Drake celebrated his recent high school graduation by picking up his diploma, and delivering a commencement speech at Toronto's Jarvis Collegiate Institute on Friday.
Though the artist formerly known as Aubrey Graham did not attend the school, he still had plenty of advice for the class of 2012.
"I reached a point in my life where I realized there aren’t material things that can give me the excitement that I’m looking for," said Drake, to an auditorium full of cheering graduates. "There’s a void in my life that I need to fill and I need to sit and think long and hard [about] what that was. It was the fact that I had left a gaping hole in my story of following through."
Drake, 26, dropped out of high school at age 15 to play Jimmy Brooks on 'Degrassi: The Next Generation.' The Toronto-born 'HYFR' singer spent the summer in the city to finish his remaining class credits. Last Friday, he took to Twitter and wrote, "As of tonight I have graduated high school!" which he said was, "One of the greatest feelings in my entire life."
But it was his commencement message about follow-through, which he calls "one of the most important life lessons," that struck the biggest chord with the crowd during his surprise address.
"There are many different ways of following through, and tonight, you followed through with a straight shot, and for that, you should give yourself a round of applause," said Drake.
“Sometimes it’s about going there, not getting there. ... Sometimes it’s the journey that teaches you a lot about your destination.”
The rapper-actor ended his speech by giving his mother, a retired teacher, a shout-out, saying that she "always wanted me to graduate."
Way to make us proud, Drake. Congratulations, Drizzy!
Related on HuffPost:
When Justin Bieber finished his GED, he didn't get a traditional graduation ceremony -- until Ellen DeGeneres surprised him with a cap, gown, and diploma on her talk show.
<em>Victorious</em> actress <a href="http://www.mmm-mag.com/2012/04/ariana-grande-pictured-after-g.html" target="_hplink">Ariana Grande graduated </a>from North Broward Preparatory School College in Boca Raton, Florida this year. We think she looks adorable in her cap and gown!
Jake T. Austin
The <em>Wizards of Wavery Place</em> star graduated from Clarkstown High School South in West Nyack, New York. No magic spells here, Jake put in hard work to finish high school. <em>Correction: An earlier version of this story indicated that Jake's high school is in Los Angeles, when in fact, it is in West Nyack, New York.</em>
<em>The Carrie Diaries</em> star graduated from Arapahoe High School in Centennial, Colorado this year. She was <a href="http://www.luckymag.com/blogs/luckyrightnow/2012/05/lucky-office-visit-annasophia-robb-of-the-carrie-diaries" target="_hplink">accepted to Stanford University</a>, although she's deferring her enrollment for another year to focus on acting.
<em>American Idol</em> winner <a href="http://wqyk.cbslocal.com/2012/06/07/scotty-mccreery-graduates-from-garner-high-school/" target="_hplink">Scotty McCreery graduated</a> from Garner High School in Garner, North Carolina. He plans to attend North Carolina State University this fall.