Keith discusses Skye Sweetnam, Daft Punk's recent "Discovery" sales, internet track leaks and more.
Ask Billboard is updated every Friday. Submit your burning music questions to Keith Caulfield at firstname.lastname@example.org.
AS SWEET AS SWEETNAM
I have a question about Skye Sweetnam (well a few actually). I know she released her debut album "Noise From The Basement" a few years ago, but it kinda flopped. I was just wondering how many copies it has sold so far in the U.S. since it was released and how many copies has she sold worldwide?
Also, I know her second album "Sound Soldier" is being released in Canada soon, but there's been nothing said of a U.S. release. There has also been rumors that she was dropped from Capitol Records. Can you clarify?
Thanks a lot,
Skye Sweetnam's manager told us that while the singer is currently without a label deal in the U.S., she is signed to EMI in Canada. Her album will be released on October 30 in that country. Lucky for you, it won't be that hard to find an import! Sweetnam and her team are aiming to have a worldwide record deal in place next year.
Sweetnam's album "Noise From the Basement" has sold 71,000 in the U.S. according to Nielsen SoundScan. There is no firm that tabulates global sales like SoundScan does with the U.S., so we cannot provide you with a worldwide figure.
Additionally, she has sold 154,000 digital song downloads in the U.S., with the tune "Tangled Up In Me," the clear favorite. The track has sold 94,000. The song was a minor airplay hit as well, peaking at No. 37 on the CHR/Top 40 radio chart.
DAFT PUNK GETS STRONGER
My question has to do with Kanye West's song "Stronger." Has the single's sample of Daft Punk's "Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger" helped sales of the album "Discovery" (where "Harder" can be found)?
In the past month, "Discovery" has been selling about twice as much as it was back in June, previous to the release of "Stronger." Don't get too excited, as "Discovery" is still selling only about 1,000 copies a week. However, if we look at the digital download sales of the song "Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger," it's a much rosier picture. For the week ending Sept. 9, the song sold over 4,000. Compare that to the week ending June 17, before West's song was released, when "Harder" only sold about 1,000 downloads.
Daft Punk is preparing to release "Alive 2007" on Nov. 20 (http://www.billboard.com/bbcom/news/article_display.jsp?vnu_content_id=1003631538). The set captures the electronic act's June 14, 2007 show in Paris.
GIMME MORE LEAKS
In the last few weeks there have been several leaks, most notably from Madonna and Britney Spears. Do record companies really leak these songs to get a feel for how the public will react to an upcoming release? If so, do the artists have any control over these decisions?
Between Britney Spears and Madonna, the number of leaked tracks floating around from their forthcoming albums could add up to at least an EP's worth of material. One of Spears' leaks, "Gimme More," actually turned into her new album's first single. Madonna, on the other hand, has seen two Pharrell-produced songs ("The Beat Goes On" and "Candy Shop") float onto the Internet. And neither have been declared a single.
Spears, Madonna and their respective record labels have not commented on the leaks. So where did they come from? With nobody talking, your guess is as good as ours.