Drake’s Charmed Life: The Tough Times And Successes Of Aubrey Graham
Remember when Drake was just a disabled ex-basketball star attending a fictional Canadian high school? Nobody would ever have guessed that he would eventually become one of the most beloved and successful icons in the music world.
From barely scraping by to getting into bar fights with Chris Brown over Rhianna, the rollercoaster ride that is Drake’s life has taken many twists and turns in a relatively short period of time. We’ve examined Drake’s life and found some little-known facts about what has happened to him on his way to becoming the pinnacle of artistry within his genre of music.
Drake isn’t the only famous musician in his family. Keep reading to learn more.
The True Identity of Drake
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Most people know him as “Jimmy” from Degrassi or “Drake” from his music career. However, he was born Aubrey Drake Graham on October 24, 1986, Ontario, Canada. In order to still keep part of his given name for his music career, he decided to use his middle name for his musical identity.
His father is an African American from Memphis, Tennessee and his mother is a Jewish Canadian. As a boy, he attended a Jewish day school and even had a Bar Mitzvah ceremony. He also holds dual citizenship to both the United States and Canada.
Music Runs In His Family
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If you thought that Drake was the only successful musician in the family, you’d be sadly mistaken. Music was a big part of Drake’s upbringing with his father Dennis Graham working as a drummer for rock and roll superstar Jerry Lee Lewis. Also, his uncle played the bass guitar for Sly and the Family Stone and Prince.
Even on his mother’s side, there was a lot of musical influence on Drake as a boy. Music even brought his parents together, and the two met after Dennis performed at the Clue Bluenote where he first interacted with his mother, Sandra.
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High School Was A Tough Time For Drake
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After his parents divorced when he was five, he was raised by his mother in Toronto, Canada. His mother instilled Jewish traditions in Drake as a young boy, which later proved to make things difficult for Drake growing up. While in high school, Drake was the minority attending an all-white school. Not only was Drake African American, but he was also Jewish which truly set him apart from his peers.
During that time, he felt isolated explaining that “nobody understood what it was like to be black and Jewish.” Luckily, for Drake, he saw this as an opportunity to grow himself into a stronger person and rely on himself rather than the opinions of others.
High School Drop Out
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While attending high school, Drake showed an interest for the arts and even scored his first acting gig while still serving as a full-time student. Although he was originally attending Forest Hill Collegiate Academy, he later transferred to Vaughan Road Academy in the multicultural academy of Oakwood-Vaughan.
His peers came from more affluent families which is when things became especially difficult for Drake. It was during this time that the hip-hop star decided to pursue acting as a full-time career and dropped out of high school. He would eventually finish high school in 2012.
Degrassi: The Next Generation
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Eager to become an actor, when he was just 15, a friend introduced Drake to his father, who happened to be an acting agent. The two worked together, and Drake landed a role on the Canadian teen drama series Degrassi: The Next Generation. He played the character of basketball star Jimmy Brooks who eventually lost the use of his legs after being the victim of a school shooting.
While acting on Degrassi, he was essentially supporting he and his mother who was very sick at the time. He acted on the show from 2001 until 2007, appearing in 145 episodes.
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He Almost Gave Up On Music And Got A Day Job
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With minor success with his mixtapes in the mid-2000s, Drake was considering taking a day job. His character had been eliminated from Degrassi, and it didn’t look like his music career was going anywhere. While running out of money from his acting stint, his music career was also looking bleak.
He even thought about giving everything up” and “getting a job in a restaurant or something” to keep his head above water. That was the plan until Lil Wayne called him and asked if he wanted to join the Carter III tour.
The Mixtape That Put Him On The Map
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It wasn’t until 2009 that Drake came into the limelight. Although he had accrued a group of supportive fans over the years, it was his third mixtape So Far Gone that turned him into a sensation overnight. The mixtape contained some of Drakes most classic tracks such as “Best I Ever Had” and “Successful,” which both did unexpectedly well on the Billboard Hot 100.
The song “Successful” was a collaboration with Trey Songz and Lil Wayne which went gold and was named one of Rolling Stone’s 25 Best Songs of 2009.
An Unfortunate Injury
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In 2009, while performing on the “America’s Most Wanted Tour,” he fell on stage and tore his ACL, which ended up requiring surgery. He had already torn his ACL a few weeks prior but decided to go on tour anyway.
He told MTV News, “I didn’t really get any approval from my doctor,…