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‘Empire’ Soundtrack Debuts at No. 1 on Billboard 200 Chart, Madonna Arrives at No. 2

As posted on”It’s official: Fox TV’s breakout hit series Empire crashes in at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 albums chart, as its soundtrack debuts atop the list after a battle was brewing between it and Madonna’s new Rebel Heart album.

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).

Exclusive: Rita Ora Talks ‘Empire’ Finale Performance With Charles Hamilton

The Empire soundtrack was released March 10 through Columbia Records and bows with 130,000 equivalent album units earned in the week ending March 15, according to Nielsen Music. It’s the first TV soundtrack to debut at No. 1 since 2010, when three different Glee albums arrived atop the list. (Both Empire and Glee air on Fox TV.)

Madonna’s Rebel Heart, also issued on March 10, starts in the No. 2 slot with 121,000 units. The Live Nation/Interscope Records release is Madonna’s 21st top 10 album.

The rest of the new Billboard 200 chart’s top 10 will be revealed on Wednesday, March 18.

A week ago, industry forecasters were projecting that there was a race for No. 1 between the titles, with some giving the edge to the multi-artist Empire soundtrack. What’s especially notable is that Empire wasn’t even initially a contender for No. 1. When talking to Billboard about Empire’s performance over the past week or so, multiple sources have used phrases like “huge surprise,” “has really blown up” and “how an album can change…!”

A week before the album was released, label sources were forecasting the album’s first-week unit total to be in the 25,000 range. That forecast quickly rose to around 125,000 on March 11, the day after it went on sale. (Much like the show’s blockbuster TV ratings — which grew tremendously on a weekly basis — the album’s forecast quickly grew past expectations.)

As for Madonna’s Rebel Heart, it too was aiming for a 125,000 start on March 11.

By Friday, March 13, industry forecasters continued to say that either Empire or Rebel Heart could come out on top. As the final numbers show, Rebel Heart’s performance slowed down a bit, while Empire galloped ahead of its forecast.

Empire features contributions from its newcomer cast, like Jussie Smollett, as well as hitmakers like Jennifer Hudson, Mary J. Blige, Estelle, Rita Ora, Juicy J and Courtney Love (all of which have acted on the show). Empire stars Terrence Howard and Taraji P. Henson.

KIN4LIFE Set to Perform South by Southwest 2015

Austin, TX  — Indie veterans and LGBT icons KIN4LIFE have officially been confirmed to perform at one of the most anticipated music events of the year. The dynamic duo will take the South by Southwest stage Saturday, March 21 from 9:00PM – 9:40PM at Cheer Up Charlie’s for the first official LGBT music showcase hosted by The Color Agent. For more information visit KIN4LIFE @ SXSW and to register to attend, please visit

KIN4LIFE will deliver a never-before-seen performance of ‘Never Meant to Hurt You’ from the ‘Money Brings Trouble’ album, which KIN4LIFE recently shot a video for in collaboration with guitarist Joe Jordan of the band Joe Jordan’s Experiment. Known for always bringing intense and explosive energy to the stage, KIN4LIFE are sure to put on an unforgettable show by rocking out to fan-favorites like ‘Make Up Girl’ and brand new records from upcoming projects dropping later this year.

Musicians scheduled to perform at this year’s SXSW Music Festival include E-40, Brandy, DJ Drama, Just Blaze, Elle Varner, DeJ Loaf, and Amanda Perez. Super sponsors for SXSW 2015 include Pepsi, Sonicbids, AT&T, McDonald’s, Capital One, and Mazda.

The super duo has performed at Pride celebrations in major cities across the United States and abroad including opening for Grammy Nominee Marsha Ambrosius in the Dominican Republic.

KIN4LIFE has mastered the art of longevity in the indie scene by continuously delivering raw talent, sharp lyrics, and fiery beats that characterize the KIN4LIFE sound. To get familiar with these rising stars and their distinctive sound

About SXSW

South by Southwest Music and Media conference is the largest and most prominent music industry event of its kind, offering attendees the opportunity to explore the future of the music industry through daytime conference activities at the Austin Convention Center. At night, the absolute best mix of musical performances from over 2,200 acts from all around the world take place on over 90 stages, making SXSW an unmatched networking and career-building conference, currently in its 29thyear.

Jermaine Dupri: Ciara’s ‘I Bet’ Completely Rips Off Usher’s ‘U Got It Bad’ [Videos]

With Pharrell Williams and Robin Thicke recently ordered to pay Marvin Gaye’s family $7.4 million for heavily biting Marvin’s 1970s hit Got to Give It Up for the single Blurred Lines it looks like Jermaine Dupri may have his sights set on a similar  payday.

After the recent Pharrell and Robin’s courtroom defeat, Yahoo asked Jermaine his thoughts on the Blurred Lines case. In response, he pointed out the similarity between Ciara’s I Bet and Usher’s 2001 smash U Got It Bad.

“Ciara’s new single is a complete rip-off of Usher’s ‘U Got It Bad.’ I’m clear on what I made, and I’m clear on how music influences people, and I’m clear on chord changes and how people move things. It might not be as evident as the ‘Blurred Lines’ situation, but I believe the same thing happened to me.”

According to Jermaine, he, Usher and Bryan Michael Cox immediately noticed the similarity and plan on contacting Ciara’s team for compensation.

Uh oh, CiCi. All parties may hail from metro Atlanta, but don’t count on them sticking together when money’s involved.

Check out Ciara’s I Bet and Usher’s U Got It Bad below. Does Jermaine have a case?

Pharrell & Robin Thicke Found GUILTY of Copying Marvin Gaye for ‘Blurred Lines’, Must Pay $7.3 Million

Robin Thicke and Pharrell Williams have been found guilty of ripping off Marvin Gaye’s “Got to Give It Up” to craft their mega hit “Blurred Lines.”pharrell

Now, Robin & Pharrell must pay $7.3 million to the Gaye family after being sued over the song back in 2013 for copyright infringement.

T.I. is off the hook because all he did was rap on the song.


Waka Flocka Flame Cancels University of Oklahoma Performance Following Racist SAE Frat Video: ‘I’m Disgusted’

Rapper Waka Flocka Flame has canceled his upcoming performance for the University of Oklahoma’s Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity in the wake of the now-closed chapter’s racist video leak.

The rapper posted a statement on his Instagram in response to the leaked SAE video.

“When I first started doing shows it was all hood spots and all black people. Then I had mainstream success and did soe EDM and it was all white people at my shows for awhile. Now it’s white, black and brown people at my shows. All races partying having a goood time and enjoying themselves together peacefully. That’s what Waka Flocka is all about. For that reason I must say I’m disgusted and disappointed in the actions of the SAE fraternity at University of Oklahoma and I will be canceling my scheduled performance for them next month. Racism is something I will not tolerate. -WFF”

If you missed it, a video has surfaced of University of Oklahoma SAE fraternity members on a bus, singing “You can hang him from a tree, but he can never sign with me/There will never be a n—er in SAE.”

Kudos to Waka for standing up to racism & bigotry.