Aubrey Drake Graham (born October 24, 1986) is a Canadian rapper, singer, songwriter, record producer, actor, and entrepreneur. Born in Toronto, Ontario. His father, Dennis Graham, is an African American and a practising Catholic from Memphis, Tennessee, and worked as a drummer, performing alongside country musician Jerry Lee Lewis. Drake's mother, Sandra "Sandi" Graham, is an Ashkenazi Jewish Canadian who worked as an English teacher and florist. Drake's parents divorced when he was five years old. After the divorce, he and his mother remained in Toronto, while his father returned to
Memphis. Drake attended a Jewish day school, and had a Bar Mitzvah (Jewish coming of age ritual for boys) ceremony. In his youth, he played minor hockey with the Weston Red Wings Drake initially gained recognition as an actor on the teen drama television series Degrassi: The Next Generation in the early 2000s. Intent on pursuing a career as a rapper, he departed the series in 2007 following the release of his debut mixtape, Room for Improvement. He released two further independent projects, Comeback Season and So Far Gone, before signing to Lil Wayne's Young Money Entertainment in June 2009. Drake released his debut studio album Thank Me Later in 2010, which debuted at number one on the US Billboard 200 and was soon certified platinum by the RIAA (Recording Industry Association of America).