On Sunday, May 23, Canadian rapper and entrepreneur, Aubrey “Drake” Graham was awarded the Billboard Artist of the Decade award.
During the ceremony, the camera focused on the stage where several of Drake’s friends and family stood with him. One of his long-time friends and manager, Future the Prince, spoke kind words about Drake: “When Drake was asked who should present him with Artist of the Decade, he had a lot of choices. It could have been one of his peers, it could have been one of his mentors, it could just been one of his very famous friends that are interesting, but he looked me straight in the eyes and said, ‘It should be you guys, my friends and family, the people that have been there every step of the way with me.’”
Future the Prince continued, “You see, that’s just who Drake is. He’s the most kind, selfless, generous person we know.”
An introduction montage film followed. Drake narrates about the unlikeliness of his career. He speaks of all of the questioners and naysayers who did not believe in his consistent success and numerous accomplishments and ruminates on if everything he had done was purely through luck. In the second half of the short film, one of Drake’s closest friends, LeBron James, counters all of the negative claims about the artist’s long career by listing every accomplishment that Drake ever attained on the Billboard charts.
With nine number 1 albums, six number 1 songs, a record 232 songs on the Billboard charts, 45 top 10 chart positions, the first artist to debut at number 1, 2 and 3 simultaneously on the Billboard Hot 100, more weeks on the Hot 100 than Elvis Presley, Stevie Wonder, Elton John and Michael Jackson, he was the most-streamed artist of all time, 13 Billboard Awards, the most in one night and 27 total Billboard awards and a record of 431 weeks on the Hot 100, Drake reveals that he is completely grounded in factual data that he, without a doubt, deserved the honor he was given that night. LeBron expresses, “This is far from chance.”
Drake emerged on stage with his son, Adonis, who held his father’s awards in his hands, staying close and comfortable while standing on a stage for the first time in front of a crowd of fans and onlookers. Drake confessed, “I’m really self-conscious about my music and even if I do a good job I always wonder how I could have done it better. I rarely celebrate things, and for anyone watching this that’s wondering how this happened, that’s really the answer. It’s being so unsure how you’re getting it done you just kind of keep going in the hopes of figuring out a formula. I feel so lucky and blessed; the fear of losing it keeps you up at night.”
The 34-year-old rapper was humble and praised by the audience and the family that surrounded him on stage. It will take a generation of new artists to top all that Drake has achieved in the past decade. He handled his honor with grace and humility. His attitude and groundedness is a part of his formula as his persona gains the trust and loyalty of millions of fans and listeners all over the world.
Drake released the “Scary Hours” EP earlier this year and is set to release his latest studio album, “Certified Lover Boy,” hopefully this year as its 2021 release date was pushed back due to a knee injury.