Vitals

Real Name:
Aubry Drake Graham
Date of Birth:
October 24, 1986
Hometown:
Toronto, Canada
Resides in:

Spotlight

Pretty sure there has never been a rapper with anywhere near as unique a racial-religious-national background as Drake. Born to an African-American Catholic dad, a drummer for rocker Jerry Lee Lewis, and a white Canadian Jewish mother in Toronto, he was raised mostly by his mother after his parents’ 1991 divorced. A high school classmate’s dad was an agent who signed Drake as a client and shortly after in 2001, he was cast as “Wheelchair” Jimmy Brooks on “Degrassi: The Next Generation,” a part he’d play for seven years. He began attempting to enter the hip hop game by releasing modestly received mixtapes, Room for Improvement (2006) and Comeback Season (2007). His voice caught Lil Wayne’s ear in 2008 and Drake joined his tour before putting out a third mixtape, So Far Gone, which contained “Best I Ever Had.” The single scaled the Hot 100 singles cart rapidly, peaking at No. 2 and was enough to entice Lil Wayne to sign him to Young Money Entertainment.  His first full studio album, Thank Me Later (2010), debuted at No. 1 in the U.S. and his homeland. His second, Take Care (2011), won a 2013 Grammy for Best Rap Album. He released a third, Nothing Was the Same, in 2013. He is also known for hit collaborations with Nicki Minaj, Eminem and Rihanna. His friendship with the latter fueled a feud with her on-off ex Chris Brown, which got physical in a New York bar in 2012. He also returned to acting in 2012 as a voice in “Ice Age: Continental Drift.”

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