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5 Things to Know About Grammy-Nominated Best New Artist Drake

Aubrey Drake Graham – better known as just Drake, went from being a locally-known Canadian actor on high school drama Degrassi to teaming up with the biggest names in hip-hop professionally (Kanye West, Jay-Z and Lil’ Wayne – just to name a few), not to mention romantically. (Remember those Rihanna and Nicki Minaj headlines?)

But there’s much more to the actor-turned-hip-hop star, 24, than a Platinum-selling album, Thank Me Later, and a Rolodex stocked with A-listers.

Here are five things you should know about Best New Artist Grammy contender Drake:

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Aubrey Drake Graham Signs With ICM

ICM has signed Aubrey Graham, otherwise known as Drake, the fast-rising, Grammy-nominated hip-hop artist whose “Best I Ever Had” single hit No. 1 on the Billboard Rap Charts and No. 2 on the Billboard Hot 100 — all without having been signed to a label. ICM will rep the rapper-actor in all phases of his career.

Until last summer, Drake was best known as Jimmy Brooks in his role on Canada’s “Degrassi: The Next Generation.” But all that changed this year when his mentor Lil Wayne and Lil Wayne’s longtime manager Cortez Bryant assisted in launching Drake’s hip hop career, and the success of Drake’s “Best” single helped land a deal with Young Money Entertainment, with distribution through Universal Motown, resulting in a $2 million development payday, as reported by the LA Times. The song is nominated for two Grammy Awards: best rap solo performance and best rap song. He also received an American Music Award nom for hip-hop newcomer of the year.

Drake is working on his label LP debut, “Thank Me Later,” which will be released later this year. The artist’s self distributed mix-tape compilation, “So Far Gone,” has sold 267,484 units to date, according to Nielsen SoundScan.

Drake is co-managed by Bryant Management and Hip Hop Since 1978.