150 Pop Stars' Real Names
LOS ANGELES, CA - MARCH 25: Actress Miley Cyrus arrives at the afterparty for the premiere of Touchstone Pictures' "The Last Song" at The W Hotel on March 25, 2010 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** Miley Cyrus Kevin Winter/Getty Images

Ask Billboard is updated every Friday. As always, submit your questions about Billboard charts, sales and airplay, as well as general music musings, to askbb@billboard.com. Please include your first and last name, as well as your city, state and country, if outside the U.S.


Hi Gary,

With Katy Perry's "E.T." atop the Hot 100 for a third week, I got to thinking about the song's parent album, "Teenage Dream."

Now that it has produced four Hot 100 No. 1s, how is the album faring? Has it outsold Perry's first album, "One of the Boys"? How would you describe the sales of the album in general terms, given the current market?

(I realize, too, that the remix of "E.T." featuring Kanye West is not available on "Teenage Dream." Based on iTunes rankings, however, it seems that the album version is also selling well and I assume that it's convincing at least a few music fans to buy the entire record).

Thanks for your thoughts!


Mark Blankenship
New York, New York

Hi Mark,

On multiple levels, "Teenage Dream" has racked an impressive resume since its debut atop the Billboard 200 the week of Sept. 11, 2010.

In addition to becoming just the ninth album in the Hot 100's 52-year history to generate four No. 1s, the set has spent all 33 of its chart weeks in the Billboard 200's top 40. It not only ranks at No. 14 on this week's chart, but, with sales of 354,000 since January, it's also the 14th-best-selling set so far this year.

"Dream" hasn't outsold "Boys" yet, but it's a close race:

Album, Sales to-date
"One of the Boys," 1,374,000
"Teenage Dream," 1,350,000

The gap between the two sets' total sales? 24,000. With "Dream" having sold 22,000 this week and "Boys," 2,000, "Dream" appears on the edge of passing "Boys" in total sales. That "Boys" has been out since June 2008 - giving the album a two-year head start over "Dream" - emphasizes how strongly Perry has followed up her breakthrough effort.

Not only has Perry collected a quartet of Hot 100 toppers, but "Teenage Dream" has also generated five No. 1s on Dance/Club Play Songs. In addition to the Hot 100 No. 1s "California Gurls," featuring Snoop Dogg, "Teenage Dream," "Firework" and "E.T.," the cheeky "Peacock" led the Dec. 4, 2010, chart.

With five leaders from one set, Perry joins the elite company of Beyonce (six Dance/Club Play Songs No. 1s from "I Am...Sasha Fierce," 2009-10), Nelly Furtado (five from "Loose," 2006-07) and Madonna (five from "American Life," 2002-04).

And, with potential singles such as the uptempo "Last Friday Night (T.G.I.F.)" and ballad "Not Like the Movies," "Dream" might yet produce further hits.

In all, after "Boys" introduced Perry, "Dream" has clearly solidified her standing among pop culture's major players. Her marriage to Russell Brand and quirky, unique fashion sense have additionally aided her profile; she's ranked in the top 10 each week of the new Social 50 chart's 20-week existence.

(My favorite example of Perry's talents? The clever name she gave her cat: Kitty Purry, a feline who even has her own Facebook page ...)