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The Empire takeover has crossed over from television to the charts. The show's soundtrack beat out Madonna's Rebel Heart to debut atop the Billboard 200 albums chart. Much like the show's premiere, industry insiders were shocked by the soundtrack's performance. Initial projections had the Empire soundtrack moving around 25,000 units, but the final numbers came in at 130,000. Rebel Heart debuts at No. 2 with 121,000 units.
In addition to the show's cast, the album's guests included Mary J. Blige, Jennifer Hudson, Courtney Love, Rita Ora, and Charles Hamilton. Reviews weren't great, but that clearly hasn't stopped the show's momentum from extending to the soundtrack.
This is the first time a TV soundtrack has topped the chart since Glee did so three times in 2010.