The Queen of Pop is battling TV's hottest new series for No. 1 on the Billboard 200 chart next week.
Industry forecasters say Madonna's new album, Rebel Heart, and the soundtrack to Fox TV's Empire are both aiming to shift around 125,000 equivalent album units in the week ending March 15. The two sets were released on March 10.
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.
If Madonna opens atop the list, it will mark her ninth No. 1, stretching back to 1984's Like a Virgin. She last led the chart with her previous studio album, 2012's MDNA. (Among all women, Madonna has the second-most No. 1s, behind only Barbra Streisand, with 10.)
However, if Empire bows at No. 1, it will be the first TV soundtrack to hit No. 1 since 2010, when Glee, the Music: Journey to Regionals debuted atop the tally (dated June 26, 2010). Like Empire, Glee airs on Fox (at least for two more episodes).
Rebel Heart was released through Live Nation/Interscope Records, while the Empire album was issued by 20th Century Fox TV/Columbia Records.
Also on tap for a big debut: Luke Bryan's latest spring break-themed album, Spring Break…Checkin' Out. It could move around 100,000 units and possibly debut at No. 3 on the chart, behind Madonna and Empire.