The toddler was adorably overwhelmed as his dad Drake accepted the artist of the decade award Sunday night

By Nicholas Rice and Tomás Mier
May 23, 2021 10:30 PM
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Drake is one proud father!

On Sunday night, the 34-year-old rapper accepted the Artist of the Decade Award at the 2021 Billboard Music Awards as his son Adonis, 3½, stood by his side. (But maybe he isn't ready to be on stage just yet!)

Wearing a red flannel and braids, Adonis held onto Drake's BBMA trophy as Drake began his acceptance speech. Throughout his remarks, Adonis clung to his father's leg as Drake wrapped his arm around his son's shoulders.

"I want to dedicate this award to my friends, I want to dedicate this award to my longtime collaborators," he said. "I want to dedicate this award to all my peers, all your decisions, and the music you make really does have me tossing and turning at night trying to figure out what I should do next. Thank you to my beautiful family."

Be sure to check out PEOPLE's Billboard Music Awards coverage to get the latest news on music's big night.

drake and son
Drake and his son Adonis
| Credit: Christopher Polk/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty

Adonis then burst into tears as Drake finished his speech before the rapper picked him up and brought him close to the microphone. "I want to dedicate this award to you," Drake said with a laugh.

Adonis' attendance at the awards show ceremony marked a rare appearance made by the toddler, whom Drake shares with artist and former adult film star Sophie Brussaux.

drake and son
Drake
| Credit: Christopher Polk/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty

Last May, Drake opened up about his decision to introduce his son on Instagram, when he joined Lil Wayne for an episode of Young Money Radio with Lil Wayne on Apple Music. During the conversation, Drake shared that posting photos of Adonis on social media was not a move he had "talked to anybody about or anything I planned."

"It was great for me. It was great to just share that with the world," the artist said of his Instagram post that was shared at the end of March 2020. "I just woke up one morning and I was like, you know what? This is just something that I want to do."

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Drake
Drake and son Adonis
| Credit: Drake/Instagram

At the time, it was the first time Drake had ever revealed photos of his son. He had previously posted glimpses into his life as a dad — sharing photos of his son's artworkFather's Day gifts and birthday party decorations — but never any photos of Adonis.

"I want to be able to go places with my son and share memories with my son," Drake added at the time. "I don't want to feel like just because of a life choice I made to be a 'celebrity' that I got to make everybody live under this blanket ... I just wanted to free myself of that."

Billboard's Artist of the Decade award is based upon the "activity on the Billboard Hot 100 songs chart and the Billboard 200 albums tally, as well as social media data and touring revenue from Billboard Boxscore, from Dec. 5, 2009, through Sept. 28, 2019," per a press release from Billboard.

RELATED VIDEO: Drake Shares Sweet New Photos of Himself Getting Son Adonis, 3, Ready

Drake, who is the most awarded artist in the show's history, has scored eight No. 1 songs on the Billboard Hot 100 chart and garnered an impressive nine No. 1 albums on the Billboard 200 chart, the latter being the most of any artist over the past decade.

Similarly, over the entirety of his illustrious career, the "Hotline Bling" crooner is the only solo male artist to have over 50 career weeks at No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart and a record 232 entries on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, with 45 of the songs being top 10s.

This year's awards show is based on chart data from March 21, 2020 through April 3, 2021 with winners based on "key fan interactions with music," including song sales, streaming and social engagement. Meanwhile the top social artist and top collaboration categories are fan-voted.

The 2021 Billboard Music Awards are airing live on NBC.