'Empire': The TV show's dominance now extends to the music chart

The soundtrack to the Fox TV show debuted at number one on the Billboard 200 albums chart, while Madonna's 'Rebel Heart' came in second. The season one finale of 'Empire' airs on March 18.

Chuck Hodes/Fox/AP
'Empire' stars Jussie Smollet (l.), Terrence Howard (center), and Bryshere Gray.

Madonna was no match for TV’s newest hit. 

The soundtrack to Fox’s new TV show “Empire,” which centers on the head of a music and entertainment company trying to decide which of his sons should take over the business and features original music, debuted at number one on the Billboard 200 albums chart, according to Billboard. Madonna’s newest album, “Rebel Heart,” debuted at number two. Both of the albums came out on March 10. 

As noted by Billboard, in addition to its cast members, the soundtrack for “Empire” includes contributions from musicians like Mary J. Blige, Jennifer Hudson, and Rita Ora

The season one finale of the ratings hit airs on March 18. The show debuted this past January and stars Terrence Howard as Lucious Lyon, the head of the entertainment company, who is diagnosed with a fatal disease. Taraji P. Henson portrays Lucious’s ex-wife, Cookie, who was recently released from jail. 

The success of the “Empire” soundtrack may be reminding pop culture fans of another Fox series. The network perfected dominance of TV and music with its series “Glee,” which centered on an Ohio high school glee club and had its cast performing both covers and original songs on the show. 

Madonna’s album “Rebel Heart” has received mixed reviews and currently holds a score of 69 out of 100 on the review aggregator website Metacritic. Los Angeles Times critic Randall Roberts wrote that the album is “a sturdy rhythmic platform to showcase some of the most striking tracks she’s made in 15 years… it has completeness to it rather than the mishmash of could-be stabs at relevance that dots her lesser work… more often than not, [the album] lands solidly and with great grace on its feet.” However, Guardian reviewer Alexis Petridis found “Rebel” to be “essentially two separate albums… the two don’t quite gel… [some songs] boast an effortlessness and a confidence... [but] there are moments when Madonna appears to be frantically chasing after other artists or trends.”

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