on Degrassi realized his focus was no longer on the show and more on his music career and ultimately “kicked him off” of the show in 2008.

On February 13, 2009 Drake released ‘So Far So Gone’ which included the hit single “Best I Ever Had”. The song went on to be nominated for two Grammys, Best Rap Solo Performance and Best Rap Song, and peaked at number 2 on the Billboard Hot 100. This led to the battle of 3 major record labels looking to sign him which ended in June 2009 when he signed a deal with a $2 million dollar advance to Lil Wayne’s extension label of Universal Republic, Young Money. Two months later he collaborated with Lil Wayne, Kanye and Eminem to produce the track titled “Forever” for the Lebron documentary. A year later he released his first studio album titled ‘Thank Me Later’. This album went number 1 on the US Billboard 200 and sold 447,000 copies in 1 week.

In November of 2011 Drake released his sophomore album “Take Care”. This album earned him his first Grammy, and is now Quadruple Platinum. This album includes hit singles, “Marvin’s Room”, “Headlines”, “Crew Love”, and “Take Care”. This year was a trademark year for him after he released the single “The Motto”. This song started the infamous acronym “Y.O.L.O.” meaning “You Only Live Once”. In August of 2013 he dropped “Nothing Was The Same”. This included the single “Hold On, We’re Going Home” which was named the best song of 2013.

2015 was a life-changing year for Drake. This was the year that he dropped ‘If You’re Reading This It’s Too Late’ and his collaboration project with Future titled “What A Time To Be Alive”. Both projects went Platinum which made him the first artist since 2004 to have 2 number 1 projects in the same year. This year was also the year that he dropped “Back to Back”, a diss track in response to rapper Meek Mill. Later in 2015 he dropped his music video for the single “Hotline Bling” which collected over 1 billion views and earned 2 Grammys and went number 2 on the Billboard chart.

In 2016 the world received a different side of Drake when he released his Dance Hall themed track “One Dance”. This single, which is on the ‘Views’ album, broke the record for Spotify’s most streamed song ever at 882 million streams and was number 1 on the charts for 10 consecutive weeks. In 2017 Drake won 13 Billboard Awards, breaking the record for the most wins in a single show. This was the year he released an album titled ‘More Life’ which received 89.9 million streams on Apple Music and 61.3 million streams on Spotify. After the success he received from this album he decided to step into executive producing in which he produced ‘The Carter Effect’ and HBO’s Euphoria. This resulted in the end of his 8 year long reign on the Billboard chart after 431 weeks.

In 2018, Drake confirmed on his album ‘Scorpion” that he had a son. This album was his longest album as it contained 25 songs. The album received 170 million streams in 24 hours and became his 8th number 1 album which beat The Beatles record which was 5. Of all 25 songs, two of them stood out the most on the charts. “God’s Plan” hit number 1 on the charts, and broke the record for the most streams in one day, earned a Grammy, and was certified Diamond. On April 6th, “Nice For What” replaced “God’s Plan” for the number 1 spot which made him the first artist to have a song beat another one of their own songs.

In 2019, Drake dropped ‘Care Package’ which contained unreleased fan favorites. This was also the year he released ‘Dark Lane Demo Tapes’ which included number 1 single “Toosie Slide”. In 2020, ‘Certified Lover Boy’ was rumored to have been released but did not actually release until 2021 along with “Scary Hours 2”, and “What’s Next” which were number 1 on the charts, “Wants and Needs” which was number 2, and “Lemon Pepper Freestyle” which was number 3.

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