Two Budding Superstars—One From Boxing, One From Music—Team Up
UNCASVILLE, Conn.—Grammy-nominated recording artist Drake will join undefeated World Boxing Council super lightweight champion Devon Alexander “The Great” during the boxer’s walk to the ring for his world championship unification match on Saturday at Mohegan Sun that will be televised live on HBO (9:30 p.m. ET/PT) from Mohegan Sun. The event is being promoted by Don King Productions.
Drake will perform his smash-hit “Forever,” which will provide a perfect opportunity to play to the song’s lyric, “Last name ever, first name greatest,” as Alexander’s ring nickname is “The Greatest.”
The song was included on the soundtrack of the LeBron James documentary film “More Than a Game” and peaked in Billboard magazine at No. 1 on the Rap chart; No. 2 on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop chart; and No. 8 on the overall Hot 100 chart.
The boxer and rapper, both 23, recently met in Las Vegas where Alexander, a native of St. Louis, had set up his training camp. The boxer’s trainer-manager Kevin Cunningham and Drake’s managers noted the chemistry between the two emerging superstars and decided to pair them at Saturday’s boxing event.
“Naturally I’m a big fan of Drake’s,” Alexander said. “He’s a really nice guy and I like the ‘Forever’ lyric. I’m looking forward to hearing it as an added bit of motivation while I’m walking into the ring to face Juan Urango on Saturday night at Mohegan Sun.”
Music fans that viewed the recent national telecast of the 52nd-Annual Grammy Awards may remember seeing Drake’s performance of “Forever” alongside Lil Wayne and Eminem to close out the show.
Alexander’s promoter Don King—whose music exploits include owning The Corner Tavern in Cleveland during the 1950s and 1960s, which was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2002; the classic 1974 music festival that accompanied the “Rumble in the Jungle”; and promoting the “Jacksons Victory Tour” in 1984—is excited to have Drake joining with his fighter.
“I’ve always loved music and Drake is one of the hottest artist’s in the world today,” King said. “We’ve got the best young boxer in Devon Alexander and this sparkling young singer Drake. It’s going to be something special on Saturday night.”
Aubrey Graham, better known as Drake, is a Toronto-born actor and singer recently nominated for two Grammys: Best Rap Solo Performance and Best Rap Song for “Best I Ever Had.” Drake, who is signed to Aspire / Cash Money / Young Money has worked with, and earned the respect of, the most innovative artists in the hip-hop world including Lil Wayne, Kanye West and Eminem as well as musicians like Alicia Keys and Mary J Blige, to name a few.
Drake is currently putting the finishing touches on his debut album, “Thank Me Later,” which is slated for a May 2010 release. Starting in April, Drake will headline the Away From Home Tour, a Campus Consciousness Tour, which has been selling out in ticket pre-sales.