Real Name: Aubrey Drake Graham
D.O.B.: October 24, 1986 Toronto, Canada
Label: Young Money Ent/Cash Money Records
Firstly, Drake is an actor, a TV series actor and is now turning his hand as a recording artist. He originally became known for playing character Jimmy Brooks on the TV series Degrassi: The Next Generation. As a rapper, he performs under the mononym Drake. Drake continued to recognize a close affiliation with Lil Wayne's Young Money Entertainment, before officially signing with the record label in June, 2009. His first studio album, Thank Me Later, is expected to be released on the label in late 2009.
Graham was born in Toronto, Ontario, the son of Dennis Graham, a drummer who worked with Jerry Lee Lewis; he is the nephew of musicians Larry Graham and Teenie Hodges. Graham's father is African American (a native of Memphis, Tennessee) and his mother, an educator, is a white Jewish Canadian. His parents divorced when he was five, and he was raised by his mother in Toronto's wealthy Forest Hill neighbourhood, attending elementary school at Forest Hill Public School, and high school at Forest Hill Collegiate Institute, where he began acting, but did not graduate. He also spent many summers with his father in Memphis, Tennessee.
In 2001, Graham began his acting career, playing the role of Jimmy Brooks, a character on Degrassi: The Next Generation. In the show, Brooks is a basketball star who became physically disabled after he was shot by a classmate. His role on the show ended in 2009, when producers cut the entire Degrassi staff for a new group of actors.
In February 2006, Drake released his first mixtape Room for Improvement. It was made available via his website and official MySpace page. From the success of his first mixtape, he later began releasing more, capitalizing from the buzz.
In 2007, he released Comeback Season to much critical acclaim and praise. It was from here on where Drake started gaining popularity when he did his first song with Lil Wayne, a remix of the already popular song "Man of the Year" which Wayne didn't rap in but had ad-libs in the end of the song. Also in 2007, Drake became the first unsigned Canadian rapper to have his music video featured on BET when his first single, "Replacement Girl" was featured as the "New Joint of the Day" on April 30, 2007. In 2008, he released Heartbreak Drake, another popular mixtape release which helped gain more acclaim and buzz for Drake. After the minor success of Heartbreak Drake, Drake collaborated on a mixtape titled, Thomashow Time, which featured his friend and fellow rapper Thomashow. So Far Gone, which included Drake's mentor Lil Wayne, and members of Young Money, was released in 2009.
While working on his mixtapes and his album, Drake worked with Lil Wayne, Jay-Z, Kanye West, Trey Songz, Robin Thicke, Little Brother, Mary J. Blige, and Jamie Foxx. Drake has also written for Jazz Cartier, Bishop Brigante, and Dr. Dre.
He achieved success before signing to a major record label, according to his management Hip Hop Since 1978. In June 2009, it was revealed that an unauthorized album entitled The Girls Love Drake and credited to Drake was up for sale on iTunes. A lawsuit is planned against the label.
On the Billboard Hot 100 chart of July 4, 2009, both "Best I Ever Had" and "Every Girl" by Young Money Entertainment (a supergroup that includes Drake) entered the top ten at positions 3 and 10 respectively. Drake is only the second artist to have his first two top ten hits in the same week. The first was fellow Canadian Nelly Furtado who entered the top ten in 2001 with "I'm Like A Bird" the same week as Missy Elliott's "Get Ur Freak On", a remix of which included a credited contribution from Furtado.
On June 29, 2009 it was confirmed Drake signed a record deal with Young Money Entertainment. This followed what Billboard purported to be "one of the biggest bidding wars ever". He plans to release his official début album, Thank Me Later, in late 2009, and has confirmed collaborations with the likes of Kanye West, Jay-Z, Danny! and Lil Wayne.
- 2008 Charlie Bartlett
- 2001 Blue Murder (1 episode)
- 2001 Degrassi: The Next Generation (8 seasons)
- 2002 Soul Food (1 episode)
- 2002 Conviction (TV Movie)
- 2005 Best Friend's Date (1 episode)
- 2008 Degrassi Spring Break (TV Movie)
- 2008 The Border (1 episode)
- 2009 Sophie (1 episode)
- 2009 Beyond the Break (1 episode)
- 2009 Thank Me Later (unreleased)