Drake: Ten Years at The Top

Aubrey Drake Graham

There is no need for lengthy introductions. For the past ten years, if you had the opportunity to listen to the radio, enter the internet, or stream some music in Spotify, you have undoubtedly heard Drake‘s music. The Canadian rapper reached the top of the charts for the first time in 2009, and nothing ever brought him down throughout the decade. He is just everywhere you look for music, news, or entertainment. With a masterful strategy of constant original releases, Spanish singing, and recurring collaborations outside his albums, Drake is today just one song away for tying the record for most career Billboard Hot 100 entries.

Born in Toronto, Canada, Aubrey Drake Graham is a multi-Grammy-award winning rapper. His first contact with entertainment came with his role as “Jimmy Brooks,” in the show Degrassi: The Next GenerationHe played the role for seven years and then got signed to Lil Wayne‘s label, Young Money Entertainment in 2009. Today, only at thirty-three years old, and with a whole life in front him, his numbers are already off-the-charts. 


Hot 100

Drake is a regular in the history of Billboard’s Hot 100 with a record of six #1 Hits, 35 Top 10 Hits, and a total of 206 (combined of original and featured tracks) entries in the world’s most important list. Like said at the beginning, with his outstanding 206 entries, Drake is just one entry away from reaching the record holder, Glee’s Cast recordings

Six #1 Hits

Billboard 200

In addition to his almost-record-breaking record at the Hot 100’s, in the Billboard 200 Chart that ranks the 200 most popular music albums and EP’s in the United States, Drake records eleven releases in the Top 10 spots of which nine are No. 1 albums.

Spotify’s Record

Spotify and Drake are professional contemporaries. Both the platform and the artist have grown to take center stage in the music industry, and this past decade set them as two of the most influential players. Together, these two have made of Drake a world-wide phenomenon. Drake’s promotion on the streaming platform has been over-the-top and reached far and wide the platform. Several Spotify users (more specifically paid subscribers) have expressed their disgust towards Drake’s promotion and want greater partiality from their music library supplier. Sometimes it seems that not even paying the monthly fee will set the users free from ads.

To close 2019, Spotify announced its most prominent artists and songs of the year and the decade. Even though Drake didn’t make in the top 5 for any category in 2019, he is still the decade’s most-streamed artist over Ed Sheeran, Post Malone, Ariana Grande, and Eminem.

The following graphs show Drake’s “Listeners” and “Streams” count from 2015 until January 2020.

Listeners‘ count – tops at around 16 million listeners at Scorpion‘s release.
Streams count – tops at around 155 million streams per day at Scorpion’s release.

As we can see on these graphs, each time there was a new album release, Drake’s listeners and streams exponentially increased in the millions, causing the peaks. But most importantly, after those peaks, the number of listeners and streams would decrease at a prolonged rate, right in time for a new album release to raise the numbers again.

In Comparison

Ed Sheeran was the second most-streamed artist in the decade. Sheeran had a fantastic decade topping the charts with various styles and genres of music. Also, he set the highest attendance for a music tour, highest-grossing music tour by a solo artist, and highest-grossing music tour. But even beating U2 for the biggest tour in history, it wasn’t enough to surpass Drake on streaming.

Here we can see Drake’s record on dark blue and Sheeran’s on light blue. Even though Sheeran went strong and consistent through the last five years, Drake was able to surpass those numbers thanks to releases like the “Views” album, “God’s Plan” single, and the later “Scorpion album. Although Sheeran scored almost 80 million streams for the release of his album “÷” (Divide), Drake doubled that count with “Scorpion” reaching nearly 160 million.

Listeners‘ count – Drake dark blue / Ed Sheeran light blue
Streams count – Drake purple / Ed Sheeran light purple

The red lines markers show all the times Drake’s numbers were on top of Sheeran’s.

Latin Incursion

In his efforts to reach wider audiences than ever, Drake has been one of the top North American artists to jump aboard the Latin Pop global takeover. Back in 2014, before Beyoncé and J Balvin, or Justin Bieber and Luis Fonsi joined forces, Drake crossed over to sing with the most famous Bachata artist of all time, Romeo Santos. Even though this move might seem like a better opportunity for Santos to be on the radar for the millions of Drake’s fans, it gave the Canadian a better entrance to Latin America. Four years later, Drake paired up with one of the most influential reggaeton artists, Bad Bunny, to release MIA – that peaked at #5 on Billboard Hot 100 in October 2018.

Odio by Romeo Santos ft. Drake – 2014

Mia by Bad Bunny ft. Drake – 2018

Social Media King

Hotline Bling

Through the years, one of the essential tools for Drake’s successes has been social media. Thanks to songs and videos like Hotline Bling, the rapper has been able to keep his name in everyone’s mouths. The video for Hotline Bling caused so many reactions by fans, and user-generated content, that many experts came out, so say that Drake and his team purposely produced the video with the intentions of becoming a viral “meme,” and a “vine.”

In My Feelings

When Drake released “In My Feelings” back in 2018, the internet went crazy. Every single social media platform was flooded with users’ original videos of the “In My Feelings” challenge: a dance choreography next to a moving car with the front door open. People and fans did so many videos (their version of the same video because it was a “challenge”) that Drake was able to include these in the Original music video.
Check video at 7:26

Editor’s Favorites

Here is our list of Drake’s top 20 songs from the 2010s. (No specific order)

  1. Nice For What
  2. God’s Plan
  3. MIA by Bad Bunny ft. Drake
  4. No New Friends by DJ Khaled ft. Drake, Rick Ross & Lil Wayne
  5. Versace by Migos ft. Drake
  6. Work by Rihanna ft. Drake
  7. Behind Barz
  8. Controlla
  9. Do Not Disturb
  10. From Time
  11. Headlines
  12. Hold On, We’re Going Home
  13. Pound Cake
  14. Worst Behavior
  15. No Lie by 2 Chainz ft. Drake
  16. Odio by Romeo Santos ft. Drake
  17. Passionfruit
  18. Signs
  19. Won’t Be Late by Swae Lee ft. Drake
  20. Fake Love

Drake set the highest bars in streaming and the entertainment industry during the 2010s. Only at 33 years of age, we are set to see and hear a lot more material and records from this incredible artist. The Canadian rapper seems more mature and consolidated than ever, and we can only wait for him and his team’s planning for the new decade.

Watch Drake’s rise to the top!
Watch from the year 2010 Q4 – 7:48

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