He’s tall. He’s handsome. He’s Canadian. And there’s no doubt the man can sing. But exactly how many hits does your future baby daddy have?
A Dedicated Artist
Canadian-born R&B singer Drake Graham is one of the most successful artists of the 2000s. From multiple mixtapes to solo albums to collaborative songs with other artists, Drake’s name is never far from the top of the Hot 100 list–if he isn’t already at the top of it.
Drake’s professional CV is impressive, and a testament to his hard work and unwavering dedication to his craft. His early career began in 2001 as an actor in a popular Canadian drama series, “Degrassi: The Next Generation.” Although he played an injured basketball player on the show, in his spare time, he was busy recording songs. In 2006, he released his first mixtape, titled “Room for Improvement,” which sold 6,000 copies.
Fueled by this modest success, he released another mixtape in 2007: “Comeback Season,” under his own newly created label, October’s Very Own (OVO). With this mixtape, Drake achieved his first hit single, “Replacement Girl,” which sampled Lil Wayne’s “Man of the Year.” Replacement Girl was featured as the New Joint of the Day on BET’s 106 & Park, where it caught the attention of Jas Prince, who introduced the song to his friend Lil Wayne. Unbeknownst to Drake, this move from Jas Prince would be the key to his start in a long and successful R&B career.
In 2008, Drake’s character was written out of Degrassi, and he was unsure of which path his career would take, wondering if he should get a regular day job or continue in the arts. Seemingly out of the blue, Drake received a call from Lil Wayne, who asked him if he could fly to Houston that evening and accompany him on his Carter III tour.
Wisely, Drake took the illustrious Mr. Carter up on his offer and flew to Houston. During the tour, Drake collaborated with Lil Wayne and Trey Songz to create another mixtape, “So Far Gone,” and the single “Best I Ever Had” went gold and peaked at number 2 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. This successful release led Drake to sign with Carter’s record label after a heated bidding war for the rights to the singer. Drake signed with Young Money Entertainment, and he wasted no time in crafting more hit albums and songs.
Last Name Ever, First Name Greatest
Drake’s first studio release from Young Money Entertainment in June of 2010, “Thank Me Later,” debuted at number 1 on both the American and Canadian charts, and went certified platinum. This album catapulted Drake into international R&B stardom and was the first of many successful studio-produced albums in his repertoire.
Tracks listed on Thank Me Later
- Fireworks (feat. Alicia Keys)
- The Resistance
- Show Me A Good Time
- Up All Night (feat. Nikki Minaj)
- Fancy (feat. T.I., Swizz Beatz)
- Shut It Down (feat. The-Dream)
- Unforgettable (feat. Jeezy)
- Light Up (feat. Jay-Z)
- Miss Me (feat. Lil Wayne)
- Cece’s Interlude
- Find Your Love
- Thank Me Now
- Best I Ever Had
Drake’s second studio album, Take Care, was released in November of 2011. Despite leaking online nine days before its official release, the album debuted at number 1 on the Billboard 200. Take Care has been certified six-times platinum, with four of the album’s singles: Headlines, Make Me Proud, The Motto, and Take Care peaking in the top 20 on the Billboard Hot 100. The album’s title was chosen by Drake because “I get to take my time this go-round.” Taking his time was well worth the effort, as this album earned the singer his first Grammy in 2013 for Best Rap Album.
Tracks Listed on Take Care
- Over My Dead Body
- Shot for Me
- Crew Love (feat. The Weeknd)
- Take Care (feat. Rihanna)
- Marvin’s Room
- Buried Alive Interlude (performed by Kendrick Lamar)
- Under Ground Kings
- We’ll Be Fine (feat. Birdman)
- Make Me Proud (feat. Nikki Minaj)
- Lord Knows (feat. Rick Ross)
- Cameras/Good Ones Go Interlude
- Doing It Wrong
- The Real Her (feat. Lil Wayne and Andre 3000)
- Look What You’ve Done
- HYFR (Hell Ya Fucking Right) (feat. Lil Wayne)
- The Ride
- The Motto (feat. Lil Wayne)*
- Hate Sleeping Alone*
*iTunes Bonus Tracks
Winning Awards and Shattering Streaming Records
Keeping in line with his Billboard chart-topping hits, Drake has been nominated for and won awards in almost every single awards show for R&B, Rock and Pop, Soul, Hip-Hop, Album of the Year, Video of the Year, Best Streaming Artist, Favorite Artist and Artist of the Year. In 2011, Drake even snagged the Hal David Starlight Award from the Songwriters Hall of Fame for solidifying “his position in the pantheon of great songwriters of this generation.”
Drake lays claim to 4 Grammy awards and 44 nominations. In addition to the Grammy for Best Rap Album of 2013, the singer has claimed two Grammys for Best Rap/Sung Performance and Best Rap Song for “Hotline Bling,” in 2017, and Best Rap Song for “God’s Plan” in 2019. In 2017, Drake famously used his platform to advocate for change in the way black artists are viewed by the Grammys, saying in a post-award interview, “I’m a black artist; I’m apparently a rapper. Even though Hotline Bling is not a rap song. I won two awards but I don’t even want them.”
In May of 2017, Drake won in 13 categories of the Billboard awards, shattering Adele’s previous record for artists with the most wins in a year. These awards only fueled his fire and led him to create more hit songs and albums throughout the years. In June of 2018, Drake released the studio album Scorpion which promptly shattered streaming records 170 million streams on Apple Music and 132 million streams on Spotify. With this album, he was the first artist to top 1 billion streams in 1 week.
Spitting All The Hits
The most recent record-setting moment for the singer came in March of 2020 when Drake landed his 208th song on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. The single track “Oprah’s Bank Account” in collaboration with Lil Yachty and DaBaby, debuted at number 89 on the Hot 100 list and has been streamed over 100 million times on Spotify alone. This achievement helped him pass his predecessor, Lil Wayne as the R&B title holder for most songs on the Billboard chart.
With a mind-boggling total of 208 hits under his belt, there are plenty of songs to discover by this versatile artist. Ardent fans and those new to Drake’s crooning voice have quite the impressive list to choose from, spanning years of the singer’s complete dedication to his craft.
Starting from “Best I Ever Had,” one can follow up with some of Drake’s other number one hits, including “One Dance,” “God’s Plan,” “Nice For What” and “In My Feelings.” These number one hits all hold their own, but you don’t have to stop there. This master of collaboration also boasts an impressive number of songs that have landed him on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. If Drake’s history of churning out hit songs is any indication, this is one singer and songwriter that will be creating many more hits for years to come.