Drake's Real Name

Drake’s Real Name and Background

Drake is one of the biggest names in music today, but many fans don’t know much about his background and real name. Here’s a deep dive into the details behind the chart-topping artist.

Key Takeaways

  • Drake’s real name is Aubrey Drake Graham.
  • He was born on October 24, 1986 in Toronto, Canada.
  • Drake first gained fame as an actor on the teen drama series Degrassi: The Next Generation.
  • He started releasing mixtapes in 2006 and his debut studio album Thank Me Later dropped in 2010.
  • Drake has gone on to become one of the world’s best-selling artists with over 170 million records sold.
  • He has won several prestigious awards including 4 Grammy Awards and 2 Brit Awards.
  • Drake co-founded his own record label OVO Sound in 2012.
  • He is estimated to have a net worth of $250 million.

Early Life and Career Beginnings

Aubrey Drake Graham was born on October 24, 1986 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. His mother Sandi Graham was a teacher and his father Dennis Graham was a drummer who worked with Jerry Lee Lewis.

Drake’s parents divorced when he was five years old. He was raised primarily by his mother in Toronto’s wealthy Forest Hill neighborhood.

As a youth, Drake attended a Jewish day school and had a Bar Mitzvah at age 13. He has stated he’s “proud to be Jewish.”

Drake developed an interest in performing as a child. He began acting at age 15, playing the character Jimmy Brooks on the teen drama series Degrassi: The Next Generation.

Drake appeared on Degrassi for eight seasons until his character graduated from high school. The show gained a cult following and helped jumpstart Drake’s career.

Transition from Acting to Music

Drake began exploring music and working on demo tapes with his friend Producer Boi-1da while still acting on Degrassi.

In 2006, Drake released his first mixtape Room for Improvement. It featured songs like “Replacement Girl” that got play on radio stations in Toronto.

He followed up in 2007 with the mixtape Comeback Season, featuring his breakout single “Replacement Girl.” This helped him get a record deal with Young Money Entertainment.

In 2009, Drake released his third official mixtape So Far Gone. It included the hit single “Best I Ever Had” which peaked at #2 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart.

The mixtape was a major success and was nominated for a Grammy award. It paved the way for Drake’s first studio album Thank Me Later in 2010.

Breakout Success with Thank Me Later

Thank Me Later debuted at #1 on the US Billboard 200 chart and was certified platinum.

It featured collaborations with artists like Jay-Z, Lil Wayne and Alicia Keys. Hit singles included:

  • “Over”
  • “Find Your Love”
  • “Miss Me”

Critics praised Drake’s songwriting and lyrical talent on the album. It cemented him as one of hip hop’s rising stars.

Hit Albums Take Care & Nothing Was the Same

Drake’s sophomore album Take Care was released in 2011 and took his fame to new heights.

Take Care debuted at #1 on the Billboard 200 and was certified quadruple platinum. Major singles included:

  • “Headlines”
  • “Make Me Proud” ft Nicki Minaj
  • “The Motto” ft Lil Wayne
  • “Take Care” ft Rihanna

In 2013, Drake’s third studio album Nothing Was the Same also debuted at #1. It incorporated sounds from his Caribbean heritage and featured the hit singles “Started from the Bottom” and “Hold On, We’re Going Home.”

At this point, Drake was one of the most popular artists in hip hop and pop music. His style appealed to a wide mainstream audience with his signature blend of rapping and singing.

Global Domination with Views & More Life

Drake’s fourth album Views was released in 2016 and achieved immense commercial success. It spent 13 non-consecutive weeks at #1 on the Billboard 200 chart and was certified quadruple platinum.

Views sold over 1 million copies in the US in its first week alone. Major hits included:

  • “Hotline Bling”
  • “One Dance” ft Wizkid & Kyla
  • “Too Good” ft Rihanna

The dancehall influenced album showed Drake’s versatility and ability to blend genres. It helped cement his status as a global superstar.

In 2017 Drake released the mixtape More Life. Although not an official album, it debuted at #1 and broke streaming records. It contained the singles “Passionfruit”, “Fake Love” and “Portland.”

More Life helped expand Drake’s international popularity, especially in Europe and other non-US markets.

Drake AlbumRelease DateLabelSingles
Thank Me LaterJune 15, 2010Young Money, Cash Money, Universal Motown“Over”, “Find Your Love”, “Miss Me”
Take CareNovember 15, 2011Young Money, Cash Money, Universal Republic“Headlines”, “Make Me Proud”, “The Motto”, “Take Care”
Nothing Was the SameSeptember 24, 2013Young Money, Cash Money, Republic“Started from the Bottom”, “Hold On, We’re Going Home”
ViewsApril 29, 2016Young Money, Cash Money, Republic“Hotline Bling”, “One Dance”, “Too Good”
More LifeMarch 18, 2017Young Money, Cash Money, Republic“Passionfruit”, “Fake Love”, “Portland”

Recent Albums: Scorpion & Certified Lover Boy

Drake released his 5th studio album Scorpion as a double album in June 2018. It contained the Billboard #1 singles “God’s Plan”, “Nice for What” and “In My Feelings.”

Scorpion broke multiple streaming records and became Drake’s 8th consecutive #1 album. It won the Grammy for Best Rap Album in 2019.

His most recent studio album is Certified Lover Boy, released in September 2021. It debuted at #1 with over 600 million global streams in its first week.

Certified Lover Boy spawned the top 10 singles “Way 2 Sexy”, “Knife Talk”, and “Girls Want Girls.” It shows that even after over 15 years in music, Drake remains a dominant force in hip hop and pop.

Drake’s Record Label & Business Ventures

In addition to his own albums, Drake co-founded his own record label OVO Sound in 2012 in partnership with Warner Bros. Records.

OVO has released music by artists like PARTYNEXTDOOR, Majid Jordan and Roy Woods. Drake also has his own line of OVO clothing and hosts an annual OVO Fest in Toronto.

Drake has secured many high profile endorsement deals and collaborative partnerships over the years with brands like:

  • Nike
  • Apple Music
  • Sprite
  • Whataburger
  • Virginia Black Whisky

He also opened a Toronto restaurant called Pick 6ix in 2018, but it closed down two years later during the pandemic.

Forbes estimated Drake’s net worth at $250 million in 2022, making him one of the richest rappers in the world. Much of his fortune comes from record sales, touring, endorsements and business ventures.

Drake’s Awards and Achievements

With his immense success, Drake has won numerous prestigious awards over the course of his career:

  • 4 Grammy Awards including Best Rap Album (Take Care, Hotline Bling)
  • 2 Brit Awards for International Male Solo Artist
  • 3 Juno Awards for Rap Recording of the Year
  • 27 Billboard Music Awards – the most of any artist ever
  • 4 American Music Awards
  • 17 BET Hip Hop Awards

He also holds several Billboard chart records including:

  • Most charted songs of any artists ever (262)
  • Most Hot 100 top 10 singles (45)
  • Most Hot 100 top 40 singles (122)

As of 2022, Drake has sold over 170 million records worldwide. He surpassed The Beatles for the most top 5 singles ever on the Billboard Hot 100.

Beyond the numbers, Drake is considered an icon and influencer in hip hop culture and modern music. His style and sound helped expand rap music’s popularity around the world.

Drake’s Personal Life

Despite being one of the most famous rappers alive, Drake has mostly kept his personal life private. However, a few details are known:

  • He dated singer Rihanna off and on between 2009-2016.
  • Drake has one son named Adonis born in October 2017. The mother is French artist and former adult film star Sophie Brussaux.
  • Drake has residences in Toronto, Los Angeles, and his $100 million mansion in Toronto’s exclusive Bridle Path neighborhood.
  • He is a dual citizen of the United States and his native Canada.
  • Drake is good friends with NBA star Lebron James and is the global ambassador for the Toronto Raptors.
  • He has spoken about battling depression and anxiety due to loneliness and the pressures of fame.

While intensely private, Drake does interact with fans regularly online via social media platforms like Instagram. But he largely stays out of tabloid headlines.

Drake’s Cultural Impact and Legacy

Drake is considered one of the most influential artists of his generation. His confessional lyrics and blending of rapping with melody created the blueprint for melodic rap.

He helped pave the way for younger artists like Post Malone, Juice WRLD, and Lil Uzi Vert who also employ emo-inspired rap styles.

Drake popularized Toronto’s unique musical sound combining Caribbean, African and UK influences. This “Toronto” sound has spread across North America.

His use of Caribbean influenced dancehall and afrobeats helps expose those genres to wider new audiences. Drake frequently collaborates with international artists which increases his worldwide appeal.

Drake’s visually stunning music videos are mini movies that help propel his songs into events. “Hotline Bling” and the viral “In My Feelings” helped transform Drake’s music into meme culture.

While some criticize Drake for making “too commercial” or pop-sounding music, there’s no denying his cultural footprint. As streaming opens up hip hop to the masses, Drake sits at the forefront with global crossover appeal.

Conclusion

Aubrey Drake Graham – better known to the world simply as Drake – has carved his own unique lane in hip hop and popular music.

From his days as a teen actor on Degrassi, to instantly famous rapper and cultural icon, Drake has cemented himself as one of this generation’s defining artists.

He’s broken records, won awards, dominated charts, and influenced the sound and style of mainstream music.

Drake continues reaching new heights nearly 15 years into his career. He always finds ways to reinvent himself and stay relevant.

As Drake says on “Started from the Bottom”:

I’m way up, I feel blessed Way up, I feel blessed

At only 35 years old, expect Drake to continue blessing the music world with his talent for years to come.

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