June 29, 2018 / 11:46 PM / 14 days ago

Drake on course to smash streaming records with 'Scorpion'

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Canadian rapper Drake, the world’s best-selling artist of 2016, looked on course to set records tumbling again on Friday with his soul-baring new album “Scorpion,” in which he reveals he is a father.

FILE PHOTO: 2017 Billboard Music Awards – Show - Las Vegas, Nevada, U.S., 21/05/2017 - Drake accepts the award for Top Billboard 200 Album. REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni

Spotify said the album was streaming at an average rate of 10 million times an hour on Friday, while Apple Music said “Scorpion” was the No. 1 streamed album in 92 countries.

On the 25-track double album, Drake, 31, confirms long-standing rumors that he has fathered a son, but does not name the mother.

“Single father, I hate when I hear it,” he raps on the final track “March 14.”

The album also features collaborations with Jay-Z, Nicki Minaj, Ty Dolla Sign, and posthumous vocals by Michael Jackson.

“Scorpion” follows Drake’s best-selling 2016 album “Views” and his 2017 release “More Life,” which set a record across all music streaming services of 385 million streams in its first week of release.

The Recording Industry Association of America said on Friday that Drake had become its top digital song artist, with 142 million digital single sales units, ahead of Rihanna and Taylor Swift.

Streaming services in 2017 became the recording industry’s biggest single revenue source, overtaking sales of physical albums and digital downloads. Rap officially surpassed rock in 2017 as the biggest music genre in the United States.

“Scorpion” is a joint release on Warner Bros. and Universal Music-owned labels OVO Sound, Young Money Entertainment, Cash Money Records and Republic Records.

Reporting by Jill Serjeant; Editing by Dan Grebler

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