Drake called Rihanna a special name in an attempt to win her back, it is claimed.

The Barbadian singer dated Chris Brown on and off following his assault on her in 2009, but the former couple ended things in May of last year. It was then rumoured the songstress had resumed her former romance with Drake, but they are said to have split earlier this year.

“He didn’t call her Rihanna once, he called her Robyn [her birth name],” a source revealed to HollywoodLife. “He knows how that makes her feel. Only the people who really know her call her that and she always thought it was real sweet and special when he did that in their relationship.”

Apparently, the 27-year-old rapper wants to rekindle their romance. He invited the 26-year-old songstress to a nightclub in New York City earlier this week to apologize and woo her, HollywoodLife reports.

“He was jocking her, telling her how beautiful she looked and he kissed her on the cheek,” the insider told HollywoodLife. “He didn’t really come out and say he wanted to f**k, but she knows his game.”

Rihanna purportedly saw the use of her birth name as a “desperate move”.

“One thing he is, is a charmer. He’s got that down for sure,” the insider added. “Too bad he doesn’t know how to commit.”

In June, the S&M singer shared she did not want a “serious relationship” at the time.

“I just want to have fun!" she told German magazine Bravo.