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Aubrey "Drake" Graham

(1986 - )

Aubrey Drake Graham is a Canadian actor and recording artist best known for his rap career under the mononym “Drake.”

Graham was born on October 24, 1986, in Toronto, Ontario to an African-American, Catholic father and a white Jewish mother. When he was five, his parents divorced and Drake was raised by his mother in Toronto’s Forest Hill neighborhood. Drake attended high school at Forest Hill Collegiate Institute where he began acting.

In 2001, Drake began his acting career with the role of Jimmy Brooks on the television show Degrassi: The Next Generation. He appeared in the role on 138 episodes until his character graduated.

Drake released his first mixtape, Room for Improvement, online in February 2006. The next year he released his second mixtape, Comeback Season, which featured the single “Replacement Girl” featuring Trey Songz. Also in 2007, Drake became the first unsigned Canadian rapper to have his music video featured on BET.

Though he was featured on multiple Lil Wayne tracks in 2008 and achieved success with his singles “Best I Ever Had” and “Successful,” Drake was not officially signed to the Young Money Entertainment record label until June 2009. On the Billboard Hot 100 chart of July 4, 2009, his singles “Best I Ever Had” and “Every Girl” entered at positions 3 and 10, making Drake only the second artist ever to have his first two top ten hits in the same week.

On September 15, 2009, So Far Gone was released and debuted at #6 on the Billboard 200, making it the highest charting album in the United States by a Canadian rapper. The album later won Rap Recording of the Year at the 2010 Juno Awards.

Drake’s debut full-length studio album, Thank Me Later, was released on June 15, 2010, and reached #1 on the Billboard 200 in its first week.

In February 2013, Drake won his first Grammy Award for Rap Album of the Year with his 2011 album “Take Care.” In July 2013, Drake beat out his rivals in taking home two top honors from the BET Awards – Video of the Year (“Started from the Bottom”) and Best Collaboration (with A$AP Rocky, 2 Chainz and Kendrick Lamar). In 2019, Drake won the Grammy for best rap song, “God’s Plan,” his fourth Grammy out of 34 nominations.

Sources: The Canadian Jewish News;
Jewish Telegraphic Agency (February 11, 2013);
MSN (July 1, 2013);

“‘The Band’s Visit,’ Drake win Grammy Awards,” JTA, (February 11, 2019).