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Answers to readers' questions about Kelly Clarkson, Monica and Vanessa Williams.

December In Spring?

Hi Keith,

What is going on with Kelly Clarkson's new album? She originally said it would be out in early spring, but we still haven't seen a release date. At the Daytona 500 recently, she sang a new single. Is this going to be the first single off of the new album? Do you have a (release) date yet?

Thanks for everything!

Blake Sarlo
Salt Lake City


Hi Blake,

Well, thanks to Kelly Clarkson's handy dandy personal journal at her official Web site (www.kellyclarkson.com), we actually have some real news. In her Feb. 27 entry, she said:

"My CD is finished!! We're now starting to schedule all the promo stuff and photo shoots and I'm so pumped! I can't wait for y'all to hear the album! The album is called 'My December' and a few words to describe it: intimate, raw, personal, rock (although some are very sweet and soft), and I can't wait to perform every song on it! I really hope y'all dig it!"

Though "My December" doesn't have an announced release date yet, the last we heard from Clarkson's publicist was that it is slated for a mid-spring or early summer release.

Clarkson's last album, "Breakaway," has sold 5.7 million units according to Nielsen SoundScan. It spawned five top 20 Billboard Hot 100 hits: "Breakaway" (No. 6), "Since U Been Gone" (No. 2), "Behind These Hazel Eyes" (No. 6), "Because of You" (No. 7) and "Walk Away" (No. 12). The set won Clarkson two Grammy Awards as well, for Best Pop Vocal Album and Best Female Pop Vocal Performance ("Since U Been Gone").



Pretty Vanessa


Hi Keith!

Singer-actress Vanessa Williams has been busy starring in ABC's "Ugly Betty," but I recently read that she signed to Concord Records and will be releasing a CD this year. I am a huge fan of her music, including her 2005 Lava Records release, "Everlasting Love." What can you tell me about her most recent musical efforts and the upcoming CD?

Thank you!

Marcos Hand
Redondo Beach, Calif.


Hi Marcos,

Recently, Vanessa Williams acknowledged in an interview that she had signed with Concord Records and was working on a new album due out later this year. She said that the set will feature new and old material and will straddle different genres of music including jazz. No release date has been announced by Concord.

Williams' last album, 2005's "Everlasting Love," has sold 60,000. It was the singer's second release for Lava Records, the first was 2004's holiday effort "Silver & Gold," which has moved 100,000.



The Makings of Monica


Keith,

I have a few questions about R&B singer Monica. I wanted to know how many units her latest effort, "The Makings Of Me," sold because I can't seem to find any information on how it is fairing.

I also wanted to know why they (RIAA.com) are still classifying her CD "After the Storm" as Gold, when I read that as of six months ago it has sold 987,000 copies so I am sure it should be Platinum by now. Can you please clear up these two questions for me?

Marquis Avery
Philadelphia


Hi Marquis,

So far, "The Makings of Me" has only sold 270,000. That's a steep drop from what "After The Storm" has moved (997,000).

As Billboard does not certify albums gold or platinum, I cannot speak as to why something has (or has not) been certified. For further information about the process, visit the Recording Industry Association of America's Web site at RIAA.com. It is the organization that administers the gold and platinum certification program.