The new musical — featuring music by Elton John with a book and lyrics by Lee Hall — just earned four honors at the 30th annual Laurence Olivier Awards in London on Feb 26. The original London cast recording of Billy Elliot — The Musical hit U.S. stores Feb. 7 on the Decca Broadway label.
Broadway juggernaut Wicked remains atop the chart for its seventh week. The Decca Broadway release of the Stephen Schwartz musical has earned Gold certification. Angel Records' The Color Purple remains at No. 2 while Decca Broadway's Mamma Mia!, which is platinum-certified, moves up two slots to third.
Rhino's Jersey Boys and Nonesuch's Sweeney Todd cast albums round out the top five. Current long-running shows Rent and The Phantom of the Opera both make the list twice — for their respective cast albums and "Highlights" CDs. Hairspray jumped to No. 9 this week from No. 15.
The Top Cast Albums chart debuted in Billboard on Jan. 12, 2006. Stephen Schwartz' Wicked — which opened on Broadway in October 2003 (album released Dec. 16, 2003) — appeared at the top of the first chart. The chart measures sales of albums from stage musicals, Broadway recordings mostly fill the 15-slot table, but cast albums from other locales are also eligible. The addition of the chart to Billboard's 112 charts generates exposure for the genre which does not often chart on the Billboard 200.
Billboard can be found on the web at www.billboard.com. Full charts are available by subscription at www.billboard.biz.