Drake accepts Artist of the Decade at the 2021 BBMAs with his 3-year-old son

The 'Laugh Now, Cry Later' rapper dedicated the award to his family and peers, as well as his son

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In a stirring speech, rapper Drake accepted the Artist of the Decade Award at the 2021 Billboard Music Awards with his 3-year-old son, Adonis.

Just a little over 10 years ago, Drake dropped his debut album, Thank Me Later, and has slowly ascended to the top of the rap game, becoming one of the most successful rappers in Billboard history. Before Sunday’s highly anticipated show, Drake was already a record holder, having the most BBMA wins of all time (27).

Honoring his hard work and legacy, the BBMA’s gave Drake the Artist of the Decade Award at Sunday’s ceremony, and the rapper accepted the award with his intimate circle in tow, including a tiny surprise guest.

2021 Billboard Music Awards - Backstage
Drake poses backstage for the 2021 Billboard Music Awards, broadcast on May 23, 2021 at Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Rich Fury/Getty Images for dcp)

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Specifically choosing his closest friends and family to present the award to him, the sequence celebrating the “Headlines” rapper kicked off with a stirring montage. The history-spanning video featured footage of Drake’s meteoric rise, with a monologue playing underneath the visual where Drake echoed what his critics have said about him over the years. After the montage, Drake walked out and accepted the major award with his son, Adonis.

In his acceptance speech, Drake opened up about his confidence and how “self conscious” he is.

He explained to the audience, “I’m really bad at taking compliments…I’m really self conscious about my music. And uh, even if I do a good job, I always wonder how I could have done it better. I rarely celebrate anything, and just for anyone watching this that’s wondering how this happened, you know that’s really the answer. It’s being so unsure how you’re getting it done that you just kind of keep going in the hopes of figuring out the formula.”

He continued, “I didn’t really write a grandiose speech about how to make it work or what it took, because you know to be really honest with you, I don’t quite understand it myself. But, 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 then dedicated his award to his friends and family, sharing, “I want to dedicate this award to my friends. I want to dedicate this award to my long time collaborators.” He even dedicated the award to his peers, who he explains “keeps him tossing and turning at night” when he is figuring out what music to make next. In an adorable moment, Drake closed out his speech by dedicating the award to his son, picking him up and giving him a kiss on the cheek.

Black Twitter seemed to love Drake’s surprise guest as much as the audience in Los Angeles. One user wrote in a tweet, “Drake brought Adonis out on stage. This is not a drill #BBMAS.”

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You can watch Drake’s inspirational acceptance speech below:

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