Keith answers readers' questions on Shania Twain, Cher and Aretha Franklin.

TWAIN'S LATEST TWANG

Hi Keith,

Having watched the Academy of Country Music Awards this past week and being a huge fan of Shania Twain (who appeared on the show), can you tell me what she has been up to lately? Is she working on a new album? She has been out of the scene for so long.

Also, I was wondering the total amount of albums she has sold in the U.S. from her entire catalog. Any response would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks much!

Chad Lauf
Minneapolis

Hello Chad,

Shania Twain is aiming to release a new studio album in 2008. Presently, she's writing material for the set. It will be the follow-up to 2002's "Up!" which spent five weeks at No. 1 on The Billboard 200. The effort has sold 5.5 million in the U.S. according to Nielsen SoundScan. In 2004 she issued a "Greatest Hits" package, which debuted and peaked at No. 2 on The Billboard 200. It has sold 3.6 million.

With 15.4 million copies sold, Twain's 1997 album "Come On Over" is the biggest selling album in the 15-year history of Nielsen SoundScan.

All told, she has sold 33.4 million albums in the U.S.



I NEED MY CHER FIX!

Hello Keith,

Any release date for the next Cher album? I last heard (it was due) by the end of summer. I am truly having a Cher withdrawal!

Thanks,

John Sullivan
Syracuse, N.Y.

Hi John,

Sadly, there is zero news on the Cher front with regards to a new album. And that's straight from her record label, Warner Bros. Now, does that mean she isn't working on new material? Of course not. It really just means that her label has nothing to report to the press at this time.

For a while now, there was the rumor that Cher was setting up shop in Las Vegas, replacing Celine Dion at Caesar's Palace. Guess that's been proven false after Bette Midler's announcement confirming she's taking over for Dion.

Cher's last studio album, 2002's "Living Proof," has sold 500,000 in the U.S. according to Nielsen SoundScan. Her incredibly popular 2003 hits collection, "The Very Best Of Cher," has moved a whopping 2.4 million copies. It peaked at No. 4 on The Billboard 200.



SHE LOVES ME! SHE REALLY LOVES ME!

Keith,

I was wondering what happened to Aretha Franklin's upcoming album. I had heard that "A Woman Falling Out of Love" was supposed to be released in February, or sometime in the first quarter. Well the first quarter is over and no album has been released yet.

Could you tell me why it hasn't been released yet and when or if there is a new speculated release date?

Thanks


Joe Johnson
Flint, Mich.

Hello Joe,

Right now, Aretha Franklin's "A Woman Falling Out of Love" album is scheduled for release in September. Billboard.com has reported that the set will feature such guest stars as Faith Hill, Shirley Caesar and Karen Clark-Sheard. There's no word on why the album's release date as pushed.

Franklin is also busy prepping a musical production based on her 1999 biography "Aretha: From These Roots." Additionally, she was recently named the Recording Academy's 2008 MusicCares Person of the Year.

The Queen of Soul's last studio effort, 2003's "So Damn Happy," has shifted 304,000 in the U.S. according to Nielsen SoundScan.