Drake's Life Story: Upbringing, Successful Career, Fatherhood
Drake's journey to stardom was characterized by a lot of hard work and consistency that made him stand out as one of the greatest rappers.
Drake has cemented his status as one of the most successful rappers of this decade with chart-topping hits, a Grammy-winning album, and club banging songs that remain evergreen.
While his story isn't one of rags to riches, his success is majorly due to his hard work and consistency over the years.
Drake performs at The Forum on September 27, 2016, in Inglewood, California. | Photo by Harmony Gerber/Getty Images
EARLY LIFE AND UPBRINGING
Aubrey "Drake" Graham was born on October 24, 1986, to Sandi Graham, a Jewish Canadian, and Dennis Graham, an African-American drummer from Memphis.
His family was musically aligned as his dad played for rock 'n' roll star Jerry Lewis while his uncle was a bass player. Due to his mixed heritage, he always considered his identity unique and often never blended in school.
When Drake was 5 years old, his parents went their separate ways, and he had to be raised by his mother. They lived in Forest Hill, an affluent and Jewish neighborhood in Toronto, Canada.
Drake speaks at the Spring Awakening and Degrassi panel discussion with Rosie O'Donnell at the Eugene O'Neill Theater on April 30, 2007, in New York City. | Photo by Amy Sussman/Getty Images for Nickelodeon
During an interview, the rapper recalled growing poor and underprivileged. Although he and his mum lived in an affluent area, they were not rich enough to get a luxurious house and settled for a "half house."
He schooled in Forest Hill Collegiate Institute and Vaughan Road Academy, an International Baccalaureate high school in Toronto but eventually dropped out.
Drake poses at the Songwriters Hall of Fame 42nd Annual Induction and Awards at The New York Marriott Marquis Hotel - Shubert Alley on June 16, 2011, in New York City. | Photo by Gary Gershoff/Getty Images for Songwriters Hall of Fame
FROM A CHILD ACTOR TO A RAP KING
Drake's tremendous success started at 15 on the Canadian TV show "Degrassi," where he played the role of Jimmy Brooks. It was the father of a friend at Forest Hill that gave him the audition chance. He was on the show for seven years, and for his role, won a Young Artist Award in 2002.
While still featuring in "Degrassi," Drake began his transition to music, releasing his first mixtape, "Room For Improvement," in 2006. The next year, he released another one titled "Comeback Single," which included his first hit track, "Replacement Girl," which had a music video.
Drake at the 2017 Toronto International Film Festival at Princess of Wales Theatre on September 9, 2017, in Toronto, Canada. | Photo by Joe Scarnici/Getty Images
Unfortunately, in 2008, the creators of "Degrassi" killed off his character, and Drake was on the verge of getting broke again when he got a call from rapper Lil Wayne, asking him to join his tour in early 2008. This was the leaping point for Drake's career.
In 2009, he released his third mixtape, "So Far Gone," which featured his first chart-topping single, "Best I Ever Had." The hit track was No. 2 on Billboard Hot 100 and was part of Rolling Stone's "25 Best Song of 2009."
He later signed to Wayne's Young Money Entertainment label and released several albums, including "Thank Me Later" (2010), which peaked at number 1 on both American and Canadian charts. His next album, "Take Care" (2011), became a huge success for him commercially and critically over the years and earned him his first Grammy Award for Best Rap Album.
Drake at the 2017 NBA Awards Live on TNT on June 26, 2017, in New York, New York. | Photo by Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for TNT
In February 2013, Drake released "Started From the Bottom," the lead single from his third album, "Nothing Was the Same." His fourth album, "Views," earned him two more Grammys for the hit song, "Hotline Bling." The track was nominated for Best Rap Performance and Best Rap Song at the 2014 Grammy Awards.
Drake has continually delivered record-breaking albums and singles and collaborated with many artists like Lil Wayne, Chris Brown, and Rihanna.
Besides music, Drake has also been seen in some films like "Charlie Bartlett" (2008), "Mookie's Law" (2009), "The Legend Continues" (2013), and "Think like a Man Too" (2014).
Drake at the "Top Boy" UK Premiere at Hackney Picturehouse on September 04, 2019 in London, England. | Photo by Karwai Tang/WireImage/Getty Images
After months of speculation, Drake confirmed that he is a dad in his 2018 album, "Scorpion." The news was first reported in 2017 by TMZ, but the rapper's representatives denied it at first.
It was later revealed that his son was born on October 11, 2017, and named Adonis Graham. However, it wasn't until March 2020 that he shared photos of his son, whom he shares with former adult film star Sophie Brussaux.
Since then, Drake has proudly flaunted his mini-me on social media, including a heartwarming Father's Day post of the curly-haired toddler. During an appearance on "Young Money Radio with Lil Wayne," the rapper explained his decision to post his son's photo, saying that he wanted to share memories with his son.