Drake was born Aubrey Drake Graham in Toronto, Ontario. His father was a drummer who worked with Jerry Lee Lewis. Two of Drake's uncles are also musicians - Larry Graham, former bassist for Sly and the Family Stone, and Mabon "Teenie" Hodges, who co-wrote "Love and Happiness" and "Take Me To The River" among other songs, with Al Green. "I've got crazy family history," Drake told Rolling Stone, "my grandmother used to baby-sit for Aretha Franklin."
In 2001, Drake broke into the entertainment industry as an actor. He played the role of Jimmy Brooks on the popular Canadian series Degrassi: The Next Generation. He appeared in 138 episodes.
Drake's first mixtape was called Room for Improvement and was released in 2006. The following year he released another mixtape, Comeback Season, which spawned the hit video "Replacement Girl" and featured Trey Songz.
So Far Gone, Drake's third mixtape, was a huge success on the internet. The release was downloaded over 2,000 times in its first two hours online. The mixtape was eventually released as a physical EP and MTV called it "The Hottest Mixtape of 2009 (So Far)."
In July 2009, Drake fell onstage while performing "Best I Ever Had" at a concert in Camden, New Jersey. He tore a ligament in his knee and had to have surgery in September 2009. After rehabilitation, Drake was able to walk normally again.
On April 18, 2010, Drake won a Juno Award for Rap Recording of the Year for So Far Gone in his home country of Canada. The re-released EP debuted at #6 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart.
After a number of delays, Drake's first full length album Thank Me Later came out in May 2010. The record featured collaborations with prominent Hip-Hop stars like Jay-Z, Kanye West, and Lil' Wayne. The album sold over 400,000 copies in its first week, giving Drake his first #1 album.
Drake is a huge fan of the Uniniversiy of Kentucky Wildcats and is good friends with coach John Calipari. Drake has attended several basketball games at the team's home venue, Rupp Arena, and accompanied Calipari on his post-game radio show in January 2009.
Following the release of Drake's If You're Reading This It's Too Late mixtape, fourteen tracks charted on the Hot 100 dated March 7, 2015. This matched the record set by The Beatles on April 11, 1964.
Drake's record was overtaken by Justin Bieber, when he posted 17 songs on the Hot 100 dated December 5, 2015.
It was confirmed, on June 29, 2009, that Drake had signed a record deal with Young Money Entertainment following one of the biggest bidding wars ever. At the time, Lil Wayne told the Toronto MC, "Hey, don't change anything, don't start singing about killing nobody, don't start singing about the streets. Keep it Canadian, man."
Asked during a Zane Lowe Beats 1 interview what the best lessons are that he's learned from his parents, Drake replied: "My mom's thing is a 72-hour rule ... I've learned to control my emotions for those first two or three days. I let it sit and it always goes away."
He added: "The most valuable piece of information from dad is don't mix Virginia Black with vodka water. [Laughs]"
Drake first met his longtime producer Noah "40" Shebib when they both worked on the remix to Divine Brown's 2005 single "Twist My Hair
Drake posted a record-breaking 20 songs on the Hot 100 May 21, 2016 tally, following the release of Views
. It was the most that any act had charted on the ranking in one week passing the 17 songs that Justin Bieber achieved on the December 5, 2015 Hot 100.
Drake smashed his own record when his playlist More Life
was released on March 24, 2017. All 22 songs from More Life
charted on the first Billboard Hot 100 after its release. With two other charting songs—"Both
" with Gucci Mane and "No Frauds
" with Lil Wayne and Nicki Minaj—, Drake had a total of 24 slots on the Billboard Hot 100 dated April 8, 2017.
Drake broke his own record again on the Hot 100 dated July 14, 2017 logging an unprecedented 27 songs on the chart. They were all 25 tracks from his newly released album Scorpion
, plus his collaborations with Blocboy JB
and Lil Baby
The Toronto rapper believes he inherited his lyrical gifting from his mother Sandi. "I think I get the words from my mother - she's an English teacher, she taught kindergarten to Grade 5 - just one of the most intelligent people I've ever met... Scrabble champion too," Drake smiled to Jam! Music
. "She's a top shelf lady, a top shelf kind of gal, man."
Doing long runs in the studio is the norm for Drake. He said in a Cal Cast interview: "I'll sleep for like six hours then try and get like a 14-hour run in on any given day really. But when a project is coming to a close, we've gone to extremes to finish things. I've had an air mattress set up in a recording space where I'll just try and grab 20 minutes here, an hour here. I've gone five days straight without a solid six- or eight-hour sleep."
Drake passed Lil Wayne for the most hits among soloists in the history of the Hot 100, when he achieved multiple entries on the chart following the release of his More Life playlist. After taking account of the new arrivals on the tally dated April 8, 2017, the Toronto star had clocked 154 mentions on the tally, rolling past Weezy's total of 135.
Drake clocked up a record-breaking run of 430 consecutive weeks on the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart. From the time "Best I Ever Had
" entered the listing in 2009 at # 92, the Toronto MC was on every Hot 100 tally as either the lead artist or in a featured role until the chart dated August 26, 2017.