As expected, rapper Drake secured his third consecutive No. 1 collection last week, as the Cash Money set “Nothing Was the Same” led seven new titles onto the U.S. album chart.

The Toronto-born hip-hop star, né Aubrey Drake Graham, corralled the top slot with first-week sales of 658,000, according to Nielsen SoundScan data for the week ending Sept. 29. His previous chart-toppers, 2011’s “Take Care” (2 million sold) and 2010’s “Thank Me Later” (nearly 1.7 million) also reside on this week’s list, at Nos. 74 and 179 respectively.

Nashville sibling unit Kings of Leon tied their best chart placement ever with “Mechanical Bull” (RCA), which secured No. 2 with 110,000 copies moved out of the box. The band’s 2010 release “Come Around Sundown” claimed the same position. Its 2008 bestseller “Only By the Night,” which contained the hits “Sex On Fire” and Grammy winner “Use Somebody,” peaked at No. 4

A pair of familiar names climbed into the top five. Cher’s “Closer to the Truth” (Warner Bros.) boarded at No. 3, tracking 63,000. Incredibly, it’s the Oscar-winning singer’s highest debut in a solo career that dates back to 1965; 1998’s “Believe,” which contained the titular international hit, peaked at No. 4.

The perennially reliable Elton John’s “Diving Board” (Capitol) plunged in at No. 4 with a 47,000-copy opening lap. It was the vocalist-pianist’s third top-10 release of the millennium, succeeding “The Captain and the Kid” (No. 6, 2006), and “Songs From the West Coast” (No. 2, 2001).

Dream Theater’s self-titled Roadrunner album moved in at No. 7 with a 34,000-unit frame. The metal act’s showing was consistent with its most recent chart placements: “A Dramatic Turn of Events” (2011) debuted at No. 8, while “Black Clouds & Silver Linings” (2009) peaked at No. 6.

EDM triumvirate Krewella captured No. 8 with its first full-length release “Get Wet” (Columbia), which shifted 27,000. Act fronted by sisters Jahan and Yasmine Yousaf previously reaped a No. 6 dance hit with its 2012 EP “Play Hard.”

Metal warlords Metallica returned to the top 10 with the soundtrack to their concert doc “Through the Never” (Blackened), which bowed at No. 9 with 25,000 sold. The group’s IMAX 3D combination of live footage and dramatic narrative opened nationally on Sept. 27.

Last week’s No. 1 arrival, Jack Johnson’s “From Here to Now to You,” fell to No. 5 with a 37,000-copy tally (down 69%). Other holdovers included Luke Bryan’s “Crash My Party” (No. 6, 36,000, off 24%) and Justin Moore’s “Off the Beaten Path” (No. 10, 25,000, down 74%).

Next week should witness an interesting chart faceoff, as Justin Timberlake’s “The 20/20 Experience – 2 of 2,” out yesterday, will challenge Drake for the pinnacle. Timberlake’s first “20/20” installment, released earlier this year, has sold nearly 2.3 million to date.