Aubrey “Drake” Graham (born October 24, 1986 in Toronto, Ontario) is a Grammy award nominated Canadian actor, rapper and singer signed to Young Money/Universal Motown. Drake shot to global fame upon the release of his critically acclaimed 2009 mixtape So Far Gone and Best I Ever Had, a single from the mixtape which peaked at #2 on the Billboard Hot 100.
Drake’s music career began in 2006 with the release of his debut mixtape Room For Improvement. The tape featured collaborations with Trey Songz, Lupe Fiasco and Nikelus F and marked the beginning of a long-time partnership with Canadian producer boi-1da. The mixtape sold 6,000 physical copies in the year of its release.
Comeback Season, Drake’s second official mixtape, was released in 2007 and featured the single Replacement Girl. The track featured vocals from Trey Songz and received heavy rotation on MTV and BET television networks. Robin Thicke, Clipse and Rich Boy featured on the mixtape, however it was man of the year – a track recorded with future mentor Lil Wayne – which signified the start of a close affiliation between Drake and Lil’ Wayne’s recording label Young Money Entertainment.
In 2009, Drake released his highly anticipated third mixtape So Far Gone to critical acclaim and commercial success. Its lead single, Best I Ever Had, peaked at #2 on the Billboard Hot 100 and has since been certified double platinum by the RIAA. The success of the track lead to a highly publicised bidding war between several record labels to sign Drake. The rapper eventually signed a deal with Young Money Entertainment in the summer of 2009 and released an official EP version of the mixtape soon after; eventually receiving Gold status for shipments of 500,000 units.
This astronomical rise to success continued into 2010 with the release of his major label debut album Thank Me Later. After several setbacks from its original October 2009 release date, the album was released on June 15th 2010 preceded by lead single Over, which peaked at #14 on the Billboard Hot 100 and at #1 on the Hot Rap Songs chart. The album debuted at #1 on the Billboard Album Chart and has since been certified Platinum by the RIAA for sales of approximately 1,100,000 copies in the US to date. It produced three further singles which attained chart success; Find Your Love, Miss Me (feat. Lil’ Wayne) and Fancy (feat. T.I. & Swizz Beatz).
Drake plans to release a 4th official mixtape consisting entirely of R & B material in December 2010, before releasing his 2nd album in 2011.