The Canadian rapper Drake is one of the most popular rappers in the world. He is recognized for many hit songs, including “Hotline Bling,” “One Dance,” “Started From the Bottom,” and “God’s Plan.”
Aside from his successful music career, he is also known for his acting. His most popular acting role is Jimmy Brooks, a wheelchair-riding former basketball star in the teen drama show Degrassi: The Next Generation (2001 – 2009).
What is Drake’s Real Name?
Like many celebrities, Drake doesn’t go by his real name. Before his life of stardom, Drake’s birth name is Aubrey Drake Graham. He was born on October 24, 1986.
Where is Drake From and What is Drake’s Ethnicity and Nationality?
Drake was born in Toronto, Canada, to Sandra “Sandi” Graham and Dennis Graham.
Drake’s mother was a white and Jewish teacher and florist, while his African-American father was a drummer. This resulted in a religiously and ethnically colorful family background.
Drake was not the first musically gifted member of his extended family. He also took his stage name from his middle name, which his father gave him.
Drake’s parents divorced when Drake was five years old. His mother then brought him to live in Forest Hill, a neighborhood in Toronto.
In Forest Hill, he displayed a keen interest in the arts. However, he was often bullied at school for being of mixed religious and racial heritage.
Related story: 19 Famous Artists You Didn’t Know Were From Canada
How Tall is Drake? How Much Does Drake Weigh?
As of 2022, Drake is said to be 6’0″ tall, or more specifically, 183 centimeters. He is reportedly weighing about 90 kilograms or 196 lbs.
How Did Drake Become Famous?
Drake was introduced to the entertainment industry by a school friend from his class at Forest Hill. This friend had a father who worked as an agent, and Drake was recommended due to his popularity at school as a friendly and funny student.
Shortly after that, Drake was cast as a protagonist in the Canadian teenage televison series Degrassi: The Next Generation. This series followed the lives of several teenagers at Degrassi High School.
Drake took on the role of Jimmy Brooks, who is sometimes nicknamed “Wheelchair Jimmy” in the show. He is described as a basketball player who becomes wheelchair-bound after getting shot by a fellow classmate.
After realizing that his extremely busy classroom schedule was preventing him from wholeheartedly pursuing his budding acting career, Drake dropped out of school.
Drake starred in the Degrassi series for seven years (2001 – 2009).
He was the recipient of the 2002 Young Artist Award for best ensemble in a TV series. He has also won other awards for this role.
The show gained a dedicated cult following, which helped put Drake in the Canadian limelight, though he still remained mostly unknown in the US.
Goodbye TV, Hello Music
While Drake was still staring at Degrassi, he began his foray into the realm of music and hip-hop. In the fourth episode of the seventh season of Degrassi, Drake even freestyled as Jimmy during a school talent show.
His first mixtape, Room for Improvement, was released in 2006 and sold about 6,000 copies.
In 2007 he released, Comeback Season. This mixtape included Drake’s first hit single, “Replacement Girl,” his first music video.
Drake made his final appearance as Jimmy in season eight of Degrassi.
Drake has said that he was kicked off the show because of his busy schedule. The showrunners told him to pick between his acting career and music career, and he chose the latter.
Drake put out So Far Gone, his third mixtape, later in 2009, where it was free for download on his blog. It featured many notable names, including Lil Wayne, Trey Songz, and Omarion, among others.
The mixtape received over 2,000 downloads within two hours. It also found mainstream commercial success, particularly with singles “Successful” and “Best I Ever Had.”
Both mixtapes were certified gold by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA). Furthermore, “Successful” reached number two on the Billboard Hot 100 chart.
Rise in Fame and Award Wins
The label that Lil Wayne was working with, Young Money Entertainment, made an offer to Drake to pay him $2 million upon acceptance. They settled to an agreement in June 2009.
People have described Drake as being Lil Wayne’s protege. Over the years, Drake and Lil Wayne have remained close friends.
In August 2009, he teamed up with Kanye West, Eminem, and Lil Wayne to co-produce a song for More Than a Game, a documentary about LeBron James. It became Drake’s highest debut on the charts.
The track highlighted Drake’s smooth vocals and witty bars, in addition to his ability to easily transition between the two contrasting styles. It also made him well known by many rap fans despite not having a studio album of his own yet.
Drake released his first full studio album, Thank You Later, on June 15, 2010. It peaked at #1 on both the album charts in Canada and the US.
On that album, Jay-Z, Nicki Minaj, Kanye West, Timbaland, and Lil Wayne, who was known as his mentor, made featuring contributions. The album managed to sell over 400,000 copies within one week.
In less than one week, that album was declared platinum in Canada. It also reached number one on the US Billboard 200.
His second studio album, Take Care, was later released in November of 2011. This album included hit songs such as “The Motto” and “Headlines.”
It featured Rihanna on its title track, as well as “Marvin’s Room,” which is a fan favorite.
The record has a moody and atmospheric feel, which some rap fans and critics blasted as being too emotional and weepy. Others applauded it for bridging the line between the swagger of a hustler and the melancholy of an artistically sensitive soul.
In the following year, the album won him the first Grammy award for Best Rap Album. Even now, fans consider Take Care Drake’s best effort to date.
Drake became an entrepreneur and co-founded the OVO Sound record label in 2012 with his longtime collaborator, 40, who is a Canadian record producer, executive, and songwriter. That same year, he retroactively graduated from high school.
Who is Suing Drake?
While Drake has had an extremely successful career, he has run into some trouble.
Drake and Rihanna were first rumored to have romantic relations in May 2009.
Chris Brown and Drake became enemies, as they were both romantically interested in Rihanna.
As a result, the two of them got into a brawl at a nightclub in New York in the summer of 2012. While fighting, they injured several spectators.
The injured included NBA player Tony Parker, two women, and a male model. They all filed lawsuits against Brown and Drake, among others.
Around that same time, Drake settled another dispute outside court.
He settled with his ex-girlfriend Ericka Lee regarding the contributions that she made to the song “Marvin’s Room.” In 2012, Lee sued Drake, trying to get credit for the song that she claimed she co-wrote.
In 2022, Drake was threatened to be sued by a model he had apparently had sex with in a restroom. The reason? Before he threw the condom away, he allegedly added hot sauce to his semen to kill the spermicide.
The woman, whose identity is still undisclosed, then attempted to retrieve the condom from the trash and impregnate herself with the spermicide, which she claims caused internal burns and injury.
Nothing Was the Same and If You’re Reading This It’s Too Late (2013 – 2015)
Drake released the single “Hold On, We’re Going Home” on August 7, 2013. The song was the first single from his new album.
It became quite successful, introducing fans to Drake’s new musical direction.
On September 24, 2013, Drake released his third studio album, Nothing Was the Same. The music was critically acclaimed, and it debuted at number one on the Billboard Hot 100.
Standout track “Started from the Bottom” from this critically praised 2013 album was one noteworthy hit.
He later released If You’re Reading This It’s Too Late on February 12, 2015, surprising fans and critics alike as it had no prior announcements. It remains debated whether it classifies as an album or a mixtape.
Some even say that it was a scheme to allow Drake to leave his old label, Cash Money Records. He eventually stuck with the label, so that’s likely untrue.
If You’re Reading This It’s Too Late had over one million units sold in 2015. That made Drake the first artist to have a platinum project in 2015.
Top Drake Songs: “Views” and “Hotline Bling” (2016 – 2017)
Drake’s next studio album wasViews, released in 2016.
It became a huge hit immediately. It climbed to No. 1 in its debut and spent 13 consecutive weeks on the charts of Billboard.
Some of the most popular songs on that album included the smooth and groovy “Hotline Bling,” which got him two Grammy awards in 2017 for Best Rap Song and Best Rap or Sung Performance.
It also generated countless memes thanks to the James Turrell-inspired music video.
Following the awards ceremony, he complained that the Grammys shoehorned him into the category of rap.
He also protested about being assumed to be a rapper even though the winning song, “Hotline Bling,” was not a rap song. He claimed that the decision had to do with his race.
Return to Film and TV
Drake became a film producer in September 2017, debuting with a documentary called The Carter Effect. It is a documentary about Vince Carter, a former NBA all-star who played eight seasons.
It premiered at the Toronto Film Festival. Drake is credited with being one of the producers, along with his manager, Adel Nur.
A year later, HBO picked up the teen drama series Euphoria, which starred Zendaya and was produced by A24, a renowned independent film studio. Drake joined Euphoria as an executive producer.
How Many Kids Does Drake Have?
Unbeknownst to the public, Drake became a father in October 2017.
In May 2017, TMZ published the initial report that Drake had fathered a child with Sophie Brussaux, who worked previously as an adult film actress.
He later confirmed that he was the father of a son on his 2018 album Scorpion.
The closing track, “March 14,” found him talking about becoming a father. The song describes his desire to create a good and steady life for his child. It also touches on his struggles as a single dad
Drake’s first son was born on October 24, the same date as Drake’s birthday, and he was named Adonis Graham.
Who is Drake Dating?
As of October 2021, it appears that he has halted his relationship with Johanna Leia, whom he began dating a few months prior. Leia was nowhere to be seen at Drake’s 35th birthday celebration in Los Angeles over that weekend.
His relationship with Leia was revealed to the public when he rented Dodger Stadium for a date. A helicopter spotted the two in the stadium field, eating together.
He has moved on to a romantic relationship with an unknown woman. She is said to be a Canadian who is currently living in Miami.
Scorpion and Artist of the Decade
Drake’s 2018 album Scorpion broke streaming records within 24 hours of its release. It reportedly has a total of over 130 million streams on Spotify and over 170 million streams on Apple Music.
The growth continued for several days, and Drake became the first artist ever to reach a billion streams within one week of a studio release.
Drake then won the Best Rap Song for the 2019 Grammy awards for “God’s Plan,” which was featured on both Scorpion and Scary Hours.
In the years that followed, he was honored as Artist of the Decade by Billboard. That honor was accepted by him at the 2021 Billboard Music Awards.
He dedicated the award to his friends, peers, collaborators, and most importantly, his then 3-year-old son Adonis, whom he invited onstage.
How Much is Drake Worth?
Drake has continued to have a flourishing career to this date. As of 2022, Drake’s net worth is over $180 million.
Where Does Drake Live Now?
While Drake was born in Toronto, Canada, he lives all over the world now. In fact, he owns three houses in LA, on top of another mansion in Toronto.
Drake’s Toronto mansion was featured in the music video for his song “Toosie Slide.”
This mansion is located in Bridle Path, which is a very wealthy neighborhood. It apparently cost him over $6 million, which doesn’t include the money it took to build it.
Drake’s houses in Los Angeles make up his YOLO estate in the Hidden Hills of California. Drake initially purchased one mansion only.
He is known for throwing parties, so he made a promise to neighbors that if his partying disturbs their comfort, he would buy their properties.
So Drake eventually also purchased two more houses in that area.
One of these houses bought from his neighbor cost $3 million USD, and then he bought another one for over $4 million. He combined all three houses to form an estate.