Week Ending Sept. 29, 2013. Albums: Drake, Cher Set Records
Don’t tell Kanye West, but Drake's new album, Nothing Was The Same, sold slightly more than twice as many copies as West's Yeezus sold (327K) when it debuted in June. Drake's 658K opening constitutes the fattest one-week total for a hip-hop album since Lil Wayne's Tha Carter IV sold 964K in its first week in September 2011. That puts Drake's album ahead of not only Yeezus, but also Jay Z's Magna Carta Holy Grail (528K).
Among all 2013 albums, Nothing Was The Same trails only Justin Timberlake's The 20/20 Experience, which sold 968K copies when it debuted in March.
Nothing Was The Same sold even more copies this week than Drake's last album, Take Care, which bowed with sales of 631K in November 2011 (when it was boosted by Thanksgiving sales). Drake is one of only two artists who have released two albums since January 2010 that got off to 500K+ starts. The other is Taylor Swift, who towers over everybody with her fast starts for Speak Now (1,047,000) and Red (1,208,000).
This is Drake's third album in a row to enter The Billboard 200 at #1. It follows Thank Me Later and Take Care.
Drake, who will turn 27 on Oct. 24, was born in Toronto. Only one other Canadian artist has ever sold more copies of an album in one week than Drake did this week. That's Shania Twain, whose 2002 album Up! opened with sales of 874K copies.
Nothing Was The Same is the fourth album so far this year to sell more than 500K copies in its first week. It follows the aforementioned Timberlake and Jay Z albums and Luke Bryan's Crash My Party (528K). This is the first year since 2007 that four albums debuted with sales of 500K in the first nine months of the year.