The 30-year-old Canadian rapper got personal while accepting his trophy for Top 200 Billboard album — given to him for his 2016 record Views.
He started his love fest by opening up about frustration he felt towards an unnamed pal. “You know I had a close friend of mine that didn’t support my album but then supported other people’s stuff,” Drake explained. “And I asked them why, and their response was, ‘I don’t want to look thirsty and you get enough love as it is.’ ”
“It made me think,” Drake continued. “You know it’s crazy because we’re all here on earth for a limited amount of time and we’ve got to show love while we’re here.”
“So tonight, I want to say — Vanessa Hudgens, you look incredible tonight,” he began, calling out the Billboard Music Awards co-host.
He then turned to Hudgens’ co-host. “I want to say, Ludacris — I know we haven’t always seen eye to eye but I’ve always been a big fan of yours. I got a lot of love for you. I want to let you know that face to face while I’m still here.”
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Drake then turned his attention to Minaj.
As fans remember, the two rappers were close friends at the beginning of their breakout success — both members of Young Money Entertainment, Lil Wayne‘s record label. But their friendship cooled off for about a year and a half after Minaj’s then-boyfriend, rapper Meek Mill, claimed that Drake does not write his own rap lyrics.
The accusation, which came in the summer of 2015, prompted a fierce feud between the rappers — with diss tracks and social media posts flying between the two.
It wasn’t until Minaj called it quits with Mill in January that she and Drake came back together — meeting in Miami together with Wayne later that month (and sharing photos of their reunion to their social media platforms on Feb 1).
“I want to say, Nicki Minaj — I’m so glad we found our way back because I love you and I could never ever ever see it any other way,” Drake said. “I want to say Lil Wayne, if it wasn’t for the risks you took, none of us would be here tonight,”
While repairing relationships may have been the focus of Drake’s acceptance speech, he ended it with a shoutout to his father. “My dad got on a purple suit with purple shoes. Boy, if you don’t stop!”
Drake and The Chainsmokers lead the nominees of the 2017 Billboard Music Awards with 22 nominations each. So far, the rapper has picked up at least 12 awards.
He performed his hit song “Gyalchester” later in the show — live from the famous fountains outside Las Vegas’ Bellagio casino and hotel.
The 2017 Billboard Music Awards are airing live on both costs from Las Vegas’ T-Mobile Arena on ABC.