It's official: As expected, Drake's "Nothing Was the Same" has debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 albums chart with the second-largest sales week of 2013.
"Nothing Was the Same" (Young Money/Cash Money/Republic), the hip-hop star's third full-length release, sold 658,000 copies in its first week (ending Sept. 29), according to Nielsen SoundScan. The only album to sell more copies in a week this year was Justin Timberlake's "The 20/20 Experience," when it bowed at No. 1 with 968,000 following its release in March.
The rest of the new Billboard 200 chart's top 10 will be revealed on Oct. 2.
"Nothing Was the Same" also gives Drake his personal best week ever. His last album, "Take Care" in 2011, started at No. 1 with 631,000. His full-length debut, "Thank Me Later," launched with 447,000 at No. 1 in 2010. The year before that, his debut EP, "So Far Gone," bowed and peaked at No. 6 with 73,000.
Drake’s debut is impressive, considering the set leaked to the Internet a little more than a week before it hit retail. The album reached the Web on Sept. 15 -- well before its Sept. 24 street date. Of course, leaks are commonplace, especially with hip-hop releases.
Drake's arrival with "Nothing Was the Same" is also the biggest week for any rap album since September 2011, when Lil Wayne's "Tha Carter IV" debuted at No. 1 with 964,000.
Since 2010, only seven other albums logged larger weeks than the debut of "Nothing Was the Same." Timberlake's "20/20" was one of them. Before that, Taylor Swift's "Red" bowed in 2012 with 1.2 million, while Adele's "21" surged to 730,000 in the week after her sweep at the Grammy Awards. In 2011, the previously mentioned Lil Wayne debuted, as did Lady Gaga with "Born This Way" (1.1 million). In 2010, Swift's "Speak Now" and Eminem's "Recovery" both started big with 1 million and 741,000, respectively, in their first weeks.
Drake's new album has already earned a pair of top 10 hits on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart: lead cut "Started From the Bottom" (peaking at No. 2) and "Hold On, We're Going Home" (No. 3). Last week, the set's "Wu-Tang Forever" reached No. 13 on the tally.