Beginning his entertainment industry career appearing as Jimmy Brooks on Degrassi: The Next Generation, Toronto native Drake (born Aubrey Drake Graham) put the music world on notice after releasing mixtapes in 2006. Buoyed by the support of Kanye West, Jay-Z and other rap heavyweights, Drake saw his single, “Best I Ever Had” — from the EP So Far Gone — reach No. 2 on Billboard’s Hot R&B/Hip-Hop chart. Drake had the opportunity to collaborate with his rap mentors West and Jay-Z on his first full-length studio album, Thank Me Later, in 2010.
Drake’s second album, 2011’s Take Care, included the singles “Headlines” and “The Motto,” in which Drake popularized the acronym YOLO (You Only Live Once).
While his music garners acclaim, the rapper/actor has also made headlines for his rivalries with fellow musician Chris Brown. The pair were allegedly involved in a fight at NYC’s W.i.P nightclub in June 2012 during which Drake and his posse allegedly threw glass bottles toward Brown. Brown and his bodyguard were injured in the melee, along with fellow club patron, NBA player Tony Parker, who sustained a scratched retina. While Drake denies any involvement in the fight, sources say the pair scuffled over a shared love for Rihanna.
Dropping out of high school as a teenager to join the cast of Degrassi, Drake finally earned his high school diploma in 2012.