Drake is back on top. The Toronto MC not only has the No. 1 album in the country, he also has the second-largest sales week of the year with Nothing Was the Same.
The third album from the 26-year-old debuts at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 chart with 658,000 copies sold in its first week, according to Nielsen SoundScan.
The only album to sell more copies in a week this year was Justin Timberlake’s The 20/20 Experience, which opened with 968,000 in March.
Nothing Was the Same also marks Drake’s best week ever. His sophomore album, 2011’s Take Care, launched at No. 1 with 631,000, while his 2010 debut Thank Me Later posted first-week sales of 447,000.
Led by the top 10 singles “Started From the Bottom” and “Hold On, We’re Going Home,” NWTS also earns the biggest week for any hip-hop album since Lil Wayne’s Tha Carter IV bowed at No. 1 with 964,000 in September 2011.
Justin Timberlake is expected to knock Drake from the No. 1 spot next week with The 20/20 Experience – 2 of 2. Early estimates have the album selling 325,000 copies in its opening week.