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Aubrey “Drake” Graham (born October 24, 1986 in Toronto, Ontario) is a Grammy award nominated Canadian actor, rapper and singer signed to Universal Motown. He has released three mixtapes, 2006’s Room for Improvement, 2007’s Comeback Season and 2009’s critically acclaimed So Far Gone, which is considered one of the best mixtapes of 2009. He is currently in the final stages of recording his major label debut Thank Me Later, which is expected to be released in May 2010; the first single from the album, Over, was released March 4. After So Far Gone was released in February 2010 his first major single Best I Ever Had managed to debuted at #92 and reached #2 on the Billboard Top 100. Should it had reached the #1 position, Drake would be only the second artist to have a #1 single without having a recording contract at the time of its release. The music video for the song was directed by fellow rapper Kanye West. In June 2009, it was revealed that an unauthorized album entitled The Girls Love Drake, that featured songs from his mixtapes and credited to be an official Drake release, was up for sale on iTunes. A lawsuit is planned against the Canadian label who uploaded the album and claimed they represented Drake. Drake has previously dated singer Keshia Chanté, and is rumoured to be seeing R&B sensation Rihanna though neither have confirmed or denied the relationship.
Drake has been writing songs since he was ten years old. Since then he’s collaborated with The Clipse, Pharrell and Justin Timberlake, has done interviews and specials for MTV, The New York Times, TeenNick, Teen People, Elle Girl, Pop Star Magazine, and 17. In 2005, Drake started launching his music career and promoted his first mixtape. It provides insight into the mind of a changing man. From the smooth ballads that can be cherished by the softest women, to tales of his family during “the Memphis days” – songs best understood by a genuine hustler. In his words: “I didn’t make this album to be judged, or for listeners to tell me what I need to alter about my image for the next project. I simply made it because it felt right. All the songs on here were made on certain dates due to certain events in my life and nothing was rushed. I’m telling you right off the bat who I am. I used to lie to people to impress them but those times had to cease. It’s like trying to get back together after a break up. You’ve had your time apart, and right away you want to express all your concerns, all your flaws, and let them know exactly what you’ve been through so that there’s little room for error. I really just want to draw the fans into me as a person so that we can communicate better in the future. I need you to understand my concept before you listen. If you’re not willing to do me that favor, we may as well remain split up.” Drake continues to pursue his passion for R&B, penning lyrics for many up and coming R&B singers. Much of his musical influence comes from his family, which includes funk creator Larry Graham (Graham Central Station) who’s hit song “One In A Million” became a top 10 hit, and Mabon ‘Teenie’ Hodges who, alongside Willie Mitchell, was the soulful mastermind behind the majority of Al Green’s hits (9 Grammy Awards). Drake has worked with Cash Money Records, TVT Records, BMG, and has featured on tracks for producers Mike City, Neek Rusher, Saukrates, and Brian Cox. He’s been a guest on Soul Food, and has appeared in movies with Mekhi Phifer and Omar Epps, and received two Young Artist Awards, the Shaw Rocket Award, and a Teen Choice Awards.
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