“Empire” is bigger than Madonna, according to the Billboard charts. The show’s Season 1 soundtrack debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200, topping Madonna’s latest studio album, “Rebel Heart.” The soundtrack sold 130,000 units in its first week, while “Rebel Heart” managed 121,000.
“Empire” is the first TV show since “Glee” to have a soundtrack debut at the top of the chart. Featuring appearances from Juicy J, Mary J. Blige, Jennifer Hudson, Estelle, Rita Ora and Courtney Love, the album mostly comprises songs from the show’s music supervisor, Timbaland, and his protégé, Jim Beanz.
The two-hour season finale airs Wednesday night, wrapping up 11 weeks of soapy, musical drama. Guest stars include Hudson, Ora, Snoop Dogg and Patti LaBelle. Starring Terrence Howard and Taraji P. Henson, “Empire” has seen its ratings improve with each episode, a fact that makes Fox executives send each other bags of money emojis, according to a New York Times interview.