The 2019 Billboard Music Awards featured a star-studded lineup of performances and guests descending upon Las Vegas' MGM Grand Garden Arena, but as one of the night's most nominated artists, rapper Drake was a standout from the start. Even with 17 nominations only two years after setting a record for BBMA nominations in 2017, the star swerved the spotlight away from his first win of the night for a special shoutout. Drake's 2019 BBMAs acceptance speech had a perfect reference to Arya Stark, so I guess we know who he's rooting for to snag the Iron Throne.
When accepting the award for Top Billboard 200 Album, Drake's speech in honor of Scorpion began as most do. But in a true fanboy moment, he paused before saying goodbye and told the crowd, "Shoutout to Arya Stark for putting in that work last week!"
We still have a few days before the ongoing saga of Game of Thrones' final season continues, but Drake's nod just got us hyped all over again. His mention of Maisie Williams' character is a direct reference to Arya Stark's role in the Battle of Winterfell during the April 28 episode. No spoilers, but the skilled killer did more than enough to keep the Seven Kingdoms intact for now. Williams' onscreen sister Sophie Turner, who plays Sansa Stark, was also in attendance at the BBMAs, so you just know she was probably hitting up Williams as soon as the shoutout happened. Can you imagine that text exchange?
This isn't the first time Drake has identified himself as a Thronie. In his song "You & The 6," he alluded to experiencing the kind of betrayal that results in bloody violence on the HBO fantasy drama. Thankfully, this Arya reference is a bit more lighthearted.
Tied with The Chainsmokers, Drake set a record for most BBMA nominations in 2017 when both he and the band earned 22 nominations each. He emerged from that ceremony with 13 wins, and after scoring nine nominations at the 2018 BBMAs, Drake received a whopping 17 nominations for this year's ceremony. Close behind Cardi B's 21 nominations, the rapper was in consideration for some of the BBMAs' most prestigious awards, including Top Artist, the Billboard Chart Achievement Award, and Top Billboard 200 Artist. Do you think he kept a list on his phone of all his nominations just to keep them all straight?
Drake's heavy stack of nominations was based on work from his fifth album Scorpion, which dropped in June 2018 and surprisingly confirmed the existence of Drake's son with French artist Sophie Brussaux. Once the internet recovered from Drake's bombshell of a secret child, it occupied itself with the "In My Feelings" challenge, a phenomenon that Instagram user the @shiggyshow inspired by creating dance moves fitting the album's song with the same name. A shout-out to the challenge was even featured in the "In My Feelings" music video, further fueling the song's popularity.
The music world is fast and furious, and something released less than a year ago can easily feel like it debuted decades before, but Scorpion's impact definitely stuck around. Now, where are the memes of Arya's battle scenes set to some of Drake's tunes?