Drake was joined on stage by three-year-old son Adonis as the Canadian superstar was named artist of the decade at the Billboard Music Awards.
Drake, 34, was recognised for his remarkable chart dominance since 2010, including nine number one albums in the US and six number one singles.
His parents and friends were on stage at the Billboard Music Awards in Los Angeles while a video looking at his career was shown.
“I’m really bad at taking compliments,” Drake, wearing a light-coloured three-piece suit, told the audience.
“I’m really self-conscious about my music and even if I do a good job I always wonder how I could have done it better.
“I rarely celebrate anything and just for anyone watching this wondering how this happened, that’s really the answer – it’s being so unsure of how you’re getting it done you kind of keep going in the hopes of figuring out the formula.
“Feeling so lucky and blessed that the fear of losing it keeps you up at night.”
Drake, whose hit songs include God’s Plan, Hotline Bling and Toosie Slide, added: “I know I’ve spent an incalculable amount of hours trying to analyse all the things I did wrong, but tonight for once I’m sure as hell we did something right.”
He dedicated the award to his friends, family, collaborators, peers and Adonis, who was crying while clutching his father’s award.
Adonis is Drake’s son with French artist Sophie Brussaux. In 2018 rival rapper Pusha T revealed Drake had fathered a child with Brussaux and the Toronto-born star later confirmed the news on his album Scorpion.
Drake is the most awarded artist in the history of the Billboard Music Awards, with 29 career wins.
The artist of the decade award is based on chart success as well as social media data and touring revenue from December 5 2009 to September 28 2019, Billboard said.