Empire is on a hot streak. With the original soundtrack vying for the top slot on next week's Billboard 200, breakout stars Jussie Smollett (Jamal Lyon) and Yazz, born Bryshere Gray, (Hakeem Lyon) took to the American Idol stage last night (March 12) with one of the standout tracks, the thumpin' No Apologies. As smoke billowed at their feet, the actor-singers ripped into the free-wheeling anthem with poise and confidence.
As the season's final Top 12 contestants jammed and grooved on the sidelines, Smollett and Yazz proved their shining star power.
Hits Daily Double has updated their previous one-day album projections, with the Empire soundtrack poised to shift 90-95,000 copies. When streaming and TEA (track equivalent albums) are factored in, the total rises to 110-120,000 units. The 18-track compilation races against Madonna's Rebel Heart, expected to sell 105-115,000 copies and 110-120,000 total units. Given the recent iTunes outage, those numbers could severely fluctuate as the weekend waxes on.
Meanwhile, the soapy drama's weekly ratings seem to have stabilized following an eight-week streak of increases in the key 18-49 demographic. But the viewership hit a new stratospheric level on this week's episode, notching 14.7 million total viewers.
Empire returns next Wednesday (March 18) for a two-hour season finale.
[PHOTO CREDIT: Angela Weiss/Getty]