“Empire” now officially tops another chart — the Billboard 200.
The soundtrack to the Fox hip-hop soap opera beat out Madonna‘s “Rebel Heart” to claim the No. 1 slot on the industry’s main album sales chart, according to Billboard. In doing so, “Empire” becomes the first TV series since fellow Fox hit “Glee” to sit on that impressive pedestal. The “Glee” soundtrack was full of covers, however, while “Empire’s” features original tunes.
As TheWrap reported last week, the “Empire” album was tracking to sell about 125,000 units in its first week, the same as Madonna and better than Luke Bryan‘s “Spring Break … Checkin’ Out.” At the time, while Building Charts placed the officially named “Original Soundtrack From Season 1 of Empire” in third, the theory was that Season 1’s buzzy penultimate episode on Wednesday would boost sales. Theory confirmed.
“Empire” bested all comers with 130,000 equivalent album units earned (traditional album sales, track-equivalent albums and streaming-equivalent albums) in the week ending Mar. 15, according to Nielsen Music. Meanwhile, Madonna‘s “Rebel Heart” moved 121,000 units.
Per iTunes, “Conquerer,” featuring Estelle and Jussie Smollett, and “You’re So Beautiful,” by Smollett and Yazz, are currently the most popular individual songs purchased from the “Empire” soundtrack.
“Drip Drop” by Yazz and Serayah McNeill is battling Smollett’s “Good Enough” for third-best.
In addition to now (temporarily) dominating music, “Empire” has been crushing traditional television ratings.
Last week, the Lee Daniels‘ drama scored 14.7 million total viewers, according to Live Same Day Nielsen numbers — representing its ninth week of upward eyeball growth.
In the advertiser-sought 18-49 demographic, “Empire” earned a 5.6 fast national rating, slipping one-tenth of a point from the prior week’s series high per the preliminary metric.