Rapper Aubrey Drake Graham was born on October 24, 1986 in Toronto and performs as Drake. His first steps into the public attention came as an actor on the TV show Degrassi: The Next Generation when he was 15 years old.
In 2006, then aged 20, Drake released his first mixtape, titled ‘Room For Improvement’, which featured artists like Trey Songz and Lupe Fiasco. A year later, he released another mixtape, ‘Comeback Season’. Lil Wayne was sent his music in 2008 and is reported to have immediately called Drake and had him flown to Houston to join his tour.
February 13 2009 saw the release of Drake’s third mixtape as a free download on his website. It featured Lil Wayne, Bun B, Omarion and more and was downloaded more than 2000 times in its first two hours of being available. It was later released as a five song EP on Wayne’s Young Money Entertainment label. The EP won the Rap Recording Of The Year award at the 2010 Juno Awards. Two tracks from the EP – ‘Best I Ever Had’ and ‘Every Girl’ – charted in the Billboard Hot 100 in the same week at Number Three and Ten respectively, making Drake only the second artist to have two singles in the top ten after Nelly Furtado.
Drake’s debut album, ‘Thank Me Later’, was released on June 15 2010. It was produced by Noah “40” Shebib and Boi-1da but also featured contributions from Kanye West, Lil Wayne, Nicki Minaj, The-Dream and more. It went to Number One on the UK R&B Albums Chart, and in the US on the Billboard 200, R&B/Hip-Hop Albums and Rap Albums charts. It is certified gold in the UK and platinum in the US and Canada.
‘Take Care’, his second album, followed on November 15 2011. Before its release, the rapper released a song called ‘Dreams Money Can Buy’ on his October’s Very Own blog, which sampled British producer Jai Paul’s ‘BTSTU’. ‘Take Care’ also guest appearances from Rick Ross, Nicki Minaj, Lil Wayne, Andre 3000 and The Weeknd. The Rihanna-featuring title track, meanwhile, samples Jamie xx’s remix of Gil Scott-Heron’s ‘I’ll Take Care Of You’. The album topped the same three charts as its predecessor in the US, however it peaked at Number Two in the UK R&B Albums Chart and at Number Five in the Official Albums Chart. It is certified gold in the UK and twice platinum in the US. ‘Take Care’ won the award for Best Rap Album at the 55th Grammys. At the ceremony he announced his third album would be called ‘Nothing Was The Same’.
The record was released on September 20 2013. Drake acted as executive producer on the album, which featured collaborators like 2 Chainz, Jay-Z, Big Sean and Sampha. It won Rap Recording Of The Year at the 2014 Juno Awards and Album Of The Year at the BET Hip-Hop Awards in the same year. It topped the US Billboard 200 and Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums charts and has sold over 1,300,000 copies in the US. The album was shortlisted for the 2014 Polaris Music Prize but did not win.
Drake announced in July 2014 that his fourth album would be called ‘Views From The 6th’ but work had not begun on the record at that point. During 2015, Drake released two mixtapes while working on the album that would later become ‘Views’. ‘If You’re Reading This, It’s Too Late’ was released via iTunes on February 13, 2015. It featured the songs ‘Energy’, ‘Preach’ and ‘6 God’. In September of that year, Drake teamed up with Atlanta trap artist Future to release their ‘What A Time To Be Alive’ mixtape. It spawned the hit ‘Jumpman’, later used in an Apple Music ad, and topped the Billboard 200 chart in the US.
‘Views’, Drake’s fourth studio album, was eventually released in April 29, 2016. Featuring hit single ‘Hotline Bling’, the 20-track LP also included collaborations with Rihanna, Future, PartyNextDoor and Dvsn. ‘One Dance’ from the album went on to become the most streamed song ever on Spotify, with over 950 million streams. Other singles included ‘Controlla’, ‘Pop Style’ and ’Too Good’.
In October 2016, Drake announced that he will release a “playlist project” called ‘More Life’ in December. Three singles have so far been aired from the release: ‘Fake Love’, ‘Two Birds, One Stone’ and ‘Sneakin’’, the latter featuring 21 Savage.