Drake has been in love with Rihanna since he was 22, which is not news to anyone who’s ever seen Drake interact with Rihanna. What is news, though, is that he finally admitted it, while presenting Rihanna with a Video Vanguard Award at the MTV Video Music Awards on Sunday night.
Drake was the perfect person to present the most major award of the night to Rihanna, because the two have been friends and collaborators for years. They have also inspired persistent rumors that they are an item—he the emo rapper dude always chasing her, she the playerette who won’t settle down. Drake’s speech presenting Rihanna with the award was catnip for any fans who harbor hopes that those two crazy kids will be able to work it out some day. It was heartfelt, it was sweet, it will make you want to get you a man who can write a similar speech for you when you win the Video Vanguard Award.
Drake won an early award at the show, but he wasn’t there to accept it. Puff Daddy claimed he was stuck in traffic, but really he was probably waiting backstage like a nervous groom, pacing back and forth, and getting ready to present the award to his one true love Rihanna. To further the groom analogy, he wore a tux for her. He took this seriously! Afterward, peanut gallerists Keegan-Michael Key and Jordan Peele joked that they thought Drake might propose, and they weren’t far off! To harken back to a VMA moment of yore, a Michael Jackson–Lisa Marie Presley–style kiss certainly wouldn’t have been out of place, though considering how that turned out, maybe it was better avoided.*
In his speech, Drake spoke admiringly of the singer, who he first met in 2005 when he had no rapping career to speak of. The two exchanged cute glances throughout. And then when Rihanna’s turn to speak, she joked about how the mic needed to be raised for her, because she’s taller than Drake. That feistiness is probably why he loves her … even if it means he’ll never actually catch her.
*Correction, Aug. 29, 2016: This post originally misspelled Lisa Marie Presley's last name.