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Drake Biography and Origins

VO: Rebecca Brayton
Born on October 24, 1986 in Toronto, Ontario, Drake (real name Aubrey Graham) got his start in the entertainment industry with a role on the TV show, "Degrassi: The Next Generation". However, Drake also had a passion for music, which he pursued by releasing several mixtapes that eventually got him signed to Lil Wayne's Young Money Entertainment. Collaborations with other artists, a high-charting debut album and more acting roles have now made him one to watch. In this video, we take a look at the musical origins of Drake.

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Acting and "Degrassi"

Aubrey Drake Graham, otherwise known as Drake, was born on October 24th, 1986 in Toronto, Ontario. He began acting in high school and his first major role was playing Jimmy Brooks on the Canadian television series, “Degrassi: The Next Generation.”

Music and Mixtapes

However, he had always been attracted to music. So in 2006, Drake released his first mixtape, Room for Improvement, via MySpace and his website. He followed that up with a second mixtape, Comeback Season, which produced the single, “Replacement Girl” with Trey Songz. It was accompanied by a music video that made Drake the first unsigned Canadian rapper to be featured on the television channel, BET.

Lil Wayne and Young Money

He began working with rapper Lil Wayne and eventually released mixtape number three, So Far Gone, in 2007. It spawned two popular singles, “Best I Ever Had” and “Successful,” which started a bidding war between several labels who wanted to get Drake on their rosters. He eventually signed a record contract with Lil Wayne’s Young Money Entertainment and released the So Far Gone EP, which debuted in the Top Ten of the Billboard 200 and also won him a 2010 Juno Award.


After playing show dates with artists such as Lil Wayne, Soulja Boy and Young Jeezy as part of the America’s Most Wanted tour, Drake prepared his first official album. Thank Me Later, with guest appearances by Alicia Keys, Jay-Z and T.I., was released in June 2010. The record debuted on the top spot of the Billboard 200 chart, thanks to singles such as “Over,” “Find Your Love” and “Miss Me.”

More Acting

Drake also continued to act. For instance, he appeared in the 2007 movie, “Charlie Bartlett,” acted in the short film, “Mookie’s Law” and voiced a role in the 2011 video game, “Gears of War 3.”

A Star on the Rise

As he makes more music, collaborates with more artists and takes on more acting roles, it is clear that Drake’s career is on the rise. And at this rate, it is sure to keep on going.

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