The singer earned 649,000 equivalent album units to top the Billboard 200, easily eclipsing the success of fellow Canadian Drake's If You're Reading This It's Too Late, which debuted with a massive 535,000 units in February (15), two months after officials at Nielsen Music began tracking the overall totals, which combine physical sales with streaming data.

Purpose also shifted 522,000 in pure album sales to become his highest-selling release and the biggest sales week since Taylor Swift's 1989 launched with 1.29 million a year ago (Nov14). It's also the best opening for an album by a male artist since Eminem's The Marshall Mathers LP 2 shifted 792,000 copies.

The performance of Purpose easily topped chart rivals One Direction's Made In the A.M., which bows at two with 459,000 units. The news emerges two days after the boyband beat Bieber to claim the number one spot in the U.K. albums countdown.

The two new releases lead a bumper week for the Billboard 200, which boasts eight debuts in the top 10 - for only the fourth time in the countdown's history, and the first time since 2011.

Logic's The Incredible True Story opens at three, ahead of Jeezy's Church In These Streets at four, while Chris Young's I'm Comin' Over rounds out the all-new top five at five.

The other debuts in the top flight come from Trans-Siberian Orchestra (Letters From the Labyrinth at seven), Alessia Cara (Know-It-All at nine) and Kirk Franklin (Losing My Religion at 10).