Drake delivered an emotional and humbling speech at the Billboard Music Awards show on Sunday night as he accepted the Artist of the Decade Award.
The award, which is solely based on numbers, has seen the Toronto rapper rising to the heights of achievement at the end of a lot of enviable achievements in the music industry. On receiving his award, Drake was accompanied by his 3-year-old son Adonis Graham, who held his father’s trophy but soon burst into tears at the loud and screaming crowd.
Drake grasping his son by his shoulders, said that the introduction video played by Billboard leading up to his awards announcement “was really full of a lot of confidence and bravado, but you know, the truth is I’m really bad at taking compliments,” he admitted.
He, however, went on to give what most might consider an iconic formula guaranteed to always win- a mix of constant work and improvements and lots of gratitude.
“I’m really self-conscious about my music,” Adonis dad explained. “Even if I do a good job, I always wonder if I how I could have done a better job. I rarely celebrate anything, and, just 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, that you just keep going in the hopes of figuring out the formula. Feeling so lucky and blessed that the fear of losing it keeps you up at night.”
Drake added, “I didn’t really write a grandiose speech about how to make it work or what it took, ’cause, to be really honest with you, I don’t really understand it myself,” explained Drake. “I just know that I’ve spent an incalculable amount of hours trying to analyze all the things I did wrong, but tonight, for once, I’m sure as hell we did something right.”
He ended his speech by sharing his wins with the people in his life and those who spur the competition within him.
“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, all of your decisions and the music you make really really does have me tossing and turning at night, trying to figure out what I should do next, so thank you.”
It appeared that the shouts Drake’s speech also startled Adonis, who tried to make a run for it before bursting into tears. “To my beautiful family, and to you,” he tells his son, who he lifts up and kisses, “I want to dedicate this award to you.”
The hip hop star, 34, has released five of his studio albums in the 2010s decade. His next album, Certified Lover Boy, is expected to drop this year as fans wait in anticipation. Drake’s rise to dominance has been admirable to watch, moving from critics calling him “corny” and telling him rap wasn’t for him to now 47 Grammy nominations, including four wins for the songs “God’s Plan,” “Hotline Bling,” and his sophomore album Take Care.
Drake is also the most decorated Billboard artist- winning 27 BBMAs, the most by any artist! At this year’s BBMA’s he was nominated in seven categories- Top Artist, Top Rap Artist, Top Male Artist, Top Billboard 200 Artist, Top Hot 100 Artist, Top Streaming Songs Artist, and Top Streaming Song for “Life Is Good” with Future which has billions of streams and views. He won Top Streaming Songs Artist.
Drake is now in the company of greats as his Artist of the Decade Award follows that of Mariah Carey’s who won for the 1990s, and Eminem’s win for the 2000s decade.
Even his critics have made a turnaround as they recognize his ability to stay relevant as the music landscape and tastes of fans change and shift.