Aubrey Drake Graham, better known by his middle and stage name Drake was born in Toronto, Ontario to parents Sandi Graham, an educator, and Dennis Graham, a drummer who worked with Jerry Lee Lewis. Drake is related to American musicians Larry Graham and Teenie Hodges, who are his uncles. His father is an African-American from Memphis, Tennessee and his mother is a Jewish Canadian.
He attended a Jewish day school and had a Bar Mitzvah when he turned 13, which is a jewish tradition. His parents divorced when he was five years old, and he was raised by his mother in Toronto. As a youth he played hockey with the Weston Red Wings – hockey is the most popular sport in Canada. Drake attended Forest Hill Collegiate Institute (High School), however he dropped out to pursue his acting career. Despite dropping out of high school he was able to achieve his degree in October 2012.
Drake first gained recognition when at 15 he joined the television series Degrassi: The Next Generation. He played a paralyzed basketball player by the name of James “Jimmy” Brooks for seven seasons, appearing in 138 episodes through 2009, when Jimmy graduated from high school. Drake rose to prominence as a rapper, releasing several mixtapes – he gained worldwide recognition after dropping the EP “So Far Gone” in 2009 which spawned the single “Best I Ever Had”. The track peaked at number two on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 and it was the beginning of worldwide superstardom for Drake.