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Best of 2015

10 Times Drake Ruled 2015

2015 was quite the time for Drake fans (to be alive). Here are the 10 moments Drizzy dominated this year

ATLANTA, GA - JUNE 20: Drake performs onstage at Hot 107.9 Birthday Bash Block Show at Phillips Arena on June 20, 2015 in Atl
Paras Griffin/Getty Images

Did Drake release an “official” album in 2015? Nope. That didn’t stop the Toronto rapper from absolutely dominating the year with must-hear music, heated rivalries, eye-popping videos and rumored romances. Before he inevitably rules 2016, check out the 10 times Aubrey Drake Graham defined this year.

1 / 10

January: “Blessings” From The Sky

Big Sean’s single “Blessings,” featuring Kanye West and Drake, highlighted his Dark Sky Paradise album and shot waaaaaay up the Hot 100 to score a Top 40 peak. Drake performed his hook on the track at festivals throughout the summer, and after a ton of standout guest verses in 2014, he ushered in the new year the right way.

2 / 10

February: 'If You’re Reading This It’s Too Late' Scores Huge Debut

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On Feb. 13, Drake gave fans an unexpected Valentine’s present with his fourth studio album, deemed a “mixtape” but still a commercial release. It was also a fast-selling commercial release: for months, If You’re Reading This boasted the biggest U.S. sales debut of the year, with nearly a half-million sold in its first frame. Oh, and the brooding collection of songs was one of the best-reviewed albums of the year, with offbeat radio hits like “Energy” and “Know Yourself” to boot.

3 / 10

April: The Madonna Smooch at Coachella

INDIO, CA - APRIL 12: Recording artists Drake (L) and Madonna perform onstage during day 3 of the 2015 Coachella Valley Music
Christopher Polk/Getty Images for Coachella

Drake’s Coachella headlining set was admittedly a bit underwhelming, but at least it included the did-you-hear-that moment of Madonna arriving as a special guest, performing for a few minutes, and eventually sucking face with Drizzy. It was a stunt, sure, but a stunt that got our attention, and demonstrated Drake’s influence—after all, not everyone can conjure the Queen of Pop for a festival set.

4 / 10

July/August: The Meek Mill Incident

For a few weeks, the hip hop world was captivated by Meek Mill’s verbal jabs at Drake, and Drizzy’s sonic retaliations. After Mill called out Drake on Twitter for not writing his own rhymes, Drake decided to let his music do the talking, dropping one solid diss track (“Charged Up”) and then a scorching one (“Back To Back”). By the time Mill responded with “Wanna Know,” the fight was already over. Drake celebrated by clowning his former cohort during a triumphant OVO Fest performance in Toronto.

5 / 10

September: The Serena Williams Rumors Heat Up

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Although they’ve insisted that they were just friends, Drake and tennis superstar Serena Williams became one of the most gabbed-about celebrity pairings when the couple was caught kissing in July. Drake then showed up at the U.S. Open to support Williams… but the semifinals loss caused the sports world to blame Drizzy for the major upset. Even with a #blamedrake hashtag, he was the center of attention as a spectator.

6 / 10

September: 'What A Time To Be Alive' Earns Another No. 1

After teasing a full-length collaboration, Drake and Future unleashed What A Time To Be Alive, an 11-song project that quickly became both rapper’s second No. 1 of the year (Future’s Dirty Sprite 2 claimed the top spot in July). Later, “Jumpman” became a surprise radio hit, solidifying Drake and Future (and producer Metro Boomin’, too) as the modern-day kings of hip hop ubiquity.

7 / 10

October: ‘Hotline Bling’ Becomes His Biggest Hit

Although “Hotline Bling” was originally released as a remix of sorts to D.R.A.M.’s “Cha Cha,” the re-working has taken on a life of its own, and in October the track reached the No. 2 spot on the Hot 100 chart, tying Drake’s previous solo best of “Best I Ever Had.” With a music video designed to be meme’d into oblivion, “Hotline Bling” morphed into Drake’s new signature single, and remains a Top 10 jam two months later.

8 / 10

December: Spotify Crowns Drake 2015’s Most-Streamed Artist

TORONTO, ON - NOVEMBER 25 - Toronto Rapper Drake addresses media in a 'Hotline Bling' installation at the Air Canada Centre i
Cole Burston/Toronto Star via Getty Images

Partially thanks to Adele and Taylor Swift abstaining from the streaming service, Drake was named Spotify’s most-streamed artist of 2015, with 1.8 billion streams this year and 46 million listeners. What a time to be available on multiple streaming platforms.

9 / 10

December: “Back To Back” Gets a GRAMMY Nom

Adding insult to injury for Meek Mill? “Back To Back,” which peaked at No. 21 on the Hot 100 chart, just got nominated for the best rap performance GRAMMY award. When will Drake’s reign of terror cease? Perhaps in February, if he wins the trophy and thanks Meek for making it happen. (Note: the “Back To Back” nod comes one year after “0 To 100,” essentially a Soundcloud toss-off, earned a GRAMMY nod, too.)

10 / 10

All Year: Keeping Us Thirsty For ‘Views From The 6’

INGLEWOOD, CA - NOVEMBER 08: Musician Drake performs onstage during REAL 92.3's 'The Real Show" at The Forum on November 8, 2
Scott Dudelson/Getty Images

Drake’s next official album has been teased more or less throughout 2015, even as projects like If You’re Reading This It’s Too Late and What A Time To Be Alive. Although Drizzy has been prolific, he has said that his next full-length is dropping imminently and will be more cohesive than this year’s pair of releases. How do you keep a huge fan base engaged? By dropping crowd-pleasing projects while promising something even more stellar on the way.

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Photo of the day

LONDON, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 25:  Lottie and Louis Tomlinson attend a party to launch her collection Nails Inc X Lips Inc Matchb

Oct. 26: Best Brother Ever

Serious ‘Awww’ moment. One Direction’s Louis Tomlinson gave some major brotherly love to sister Lottie at the launch party for her Nails Inc X Lips Inc Matchbox collection in London. On Instagram, Louis even wrote her a sweet congratulatory message "So proud of my sis last night :) well done Lots. Love you.” Awww!