Answers to readers' questions about Mandy Moore, the Dixie Chicks, Rihanna and artists who just keep pumping out records.

MISSING MANDY LIKE CANDY

Hey Keith,

I really enjoy your column and I was wondering if you could tell me what's going on with Mandy Moore's music career? Is she recording any new music? I was also wondering what her sales stats for all her albums.

Thanks again and have a good day!

Joe Menna
Fort Collins, Colo.


Hi Joe,

Mandy Moore is at work on a new studio album for Sire Records. On her MySpace page, Moore "swear(s)" the album is coming out "sometime this year."

While it doesn't have a release date yet, she has been collaborating with a bevy of people, including Rachael Yamagata, Counting Crows' Adam Duritz, Michelle Branch, Lori McKenna and Chantal Kreviazuk.

If you want a tease of what her forthcoming album may sound like, visit her MySpace page. You can listen to a tune called "Beautiful Man," written by McKenna.

Moore has kept herself very busy with her film career, as she recently finished filming "Dedication" with Billy Crudup. She'll soon start production on the film "License to Wed" with Robin Williams. She's currently in movie theaters in "American Dreamz" and will be seen in "Southland Tales" later this year. "Tales" was written and directed by Richard Kelly, who also wrote and directed "Donnie Darko."

Moore's last album, 2003's "Coverage," has sold 291,000 in the U.S. according to Nielsen SoundScan. Her 1999 debut "So Real" has shifted 950,000 while 2000's "I Wanna Be With You" has moved 803,000. Finally, her 2001 self-titled set has sold 462,000.




CHICKS FLYING OFF THE SHELVES

Hello Keith,

Thanks for all the great information you provide. The Dixie Chicks are finally releasing a new CD, "Taking the Long Way," on May 23. This is the first real release since the "incident." I wanted to know what kind of sales the Dixie Chicks have had with previous CDs and how many they've sold since over the years since Natalie Maines made her famous comment about the president. Do you believe the new CD will be successful?

Sincerely,

Bill Bradley
Sacramento, Calif.


Hi Bill,

In total, the Dixie Chicks have sold 23.4 million units of their four Monument/Columbia Records releases – that's three studio albums and one live set.

The trio's 1998 major label debut, "Wide Open Spaces," has shifted 8.5 million in the U.S., according to Nielsen SoundScan, while its follow up, 1999's "Fly," has moved 8.2 million. And 2002's "Home" has sold 5.9 million.

The incident you are referring to is when in March 2003, the group's Natalie Maines said onstage during a U.K. concert "We're ashamed that the President of the United States is from Texas."

Here is a look at the trio's sales since March 2003: "Wide Open Spaces" (420,000), "Fly" (320,351), "Home" (811,000) and "Top Of The World: Live" (922,000 – it was released in November 2003).

Do I believe the new CD will be successful? We won't be able to tell until it actually hits stores.



OUTPUT SOS


Hi Keith,

I recently bought the new Rihanna album "A Girl Like Me." I then realized that she had just recently released an album only eight months prior. That seems very quick to release a completely new album with all new material. Are there other artists who have released separate albums close to each other? Is there a reason for doing this and is there an artist who has released an album with an even shorter time span of eight months?

Thanks,

Kevin Doheny
Chicago


Hi Kevin,

It is pretty unusual that Rihanna released two studio albums within such a short span of time. Her debut, "Music of the Sun," came out August 30, 2005 while her follow-up "A Girl Like Me," was released on April 25 of this year.

The singer has said that she began recording the new album while she was still promoting the first and second single from "Music of the Sun." Clearly, she – and her label Def Jam – wasted no time in keeping the momentum going.

Though she experienced tremendous success with "Music's" lead single "Pon De Replay" (it hit No. 2 on The Billboard Hot 100), the follow-up track, "If It's Lovin' That You Want," stalled out at No. 36. Not bad. Not so great either.

"Music of the Sun" has sold 459,000 to date. Her new album moved 176,000 in its first two weeks. Meanwhile, "A Girl Like Me's" first single, "SOS," has already hit No. 1 on The Billboard Hot 100. It's second single, "Unfaithful" (co-written by Ne-Yo), has already moved into the top 30.

While it's hard for us to determine what other artists have released two new studio albums within a similar time frame, there are a few that spring to mind. Ryan Adams released three studio sets last year alone – "Cold Roses," "Jacksonville City Nights" and "29." System of a Down issued "Mezmerize" and "Hypnotize" in 2005 as well. Between October 2000 and June 2001, Radiohead released "Kid A" and "Amnesiac." However, both System of a Down and Radiohead recorded both albums at the same time and simply delayed the release of the second set until later.