'Empire,' Madonna & Luke Bryan Set for Top Three Debuts on Billboard 200 Chart
But in which order remains to be seen.
As previously reported, Madonna's 13th studio album Rebel Heart is in a race for the top against the soundtrack of Fox TV's new hit series Empire. Industry forecasters suggest both sets might move 120,000 equivalent album units in the week ending March 15.
The Billboard 200 chart ranks the most popular albums of the week based on multi-metric consumption, which includes traditional album sales, track equivalent albums (TEA) and streaming equivalent albums (SEA). The new Billboard 200's top 10 will be revealed on Wednesday, March 18.
Luke Bryan's latest effort, Spring Break…Checkin' Out, will likely start in the No. 3 slot with a little over 100,000 units. All three of the above-mentioned albums were released on March 10.
Rebel Heart, issued through Live Nation/Interscope Records, would mark Madonna's 21st top 10 album. All 12 of her previous studio efforts have reached the region, and her last five studio sets all debuted at No. 1.
If Empire bows atop the list, it would be the first soundtrack to open at No. 1 in nearly two years. The last to do so was The Hunger Games: Songs From District 12 and Beyond (on the chart dated April 7, 2012). Further, Empire would mark the first TV soundtrack to lead the list since 2010, when three different Glee albums reached No. 1.
As for Luke Bryan, his latest album is the eighth -- and final -- in his spring break-themed series of releases. His first Spring Break set came in 2009 (Spring Break With All My Friends) and he's continued the party ever since on an almost-yearly basis. In 2013, he garnered his second No. 1 album on the Billboard 200 with a compilation of previously released Spring Break tracks: Spring Break…Here To Party.
The new Spring Break…Checkin' Out would give Bryan his seventh top 10 album on the Billboard 200, and his fifth No. 1 on the Top Country Albums chart.