Answers to readers' questions about Kelly Clarkson, the Eagles and 1990s R&B groups.

NOT YET 'GONE'

Dear Keith,

I am an avid reader of your column as well as Fred Bronson's "Chart Beat Chat," and I am hoping you could shed some light on this question for me.

"Gone" by Kelly Clarkson has been on Billboard's Pop Airplay chart for many weeks. Did her record label release the song to radio at the same time as "Walk Away?" If not, why is it receiving airplay in some markets? I like both songs and I thought "Gone" would be the sixth single released from her album.

Thanks for all of the information you provide each week by answering our questions!

Sincerely,

Dean Smedley
Birmingham, Ala.

Hi Dean,

Actually, "Gone" has never been released as a single nor promoted to radio stations as such. Some radio stations, believe it or not, simply started playing "Gone" on their own, unsolicited.

That sort of thing doesn't happen that often with mainstream top 40 radio anymore. While it's not uncommon for some stations to randomly play album tracks -– especially when an album is first released –-most usually stick to whatever single is being promoted.

"Gone" has racked up more than 4,300 spins on U.S. radio and is currently garnering significant airplay from WXKS Boston, WHTZ New York, WWWQ Atlanta and WBLI New York.

"Gone" is also on the Pop 100, where it fell 77-86 on the chart dated April 22. It has been bouncing around the lower region of the list since it debuted in December. It has charted on the Pop 100 thanks to its strong airplay in major U.S. cities and its solid digital sales.

The Pop 100 is compiled by using mainstream top 40 radio airplay along with digital and physical sales of singles. "Gone" hasn't reached the Billboard Hot 100 yet, as that chart uses airplay from all formats of radio, so it's harder for a song like "Gone" -– which has limited airplay on a handful of stations -– to reach the chart.

"Walk Away" is the fifth single from Clarkson's "Breakaway" album and it's on the verge of reaching the Hot 100 top 10, rising 13-12 on the April 22 chart. The four previous "Breakaway" top 10s are: the title track (No. 6), "Since U Been Gone" (No. 2), "Behind These Hazel Eyes" (No. 6) and "Because of You" (No. 7).

If "Walk Away" reaches the top tier it will be the first time an artist has earned five top 10s on the Hot 100 from one studio album -– without the benefit of reissuing their album with bonus and/or remixed tracks -– since 1994. That year saw Janet Jackson rack up her sixth top 10 hit from her 1993 album "janet." That album's top 10 Hot 100 hits are: "That's The Way Love Goes" (No. 1), "If" (No. 4), "Again" (No. 1), "Because of Love" (No. 10), "Any Time, Any Place/And On and On" (No. 2) and "You Want This/70's Love Groove" (No. 8). Whew!

Janet had incredible Hot 100 success with her 1986-1993 albums. 1986's "Control" scored five top 10s, while 1989's "Janet Jackson's Rhythm Nation 1814" did even better, with seven top 10 hits. That's an achievement that will likely go unmatched in the future.

But I digress. Back to Kelly!

Clarkson will launch her Addicted tour June 30 in West Palm Beach, Fla. The trek will wind its way across the U.S. until it reaches Seattle on Aug. 6. After the tour, she'll start recording the follow-up to "Breakaway," slated for a release in late 2006 or early 2007.



TRULY THE 'GREATEST'

Keith,

According to the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) the Eagles' "Their Greatest Hits 1971-1975" is America's best selling album of all time with 29 million sales, or shipments, actually. This seems very high, especially as it does not contain songs from the band's "Hotel California" album. Is it a double album, which would mean that sales are only 14.5 million?

Regards,

John Boylan

Hi John,

The Eagles' "Their Greatest Hits 1971-1975" is indeed the United States' biggest selling album ever, with 29 million shipped to retailers, according to the RIAA. The release is not a double album; it sports only 10 tracks and a runs a mere 43 minutes, so the 29 million figure truly represents 29 million copies shipped (RIAA rules count each disc in a multiple-disc release as an album shipped, therefore a double album set that has shipped 14.5 million copies is counted as 29 million).





Hi Keith,

Thanks for the column, as it always provides some interesting information. I am writing to ask about a topic I rarely see covered, which is male R&B groups. Specifically, I am wondering about the sales figures for three lesser groups from the 1990's: Mista, Christion and Playa.

Each had a couple of small R&B hits, but have albums that are still lauded by [the R&B community] to this day. But I don't think any of the three had highly successful albums.

Thanks for the help!

Mark Harris
Columbus, Ohio

Hi Mark,

I doubt most people would remember any of the three acts you ask about. Not to say that they didn't have a bit of success back in the day, but they just didn't have any staying power on the charts.

Of the three, Playa had the biggest selling album with "Cheers 2 U," which has sold 184,000 U.S. copies since its release in 1998, according to Nielsen SoundScan. The Def Jam set spawned the hit title track, which reached No. 10 on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart. The album peaked at No. 19 on the Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums tally.

Christion, a Roc-a-Fella/Def Jam act, scored four Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs hits with "Where Ya Love At" (credited to Mr. Mike featuring Christion, it went to No. 87), "Full of Smoke" (No. 15), "Bring Back Your Love" (No. 67) and "I Wanna Get Next To You" (No. 32). Christion's album, "Ghetto Cyrano," hit No. 23 on the R&B albums chart and has sold 147,000.

Mista's "Blackberry Molasses" was a sizable hit on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart, reaching No. 13. The East West act also managed a No. 61 placing with the song "Lady." The group's 1996 eponymous album stalled out at No. 37 and has shifted 108,000 copies.