The biggest musicians of all time are known by just one name, and Drake stands out as one of the most successful mononyms of this generation. The 35-year-old landed his first hit single “Best I Ever Had” more than a decade ago in his early 20s, and since then, he has outstreamed, outsold, outperformed, and earned more money than almost everyone else in the business.
Though Drake’s latest album — the surprise drop Honestly, Nevermind — may not be many fans’ favorite new Drake era, he isn’t too bothered. “It’s all good if you don’t get it yet,” he said in a recent video, seemingly addressing his critics. “It’s all good. That’s what we do ... we wait for you to catch up. We’re in here though, we caught up already.” He is nominated for five VMAs this year, including Artist of the Year and the highly coveted Video of the Year award.
But for any artist trying to catch up with Drake on a financial level — well, that won’t be easy. All of his hit singles (11 No. 1s on Billboard’s Hot 100) and massive albums (11 No. 1s) for the Canadian talent is just the starting point his money-making empire. Drake is also an entrepreneur who seems to be involved in, well, everything. He makes untold millions from nearly everything he involves himself in, and with every passing year, he seems to find time to take on more projects.
Understandably, Drake has a net worth that rivals the richest in the music business, but where does it all come from? Let’s take a look at all the ways Drake earns money and laughs his way to the bank.
7 Ways Drake Has Made Millions
As musicians become more and more popular, it’s not usual to see them earn the bulk of their riches from activities that aren’t musical. Once someone becomes a global superstar with enough capital to invest in other business ventures, it’s much easier and more efficient to make millions elsewhere (more on that later), but when it comes to Drake, it appears that he still brings home more from rapping and singing than anything else.
In many ways, Drake is statistically the most successful musician of all time. The RIAA (Recording Industry Association of America) confirmed he has moved at 163 million singles in just the U.S. and 25 million albums, including sales and streaming equivalents. He is the most-certified songs artist in American history, beating everyone else by tens of millions of singles moved. He has dozens of platinum singles and even a diamond-certified hit, which means it has moved at least 10 million units in the U.S. alone. Globally, those figures swell, though to exactly what height is hard to nail down. Drake’s worldwide numbers could be as high as 300 million or more, easily making him one of the bestselling and most-streamed artists ever.
In the U.S., the largest music market in the world, Drake has charted eight No. 1 hits on the Hot 100. The Canadian superstar also holds the record for the most top 10 hits (45), the most top 40 hits (122) and the most Hot 100 placements (236) ever, and nobody is close to him in these achievements. He has won four Grammys (out of a whopping 47 nominations), as well as quite a few BET Awards, American Music Awards and a record-setting 28 Billboard Music Awards.
Drake is credited as a writer on all of his songs, which means he earns a royalty every time someone streams a track or whenever one of his releases is played on the radio. He also likely collects a hefty payday from Republic, one of the record labels he’s signed to, whenever he delivers a project, as it’s bound to make the company quite a bit of money.
One of the reasons Drake is the most successful musician ever is because he regularly collaborates with other artists, lending his talent and name to their songs. This has led to him having an enormous discography, and while he appears on hundreds of tunes fronted by other acts, he still usually charges a pretty penny for a verse. It appears that sometimes he does this for free, for friends or perhaps if he knows he’ll earn enough after the track drops, but other reports suggest he may charge as much as $1 million for a feature, though that figure does seem incredibly high. Other top-tier rappers like Nicki Minaj command several hundred thousand dollars for a feature, which may be closer to the truth.
On top of all the music he makes as an artist, Drake also owns a record label and lifestyle brand called OVO Sound, which stands for October’s Very Own. In addition to releasing the co-founder’s material, musicians like PartyNextDoor, Majid Jordan, Popcaan and others are signed to the company, and it’s likely that Drake earns a cut of all revenues coming in the door.
Drake brings home an incredible amount from performing all those tunes for audiences that number in the tens of thousands. The rapper’s headlining tours have brought in more than $170 million, and his total may already be well above $200 million. Including those treks where he was credited as a featured act, his touring revenues nearly doubles, and he personally takes home anywhere from hundreds of thousands to more than a million each night.
Like many superstars, Drake can be hired to perform at private events, if it works with his schedule, if he has some connection to the person hosting the event, and, of course, if they are willing to pay. A decade ago, Drake earned a quarter of a million dollars for a private party, and that was just the beginning. In 2018, the hip-hop titan was paid just more than $1 million for a one-off performance at a new supper club in his hometown.
3. Business: Food & Alcohol
Once he became wealthy from his hits and performances, Drake wasted no time in reinvesting all that cash into a variety of businesses, and he now has his hand in countless industries, with millions tied up in everything from chicken to apparel. One field Drake has invested heavily in is the food sector, with the rapper focusing much of his financial efforts in the liquor vertical.
Drake made a splash in 2016 when he officially launched Virginia Black Whiskey. The industry recognized quickly that the product was largely aimed at a female audience, and at first, it was a major success. The brand broke sales records in Ontario, Canada, upon its first day of availability, so it seemed like the company was off to an incredible start. A few years ago, the musician and his business partner started gauging interest in an IPO, as they were looking for $30 million to spread Virginia Black around the world, though not much has been heard about this since.
Recently, Drake once again partnered with famed liquor entrepreneur Brent Hocking, the same man behind Virginia Black, to launch Mod Sélection, a champagne brand. The first two offerings from the new label retailed for between $300 and $400, while newer products, released in 2019, go for $550 per bottle. They seem to be selling alright, so chances are the Grammy winner is seeing a profit, or at least reason to keep investing.
Outside of alcohol, Drake has also invested his hard-earned millions in other food-related ventures, including taking part in a $40 million funding round completed by faux chicken company Daring, as well as putting some of his money into NYC-based cafe MatchaBar.
4. Business: Clothing
Like so many of his colleagues in hip-hop, Drake has teamed up with one of the largest athletic apparel companies in the world, with the “God’s Plan” singer choosing Nike as his go-to partner. He first worked with the clothing giant in 2013 to launch his own version of the legendary Air Jordans, which of course became bestsellers. His relationship with the brand remained incredibly strong for years, and the two even went so far as to launch a Drake-fronted sub-label called Nocta. All of this work surely paid Drake millions, though it’s always hard to pin down just how much someone like him earns from these activities.
In addition to being a record label, Drake’s OVO brand has extended its reach into clothing, and the streetwear lines launched have all sold extremely well. In fact, there are now a dozen stores in cities such as Chicago, New York, Las Vegas, Tokyo, and throughout Canada, where fans can pick up merchandise in person. The name has become so well-loved that a collaboration between OVO and Bape was announced in 2020, putting two titans in that space alongside one another.
5. Business: Sports
Always a supporter of his hometown of Toronto, Drake has a major deal with the Raptors basketball team, though much of his work seems to be behind the scenes. In 2013, the NBA franchise announced the rapper as the new global ambassador, and he helped breathe new life into the team as a rebranding effort was launched. Several years later in 2018, Drake joined the Raptors in the Welcome Toronto program, a tourism initiative. Exactly what the chart-topper does for the basketball group isn’t entirely clear, but one thing is certain: his involvement didn’t come cheap, and there are plenty of reports that claim he wants to one day own the whole thing.
Drake jumped headfirst into the ever-expanding esports industry in 2018 when he joined a group of investors, which included mega music manager Scooter Braun, in purchasing an ownership stake in the brand 100 Thieves, which at the time was one of the hottest rising collectives in the space. In addition to winning major tournaments in the video game space, 100 Thieves also had a streetwear line and was involved in other activities, and once Drake became involved, it's net worth skyrocketed. Less than a year later, the company was valued at more than $125 million, so the rapper and his cohorts probably made a quick buck on that purchase.
6. Other Business Ventures
Throughout his nearly 15 years as a music superstar, it looks like Drake’s largest payday came when he teamed up with Apple to help the tech giant launch its streaming competitor, Apple Music. He signed on to produce a radio show, immediately making the company a serious player in the space, one which arrived with street cred thanks to the “Toosie Slide” artist’s involvement. Drake was reportedly paid an astounding $19 million for a multi-year deal, which also involved him releasing some music and videos on the platform before anywhere else, including smashes like “Hotline Bling,” which was kept from hitting No. 1 in large part to its exclusivity, and his album Views.
In addition to all of the many deals listed above, Drake has also made money working with companies like Live Nation, Sprite, Kodak, Virgin Airlines, and “sustainability as a service” brand Aspiration for activities like advertisements and investments. Details on how much the rapper was paid by any of these firms is secret, but it’s likely millions among them.
7. Film & TV
One of the newest additions to Drake’s massive list of industries he wants to dominate is the film and TV field. Many well-known musicians who dive into this arena do so by finding a project to star in, but the chart-topping rapper is going another route. Instead of relying solely on his famous face as an actor, he’s working behind the scenes to produce shows and movies, all of which have thus far been well-received by critics and audiences alike. Through his production company DreamCrew, Drake and his team have produced or co-produced Euphoria and Top Boy as well as the horror-comedy release Spree and a sports documentary titled The Carter Effect.
DreamCrew likely brings in millions in revenue from making these productions a reality, and some of that inevitably works its way back to Drake. He may not be earning a huge amount of money right now, as things are just ramping up for the fledgling competitor, but Drake could one day be a force to be reckoned with, as well as a possible Emmy and Oscar winner.
Those who know Drake well aren’t shocked he’s found his way back to the small screen, as that’s where he got his start. Back when he was still Aubrey Graham, he co-starred in the popular TV series Degrassi: The Next Generation, which reportedly paid him $50,000 per year when he was just a teenager.
He also still receives residual checks for the show. In 2017, he shared a picture of the $8.25 check he gets for his Degrassi years. “Degrassi money still coming in,” he captioned the picture.
What Is Drake’s Net Worth?
Drake’s net worth was estimated to be $150 million by Forbes in 2019 — but it’s worth noting that another figure from the magazine, suggesting Drake made $50 million in 2021, was apparently off enough to make the musician laugh in emoji. (As Drake himself says on the Certified Lover Boy ending track “The Remorse,” “Please don’t Google my net worth, the numbers are way off.”)
Meanwhile, this year, Celebrity Net Worth pegs Drake’s net worth at $250 million. Of course, either way, the rap mogul is a certified rich man.
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