Ask Billboard: American Idol compilation albums, Leona Lewis, N'Sync

Keith answers readers' questions on American Idol compilation albums, Leona Lewis, N'Sync and more!

Ask Billboard is updated every Friday. Submit your burning music questions to Keith Caulfield at Please include your first and last name, as well as your city, state and country, if outside the U.S.

Due to the Independence Day holiday, "Ask Billboard" will updated on Monday July 7.


Hi Keith,

I enjoy your column, although I shouldn't be reading it at work but hey. For the first five seasons of "American Idol" there was a physical CD compilation (tied to each season). Last year I noticed they only released a digital version of the "Greatest Hits" for the sixth season. I am also noticing they haven't released one for the seventh season yet and it is getting a little late compared to past seasons.

I personally don't think they should exclude those fans that like to have the physical copy of the CD, especially us diehard "American Idol" fans.

Do you know if they plan to release a compilation for the seventh season? Digitally or physically? Have the compilations sold well?

Thanks for taking my "burning" question.

David Geib

Hi David,

As far as I'm aware, there are no plans to release a compilation tied to the seventh season of "American Idol." Because of the instant availability of each week's batch of performances online at iTunes, one can surmise that it might be viewed as unnecessary or redundant to release a CD with much of the same content.

Collectively, the "American Idol" albums have sold 2.9 million in the U.S. according to Nielsen SoundScan. The biggest of the bunch is the second season compilation, which has moved 650,000.



One of your articles mentioned (that albums from) Britney Spears and Eminem sold over a million copies in their first week, but I could have swore NSYNC did over a million with their second album. True or false?

Ray Dickson

It's true, but I think the story you read was specifically referring to the last time two albums opened in consecutive weeks with more than 700,000 sold apiece. This past week, Coldplay's "Viva La Vida" started with 721,000 the week after Lil Wayne's "Tha Carter III" debuted with 1,006,000.

The last time we had back-to-back No. 1 debuts, each selling more than 700,000, was in the summer of 2000. That's when Britney Spears' "Oops! I Did It Again" started with 1,319,000, followed by Eminem's "The Marshall Mathers LP" shifting 1,760,000.

So, we omitted NYSNC from our comparison because we weren't discussing albums that had sold more than a million in a week. We were talking about something completely different.

Good day!


Leona Lewis seems to have really broken the artists-from-outside-of-the-U.S.-trying-to-break-into-the-American market curse. I love her and her music is by far some of the best out there.

Her overall attitude and persona really are exceptional and the presence she gives off is of total grace and respect. She deserves the success!

With her song still doing very well on the charts, does she have a chance at having the No. 1 song of the year on the Hot 100? Granted yes, there are six months left in the year. And if she does, what other non-U.S. acts have ever had the No. 1 song of the year?


Joe Orlowski
Macomb, Mich.

Hi Joe,

Well, it's a bit early to tell right now, as you can imagine.

And, actually, we are seven months into Billboard's chart year. (It began with the charts dated Dec. 1, 2007.)

One has to consider not just where a song peaked at on the Hot 100, but also how long it stayed on the chart.

Watch out for long-running hits like Flo Rida's "Low," Timbaland featuring OneRepublic's "Apologize," Sara Bareilles' "Love Song" to feature in the year-end Hot 100 list.

If Leona Lewis does end up earning the year-end Hot 100 No. 1, it would be the first time since 1997 that the year-end chart-topper was from a British act. That was the year Elton John's "Candle in the Wind 1997/Something About the Way You Look Tonight" was tops.