2016 MTV Video Music Awards: Drake Says He’s Been ‘In Love’ with Rihanna Since He Was 22

As if Drake already didn’t have enough nice things to say about Rihanna already, the “Hotline Bling” rapper made his feelings for the singer known when he presented her with the Video Vanguard Award at the 2016 MTV Video Music Awards.

After recalling their first encounter on the set of “Pon de Replay” in Toronto 11 years ago, Drake told the crowd, “She’s someone I’ve been in love with since I was 22 years old.”

He continued, “She’s one of my best friends in the world. All my adult life, I’ve looked up to her, even though she’s younger than me.”

However, it seemed Drake’s grand gesture was not returned. Though Drake bared his soul onstage, Rihanna kept it cool by thanking her “friend” for his “amazing speech” after giving him a peck on his cheek (and noticeably avoiding Drake’s kiss on the lips). Oof.

“My success, it started as my dream. But now, my success is not my own. It’s my family’s, my fan’s, my country’s … black women,” Rihanna said in her acceptance speech. “I have to thank you guys for supporting me over and over. Thanks to every director who’s taken a chance on my crazy ideas.”

Before the televised declaration of love, Drake admitted his feelings for Rihanna at a concert before buying a billboard to congratulate her on her VMAs win.

Click through the gallery above to see more of Drake and Rihanna at the 2016 MTV VMAs!