Canadian rapper Drake has another reason to celebrate this week, after his latest album Nothing Was the Same debuted at No. 1 on the weekly Billboard 200 album chart.

The successful introduction of Drake's new album comes days after the Toronto rapper and former Degrassi: The Next Generation actor was unveiled as the new global ambassador for the Toronto Raptors NBA team.

Last week, Drake (whose real name is Aubrey Drake Graham), drew massive crowds to a downtown Toronto music store for an autograph signing and session with fans awaiting his new release.

Nothing Was the Same, his third studio album, sold 658,000 copies in its first week, according to Nielsen SoundScan sales tracking system.

It is his third consecutive No. 1 debut on the chart, after 2010's Thank Me Later (which sold 447,000 copies upon its release) and 2011's Take Care (which sold 631,000 copies in its first week).

It marks the biggest opening for a rap album in two years and also marks the second biggest first-week sales figure this year (after Justin Timberlake's The 20/20 Experience), Billboard said.

Nothing Was the Same topped new releases by Nashville band Kings of Leon (Mechanical Bull), music veteran Cher (Closer to the Truth) and iconic singer-songwriter Elton John (The Diving Board).

Meanwhile, bolstered by the album's first released track Started From the Bottom, 12 songs from Nothing Was the Same have also turned up on the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart.