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Aubrey Drake Graham (born October 24, 1986) is a Canadianmarker actor and 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 2010.

Early life

Aubrey Drake Graham was born in Torontomarker, Ontariomarker, 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 an African American from Memphis, Tennesseemarker, while Graham's 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 Hillmarker neighbourhood, attending elementary school at Forest Hill Public School, and high school at Forest Hill Collegiate Institutemarker, where he began acting, but did not graduate. He also spent many summers with his father in Memphis, Tennessee.


Acting career

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.

Music career

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. Which produced a single and a music video for Replacement Girl featuring Trey Songz. It also contained a freestyle over a song with Lil Wayne, a remix of the already popular song "Man of the Year" originally by Brisco and Flo-Rida. 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, Lil Wayne was given some of Drake's music from Rap-A-Lot founder, J. Prince's son and he called Drake immediately to fly to Houstonmarker to come and tour with him. Drake and Wayne had recorded a couple of songs during the time including, 'Ransom', The original version of 'I Want This Forever' and the remix to Drake's song, 'Brand New'. Although after becoming apart of Lil Wayne's crew, Young Money, Drake was still not signed.

On February 13, 2009, Drake released his third official mixtape, So Far Gone, for free download on his blog site which included Drake's mentor Lil Wayne, Bun B, Omarion, Lloyd and his friend, Trey Songz. It received over 2,000 downloads in the first 2 hours of release. It was extremely successful in the underground and eventually made it's way to radio. Due to the success of the mixtape's two singles, "Best I Ever Had" and "Successful", it was released as an EP featuring only five songs from the mix tape and one new song. MTV named it, "The Hottest Mixtape of 2009 (So Far)'.

Since So Far Gone, Drake worked with Jay-Z, Kanye West, Young Jeezy, 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 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 debut album, Thank Me Later, in late 2009, and has confirmed collaborations with the likes of Kanye West, Jay-Z, Danny! and Lil Wayne. Drake is currently touring with Wayne and other rap artists on the America's Most Wanted Tour.

On July 31, 2009, Drake fell on stage and injured his knee while performing "Best I Ever Had", with Lil Wayne in Camden, New Jerseymarker. He is able to walk, and had surgery on September 8, 2009.

Personal life

Drake is good friends with many of his Degrassi cast-mates, particularly Shane Kippel, who played his best friend Spinner Mason on the show.

In 2008, Drake spoke about his past relationships on a song called "Deceiving" using each verse to address different women. In Verse 1, he spoke about video-girl Dia Edwards. In Verse 3, he spoke about classmate Alisha Phillips.

He then spoke about his past relationship with Keshia Chanté on the Verse 2 of his song "Deceiving", referencing Chanté's mother, Tessa, stating "when I say I'm serious, you claim you're only teasing" and "What up Tessa? I love you like my own mama, and your daughters getting grown mama, and me, I'm just here working, waiting, patient for her to be ready for love and leave alone drama"

In May 2009, Drake finally spoke with MuchMusicmarker about his song "Deceiving" and addressed speculation of his past relationship with Chanté, "Would I call Keshia Chante an ex? I'd be proud to say she is an ex. I'm proud to say we had our time, when we were, like 16 years old. She's great. She's one of the first people in the industry that I met, we just connected."

In June 2009, Drake did two remixes to Chante's song "Fallen" where he addresses his love for her, on Version 1 he raps "Keshia, Keshia, do you remember the old us? They said we'd never be together that's what they told us. Immature kids, to entrepreneur kids." then on Version 2, he raps "you just hold it down for your boy until the plaques arrive, that's why I love you."

MuchMusic later asked Chanté on how she felt about Drake. She kept mum, later saying, "I will love that man unconditionally for the rest of my life. He knows what it is. We have history. I've known him since I was a little girl. We just have a love/hate relationship, so I prefer to love him from afar."

Online rumors swirled stating that Drake was in a relationship with Rihanna. Both parties denied that claim, with Drake stating "we're just good friends."

On Friday, October 16, 2009, Drake made an appearance at the University of Kentucky men's basketball event, "Big Blue Madness" at Rupp Arenamarker. He is a fan of the Kentucky Wildcats and a friend to head coach John Calipari.


Studio albums

Collaboration albums


Official mixtapes


Year Film Role Notes
2008 Charlie Bartlett A/V Jones
Year Title Role Notes
2001 Blue Murder Joey Tamarin 1 episode
2001–2009 Degrassi: The Next Generation Jimmy Brooks 8 seasons
2002 Soul Food Fredrick 1 episode
Conviction Teen Fish Television movie
2005 Best Friend's Date Dater 1 episode
2008 Degrassi Spring Break Movie Jimmy Brooks Television movie
The Border PFC Gordon Harvey 1 episode
2009 Sophie Ken 1 episode
Beyond the Break Himself 1 episode

Awards and nominations

  • BET Hip Hop Awards
    • 2009, Lyricist of the Year (Nominated)
    • 2009, Track of the Year: "Every Girl" (Won)
    • 2009, Rookie of the Year (Won)
    • 2009, MVP of the Year (Nominated)
    • 2009, Hustler of the Year (Nominated)

  • MOBO Awards
    • 2009, Best Hip-Hop Act (Nominated)
    • 2009, Best International Act (Nominated)

  • Soul Train Awards
    • 2009, Best New Artist (nominated)
    • 2009, Record of the Year "Best I Ever Had" (nominated)
    • 2009, Best Collaboration "Successful" (nominated)


  1. Google Me: Drake Vibe. Retrieved on 2009-06-04.
  2. Moore, Tracy. Graduating Degrassi"., 2005.
  3. :: Interview with Drake - July 12th 2006
  4. "2 cool 4 school". Joshua Ostroff, The Globe and Mail, March 22, 2009. Retrieved on 2009-03-24.
  5. Drake: Artist Profile The Boston Phoenix. Retrieved on 2009-06-24.
  6. Drake Injured During Concert Fall HipHopDX. Retrieved on August 11, 2009.

External links

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