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|Birth name||Aubrey Drake Graham|
|Also known as||Drake|
|Born||October 24, 1986 (1986-10-24) (age 23)|
|Genres||Hip hop, R&B, pop|
|Occupations||Actor, rapper, singer|
|Labels||Universal Motown, Young Money, Cash Money|
|Associated acts||Lil Wayne, Trey Songz, Birdman, Nicki Minaj, Timbaland, Young Jeezy|
Aubrey Drake Graham (born October 24, 1986), who uses the mononymous stage name Drake in his music career, is a Canadian actor and recording artist. He originally became known for playing character Jimmy Brooks on the television series Degrassi: The Next Generation. Graham continued to recognize a close affiliation with Lil Wayne's Young Money Entertainment, before officially signing with the record label in June 2009. In November 2009, Lil Wayne released a statement announcing that Drake's first studio album, Thank Me Later, had been completed; the album was released on June 15, 2010 and debuted at number one on the Billboard 200.
Graham has worked with several other hip-hop artist such as Lil Wayne, Jeezy, Kanye West, Eminem, and Jay-Z. With the success of his mixtape turned EP So Far Gone, Graham has been nominated for several awards, including the Grammys, and he was selected to perform at the 2010 Grammy awards. Graham also won several awards, including two Juno Awards in 2010 for Best New Artist, and Rap Recording of the Year.
[hide]*1 Early life
Aubrey Drake Graham was born in Toronto, Ontario, the son of Sandi and 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, Tennessee, while Graham's mother, an educator, is a white Jewish Canadian (Graham attended a Jewish day school and had a Bar Mitzvah). His parents divorced when he was five, and he was raised by his mother in Toronto's wealthy Forest Hill neighbourhood. Graham attended high school at Forest Hill Collegiate Institute, where he began acting, but did not graduate. He spent most summers with his father in Memphis.
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 his character graduated from Degrassi. He appeared in 138 episodes. He also appeared in the 2008 television movie Degrassi Spring Break Movie.
In June 2010 it was announced that Aubrey would have a prominent role in the video game Gears of War 3 He will play the part of Jace Strattor. Jace had previously appeared in Gears of War 2, although only as a bit character and voiced by a different actor.
Early beginnings (2006–08)Edit
In February 2006, Graham released his first mixtape Room for Improvement. It was made available via his website and official MySpace page. In 2007, he released another mixtape, Comeback Season, spawning a single and a music video for "Replacement Girl" featuring Trey Songz. Also in 2007, Graham 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. It also contained a freestyle over a song with Lil Wayne, a remix of "Man of the Year" originally by Brisco and Flo-Rida. In 2008, Lil Wayne was given some of Drake's music from Rap-A-Lot founder, J. Prince's son, Jas Prince, and he immediately called Graham to invite him to fly to Houston and tour with him. Graham and Wayne recorded a couple of songs during this time, including "Ransom", the original version of "I Want This Forever", and the remix to Drake's song, "Brand New". Though now part of Lil Wayne's crew, Young Money, Drake was not signed.
So Far Gone (2009)Edit
On February 13, 2009, Graham released his third official mixtape, So Far Gone, for free download on his blog site which included Graham'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 its 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, Graham worked with DJ Khaled, Young Money, Jay-Z, Kanye West, Young Jeezy, Mary J. Blige, Timbaland, Birdman, Trey Songz, 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 Graham was up for sale on iTunes. A lawsuit was 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. Graham 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, that Graham signed a record deal with Young Money Entertainment. This followed what Billboard purported to be "one of the biggest bidding wars ever". Graham toured with Wayne and other rap artists on the America's Most Wanted Tour.
On July 31, 2009, Graham, who was performing on an already injured knee, fell on stage while performing "Best I Ever Had", with Lil Wayne in Camden, New Jersey. Graham underwent surgery on September 8, 2009 for a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his knee. He was currently undergoing rehabilitation and was able to walk.
On September 15, 2009, So Far Gone was released as a seven-track EP in which five of the tracks were from the original mixtape. It debuted at #6 on the Billboard 200. Since then the album sold over 474,000 copies in the United States. On April 18th, 2010, the album won Rap Recording of the Year at the 2010 Juno Awards.
Thank Me Later (2010–present)Edit
Graham planned to release his official debut album, Thank Me Later, in late 2009, but the album's release date was postponed, first to March 2010, then May 25, 2010. Universal Motown then stated the album had been pushed back three weeks for a June 15, 2010 release.  The album has confirmed collaborations with the likes of Kanye West, Jay-Z and Lil Wayne. On March 9, 2010, Graham released the first single from his Thank Me Later album, also known as "Over". It reached #14 on the Hot 100.
On March 12, 2010, a version of K'naan's "Wavin' Flag" recorded by a collective of Canadian musicians known as Young Artists for Haiti was released. Graham is featured in the song, performing a solo verse near the end of the song.
On April 29, 2010, it was announced that Graham had finished Thank Me Later. According to reports, Graham announced the completion of the album to a crowd during his April 26, 2010, show at the University of Missouri in Kansas City. His camp has since confirmed that Drake was finished with the final track to the album and the next single from the album would be titled "Find Your Love". "Find Your Love" was released as the second single on May 5, 2010, and has become the most successful single from the album, as it has reached #8 on the Hot 100, becoming the most successful single from the album to date.
On June 15, 25,000 fans gathered at New York's South Street Seaport for a free concert by Drake and Hanson. A near riot ensued after police canceled the show due to over-flowing crowds. 
The album, Thank Me Later, was finally released on June 15, 2010. Drake collaborated with artists such as Alicia Keys, Nicki Minaj, T.I. and Lil Wayne to create the album. The record sold 447,000 records in its first week, reaching #1 on the Billboard 200, and becoming his first release to do so. Due to these first week sales, Graham has sold the most records for any artist in one week in 2010 to date.
In 2008, Graham 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, Graham finally spoke with MuchMusic 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, Graham 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 Graham. 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 Graham was in a relationship with Rihanna. Both parties denied that claim, with Graham stating "we're just good friends."
Graham is a fan of the Kentucky Wildcats and a friend to head coach John Calipari. On October 16, 2009, Graham made an appearance at the University of Kentucky men's basketball event, "Big Blue Madness" at Rupp Arena. On January 2, 2009, Graham also attended Kentucky's game against the University of Louisville and accompanied Calipari to his post game radio show. Graham returned to the University of Kentucky on April 27, 2010, to perform a concert.
He is featured on Complex Magazine first issue of 2010. In the February-March issue he discusses his relationship with Lil Wayne, competition with new coming artist, getting inspired by ex-girlfriends, and the details on his debut studio album, Thank Me Later.