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ARTIST OF THE WEEK : DRAKE

Aubrey Drake Graham (born October 24, 1986) is a Canadian rapper, singer, songwriter, record producer, and actor. Drake initially gained recognition as an actor on the teen drama television series Degrassi: The Next Generation in the early 2000s. Intent on pursuing a career as a rapper, he departed the series in 2007 following the release of his debut mixtape, Room for Improvement. He released two further independent projects, Comeback Season and So Far Gone, before signing to Lil Wayne’s Young Money Entertainment in June 2009.

Drake released his debut studio album Thank Me Later in 2010, which debuted at number one on the U.S. Billboard 200 and was soon certified platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA). His next two releases were 2011’s Take Care and 2013’s Nothing  Was the Same with certifications of quadruple and triple platinum respectively in the U.S., with the former also earning him his first Grammy Award for Best Rap Album. They were followed by two mixtapes, with the trap-influenced If You’re Reading This It’s Too Late, and a collaboration with Future for What a Time to Be Alive, in 2015. The former was certified double platinum in the U.S.

Drake released his fourth album, Views, in 2016, breaking several chart records in the process. The dancehall-influenced Views sat atop the Billboard 200 for ten nonconsecutive weeks, becoming the first album by a solo male to do so in over 10 years. Its single “One Dance” topped the chart in several countries, including the U.S., the UK and Canada, where it became his first number-one single as the lead artist. This saw Drake leading the Billboard Hot 100 and the Billboard 200 simultaneously for eight weeks, coming close to a record held by Whitney Houston. It achieved quadruple platinum status in the U.S., and earned over 1 million album-equivalent units in the first week of its release. The single “Hotline Bling” secured him his second and third Grammy win, for Best Rap/Sung Performance and Best Rap Song, at the organization’s 59th ceremony.

Alongside his Grammy Award wins, Drake has won three Juno Awards and six BET Awards. He has the most number one singles on the Hot Rap Songs, Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Airplay and Rhythmic Charts.

Drake has developed other ventures, including his OVO Sound record label with longtime collaborator Noah “40” Shebib. Drake acts as a producer, producing under the pseudonym of Champagne Papi. Using the “OVO” moniker, Drake has his own clothing line and his own channel on Beats Radio.

He is also currently acting as the global ambassador for NBA franchise, the Toronto Raptors

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