Drake surely knows a thing or two about entertaining. He’s flexed his comedic skills on Saturday Night Live, lit up stadiums with his acclaimed tours, hosted the 2014 ESPY Awards, and regularly tops the charts with his albums and singles — and let’s not forget his dance moves from the footwork-heavy (and instantly meme-able) “Hotline Bling” video.
But over the past year, the “Passionfuit” rapper has joined the elite group of musicians (Kanye West, Justin Bieber) who have been noticeably absent from performing at major awards shows — despite racking up nominations at events including the BET Awards and this year’s Grammy Awards.
Well, he comes out of that awards-show-performance hiatus on Sunday, when he’ll hit the T-Mobile Arena stage at the 2017 Billboard Music Awards. Drake has secured an impressive 22 nominations at the show, tied with dance breakout stars The Chainsmokers. Will he join forces with Nicki Minaj for their “No Frauds” duet? Or possibly bring his More Life international collaborators to the U.S. stage?
In honor of Drake’s upcoming BBMA performance, Billboard takes a look back at the entertainer’s past performances, from the G-rated Justin Bieber “Baby” verse to his onstage chemistry with Rihanna.
Drake Performs With Justin Bieber at Juno Awards, 2010
Before Justin Bieber evolved into the megastar he is today, belting out sultry lyrics on Luis Fonsi and Daddy Yankee’s Despacito” remix, he was a fresh-faced teen crooning about PG-rated love on “Baby.” For the 2010 Juno Awards, the teen tapped Drake to assist him with a performance of an unofficial remix of the track. Joining his fellow Canadian artist onstage, Drake raps about wanting “a woman that looks 30 when she’s 81.”
Rihanna and Drake Heat Up the Grammys Stage for “What’s My Name,” 2011
Drake and Rihanna shared a musical chemistry long before the success of their 2016 hit “Work.” For the 2011 Grammy Awards, the duo performed a sultry performance of their hit “What’s My Name.” Clad in an all-black ensemble — and Rihanna in a red corset and embellished hot pants — Drake raps his verse before Rihanna seduces the rapper by grinding up on him.
Drake Joins DJ Khaled, Rick Ross and Lil Wayne at the BET Awards, 2011
2011 was the year of Drake. He earned a Billboard 200 chart-topper with his sophomore release Take Care?, which was also certified four times platinum, and dished out features like candy for artists like Lil Wayne (“The Motto,” “HYFR”) and DJ Khaled (“I’m on One”). The then-rising rapper performed the latter feature on the 2011 BET Awards with the track’s all-star cast Rick Ross, DJ Khaled and Lil Wayne.
Drake Performs “Headlines” at the American Music Awards, 2011
Riding high off the success of his acclaimed third studio effort, Drake took over the American Music Awards stage with a performance of his song “Headlines.” Backed by a live band and vibrant lights illuminating his set, Drake’s performance had the crowd amped. Nicki Minaj showed her support for her fellow Young Money labelmate by rapping along to the chorus.
Drake Brings “Hold On We’re Going Home” to MTV Video Music Awards, 2013
“Hold On We’re Going Home” was a standout track from Drake’s third studio album, Nothing Was the Same, so it was only right to perform the catchy pop tune at the 2013 VMAs.
Drake Reunites With Rihanna for Brit Awards, 2016
Drake and Rihanna’s 2016 collaboration “Work” propelled to the top of charts, and for the 2016 Brit Awards, Rihanna performed her Anti tracks “Consideration” and “Work” and was later joined onstage by Drake as the two turned the stage into their own personal dance party.
The Billboard Music Awards air Sunday at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT on ABC. Performers include Nicki Minaj, Ed Sheeran, Bruno Mars and more. T-Mobile Magenta Carpet Live at the BBMAs,” the official red carpet pre-show for the “2017 Billboard Music Awards,” will live-stream exclusively on Twitter on Sunday, starting at 6 p.m. ET/3 p.m. PT. The pre-show will be available to logged-in and logged-out audiences on Twitter and connected devices, and can be found at BBMAs.twitter.com or via @BBMAs.