Drake is a Canadian rapper and songwriter who rose to prominence as a movie star on the acclaimed teen TV series Degrassi: The Next Generation, before embarking on a successful and influential music career.

Drake announced alongside SiriusXM on Tuesday that a special performance by him at the historic Apollo Theater in New York City’s Harlem district would be broadcast on the network. The artist’s performance in the 1,500-person capacity venue is an unusual club appearance.

He also recently entered into a heated argument with music critic Anthony Fantano, who allegedly leaked fake screenshots of their conversation, claiming that the rapper thanked Fantano for criticising his music and hoped that the music critic will like his next album. Anthony Fantano is a music critic who had previously panned Drake’s recent albums and chastised Drizzy for his lack of effort.

The three-time Grammy winner began his musical journey by self-releasing a number of mixtapes. As his popularity grew, he released an EP titled So Far Gone. Thank Me Later, Take Care, Nothing Was the Same, and Views were his subsequent studio albums. His signature blend of singing and lyrical rapping, as well as braggadocio juxtaposed with raw vulnerability, earned him a large following.

Also Read: Drake announces new album ‘Honestly, Nevermind’: All you need to know

Who is Drake? 

Drake, also known as Aubrey Drake Graham, was born on October 24, 1986, in Toronto to Dennis and Sandi Graham. He was raised by his mother after his parents divorced when he was only five years old. During the summers, he frequently visited his father, who was a professional drummer. Hailing from a semi-Jewish and semi-Catholic background, Drake was often bullied at school for his racial and religious upbringing. He soon dropped out of his school to pursue his acting career. 

He was cast as basketball star Jimmy Brooks on Degrassi in 2001. However, his true passion lay in music, and he began rapping around the same time, using his middle name as his “nom de hip-hop.” 

In 2006, he self-released his first mixtape, Room for Improvement. Comeback Season (2007) featured the single Replacement Girl, starring Trey Songz. The track was featured on BET’s music video show 106 & Park, increasing Drake’s exposure. 

Also Read: Drake surpasses The Beatles for most top 5 hits on The Billboard Hot 100 

Drake’s music career

Drake made his musical debut after releasing the mixed album Far Gone in 2009.  A bidding war between labels quickly ensued, and Drake eventually signed with Lil Wayne’s Young Money Entertainment, a Cash Money subsidiary.

Thank Me Later, Drake’s first full-length studio album was launched in 2010, catapulting him to international stardom. The record was succeeded by the critically acclaimed Take Care (2011). That album was nominated for a Juno Award for rap recording of the year as well as a Grammy Award for a best rap album.

Drake’s surprise follow-up, Honestly, Nevermind, was released this year and featured more vocalising and dance club beats than his previous albums. Soon after, he debuted the video for Falling Back, the album’s first single.

In 2022, music recognition app Shazam revealed Drake to be their most searched artist by users, with music featuring Drake collecting 350 million recognitions; his 2016 single One Dance collected 17 million recognitions alone.