If you’re reading this, he won. Drake became the third ever winner of the Artist of the Decade Award at the 2021 Billboard Music Awards on Sunday, May 23, during the L.A. broadcast from the Microsoft Theater.
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The Toronto native, 34, was honored for his Billboard chart dominance throughout the 2010s, joining past winners Mariah Carey (the 1990s) and Eminem (the 2000s).
“I’m really bad at taking compliments,” he began after a prerecorded video detailing his accomplishments aired. “I’ll take that one, though.”
He continued by discussing his perfectionism, saying that he “rarely” celebrates anything because he worries how he “could have done it better.”
He went on to thank his colleagues and his family, including Adonis, who had started to get a little antsy.
“I want to dedicate this award to my friends, I want to dedicate this award to my longtime collaborators, I want to dedicate this award to all my peers,” Drake said. “All of your decisions and the music you make really does have me tossing and turning at night trying to figure out what I should do next.”
He closed his speech by hugging Adonis, adding, “I want to dedicate this award to you.”
The prolific rapper has released five albums and four mixtapes since 2010. His 2011 album, Take Care, debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200. In 2018, his double album, Scorpion, became the first album to be streamed more than 1 billion times during its release week. It was also certified platinum the day it was released, and all 25 of its tracks charted on the Billboard Hot 100.
The “Passionfruit” singer first found out he would receive the Artist of the Decade Award earlier this month and reacted to the news via Instagram.
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“Today was one of those days it doesn’t feel real,” he wrote on May 12. “Waking up to artist of the decade then having dinner with my idol @ronaldisley and listening to the stories behind every song that shaped my love for emotional music and created my formula for a lot of my writing … high on life right now my g’z.”
Prior to the 2021 ceremony, Drake also held the record for most BBMA wins, with 27, having taken home 12 awards in 2019 alone.
In addition to Artist of the Decade Award, the Degrassi alum was up for seven prizes at the 2021 BBMAs, including Top Artist, Top Male Artist, Top Billboard 200 Artist, Top Hot 100 Artist, Top Streaming Songs Artist and Top Rap Artist. “Life Is Good,” a collaboration with Future, was also up for Top Streaming Song.
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Drake fans are eagerly awaiting his next album, Certified Lover Boy, tentatively due out sometime in 2021. Earlier this year, he released a teaser EP called Scary Hours 2, which featured guest appearances from Lil Baby and Rick Ross. The EP’s three tracks — “What’s Next,” “Wants and Needs” and “Lemon Pepper Freestyle” — debuted at Nos. 1, 2 and 3 on the Billboard Hot 100, receptively, making him the first artist in history to have three songs debut in the chart’s top three positions.
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