Arguably one of the most innovative and successful artists of recent years, Drake was slow to rise to fame in the rap and R&B scene. After gaining prominence first as a child actor and then as a musical force to be reckoned with, Drake's career has skyrocketed. He now works as a producer and songwriter in addition to singing and rapping.
Born Aubrey Drake Graham, Drake grew up in Toronto, Ontario. A child of divorce, Drake witnessed his father's arrest while visiting him in Memphis and was forced to move to a low-income area of town with his mother when he was in the 6th grade. In high school, Drake developed an affinity for the arts, focusing particularly on acting. At the age of 15, Drake began acting professionally and eventually dropped out of school to pursue that passion.
Drake landed his first major acting job playing Jimmy Brooks on the Canadian television show "Degrassi: The Next Generation" at just 15 years of age. This role allowed Drake to start building his fan base throughout the early 2000s. While on Degrassi, Drake also began dabbling in music. After leaving the show in 2005, he self-released his first series of mixtapes.
In 2007, Drake gained further exposure for his music when his song "Replacement Girl," was featured on BET. Drake then began collaborating with other big-name artists, including Lil Wayne and Flo Rida. These collaborations, along with the release of more mixtapes, eventually led to a bidding war by record labels. Finally, in 2009, Drake signed with Young Money Entertainment, the label founded by Lil Wayne.
Since signing his record contract, Drake has released four chart-topping albums ("Thank Me Later" in 2010, "Take Care" in 2011, "Nothing Was the Same" in 2013, and "Views" in 2016). Between 2013 and 2016, Drake also released a number of commercial mixtapes featuring unfinished tracks and new collaborations. The release of each album saw huge sales in tickets for Drake concerts.
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Did you know these Drake facts?
- Drake's mother is Jewish, and he grew up practicing the religion. He had a Bar Mitzvah and even attended Jewish elementary school.
- Drake is a talented songwriter and has contributed lyrics to a number of big-name artists, including Kanye West, Alicia Keys, and Beyonce.
- Drake's album Scorpion is largely about his hometown of Toronto and the experiences that he had growing up there.