Fred and his readers discuss Melinda Doolittle, Mariah Carey's "E=MC2," Jean Manuel de Scarano's birthplace and more!

MELINDA/MARIAH

Hi Fred,

Has Melinda Doolittle already been signed to a record label? She was my favorite contestant on season six of "American Idol." Even if she didn't win, I'm positive she will have a very successful career. How did her single, "My Funny Valentine," perform on the charts?

On another matter, I can't wait for Mariah Carey's album, "E=MC2." Her latest single, "Touch My Body," is so cool! I'm praying that she'll collect four more No. 1 hits on The Billboard Hot 100 so she'll be in a league of her own in having the most Billboard No. 1 hits ever!

More power to you,

Leo del Castillo
Baguio City, Philippines

Dear Leo,

Timing is everything. By some strange coincidence, your e-mail arrived in my inbox just as I was leaving my house to drive to the set of "American Idol Extra," where I was scheduled to interview Melinda Doolittle for an hour.

"American Idol Extra" is a weekly series on the Fox Reality Channel. The third season premieres Thursday (March 13) at 7pm and repeats at 10pm. The show follows the final 11 weeks of the competition, interviewing the contestants who are voted off each week as well as presenting performances and interviews with previous Idols.

Melinda will be performing "My Funny Valentine" on the season premiere of "American Idol Extra," and when I saw her in rehearsal, she did an amazing job. I wish the single had charted, but so far it has not appeared on any of our charts.

There is no label deal to announce yet, but when there is one, watch for the news to be announced at Billboard.com, and watch for my lengthy interview with Melinda.

As for Mariah Carey, four more No. 1 singles on the Hot 100 would make her the artist with the most No. 1s in the history of the chart, pushing her past the Beatles (who have 20). Just one more will allow Mariah to surpass Elvis Presley, who has 17.



REBA'S AND/OR

Fred:

Thanks for your column. I read it religiously every week.

I know you've had questions in the past about how a record is credited when a guest singer is included. In fact, this came up recently regarding "Shiftwork" by Kenny Chesney with George Strait.

But I saw something very confusing [on Hot Country Songs], and was hoping you could clarify if this is a duet or not. At No. 57, I noticed this entry:

"Every Other Weekend," Reba McEntire duet with Skip Ewing or Kenny Chesney

James Williams

Dear James,

There have been a few songs credited to a lead artist and different featured artists over the last few years.

You might remember "Picture" by Kid Rock featuring Sheryl Crow or Allison Moorer. Crow was featured on the album track, while Moorer was heard on the commercial single. Since both versions received airplay, both deserved to be credited, but the proper credit was "or" instead of "and," because Crow and Moorer weren't heard together on the same track.

There was a similar situation with "Why Don't You & I" by Santana featuring Alex Band or Chad Kroeger.

Nickelback's Kroeger was featured on the song when it appeared on the "Shaman" album, while the Calling's Band was the featured artist on a promo single sent to radio.

There are two versions of "Every Other Weekend" by Reba McEntire. The track on the "Reba Duets" album features Kenny Chesney, while a radio single has guest vocals by songwriter Skip Ewing.

As I've said many times, credits are determined by legal and business affairs departments at record labels. The billing for "Every Other Weekend" is now listed simply as: Reba McEntire.



THAT SANTA ESMERALDA GUY

Bonjour Fred,

Nicolas Skorsky was born in Paris on May 16, 1952.
Good luck [finding the birthplace of] Jean Manuel de Scararno.

Best,

Michel Nicolas

Dear Michel,

We should explain to readers who might have missed the original correspondence that we were discussing Hot 100 artists who are from France, and when a reader wanted to add Santa Esmeralda to the list, I said we would have to identify the birthplaces of the two members of the group who were not born in America. Thanks for the info about Nicolas Skorsky!







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