Ask Billboard

'Brokeback Mountain,' Kelly Rowland and Prince questions answered.


Hi Keith,

I saw the film "Brokeback Mountain" and just fell in love with it. In fact, I loved it so much I rushed out to the record store the next day and bought the soundtrack. Can you tell me how many copies it's sold so far?


Jerwin Maximo

Hello Jerwin,

I'm with you on "Brokeback Mountain." It's an amazing movie, and the score (by Gustavo Santaolalla) and soundtrack are affecting and completely appropriate for the film. It's no wonder "Brokeback Mountain" won four Golden Globe awards on Jan. 16, including best motion picture – drama.

Through the week ending Jan. 8, the album has sold 26,000 in the United States, according to Nielsen SoundScan. The Verve Forecast album was released on Nov. 1, 2005. Interestingly, 23% of its total sales have been digital downloads.

On The Billboard 200 chart that appears in the issue dated Jan. 21 (reflecting sales for the week ending Jan. 8), the set debuted at No. 190 with a solid 35% gain in sales over the previous week. Over on the Top Soundtracks chart, it flew 21-8; on the Top Internet Albums list, it debuted at No. 16.

As the film continues to expand to more U.S. theaters, its sales are likely to grow.

The soundtrack features an array of eclectic artists including Willie Nelson, Emmylou Harris, Steve Earle, Teddy Thompson, Linda Ronstadt, Jackie Greene, Mary McBride and Rufus Wainwright.

Visit the film's official Web site at


Hello Keith,

You always do an excellent job at answering questions, so here is mine. I am a big fan of Kelly Rowland and wanted to know if she was working on anything new. I hope you can help me.

Kendall Williams
Tipton, Ind.

Hi Kendall,

Coincidentally, Billboard just devoted a special feature to Destiny's Child in its Jan. 14 issue. The 20-page spotlight included interviews with all three members of the group - Beyoncé, Kelly Rowland and Michelle Williams -- along with their manager (and Beyonce's father) Mathew Knowles. (Click here to read an online version of the main article in the feature and for information on ordering a single copy of the issue.)

In her interview, Rowland discussed her forthcoming album, which is due out in April. She is working with Williams, Solange Knowles (Beyoncé's sister), Sean Garrett and Rich Harrison. The latter two co-wrote the Destiny's Child hit "Soldier."

Rowland will soon be seen in the UPN comedy "Girlfriends," while her film "The Seat Filler" hits DVD on Feb. 21. She continues her role as a spokesperson for L'Oreal's SoftSheen-Carson products.

Rowland recently scored her second top 10 hit on Billboard's Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart as the featured artist on Trina's "Here We Go." The Slip-N-Slide/Atlantic song reached No. 8 in Nov. 2005. It also reached No. 17 on the Hot 100.

Rowland's biggest hit away from Destiny's Child is "Dilemma," her collaboration with Nelly. The song spent 10 weeks at No. 1 on the Hot 100 and nine weeks atop the R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart.

Her 2002 solo debut, "Simply Deep," has sold 594,000 in the United States, according to Nielsen SoundScan.


Hello Keith,

I believe you are the only person who can help me. I've been a huge Prince fan since the "Purple Rain" days and I've always had a big curiosity regarding record sales in general and of Prince's albums in particular.

I would like so much to know how much Prince's catalog albums from the 1980s have sold in the last 15 years. Would it be possible to know the SoundScan-era sales of all of Prince's albums from "1999" through the 1992 "Symbol" album?

I think many of his albums would deserve an upgrade in their certification from the Recording Industry Association of America. (But I'm unsure) if Warner Bros. (Prince's former record label) is willing to do it.

I really hope you can help me on this many-years-old curiosity!

Eduardo Sousa
Coimbra, Portugal

Hello Eduardo,

While some albums clearly needs some upgrading in their gold and platinum status (like the "Grease" soundtrack as noted here last week), it's doubtful that Prince's catalog is lacking in the certification department.

I'm going to provide even more information than you asked for, just to be thorough.

Below is a list of all of Prince's albums that were commercially released, beginning with his 1978 debut "For You." I've provided the U.S. sales of each album during the SoundScan era (the company began tracking sales data in 1991).

Additionally, I've indicated what the release's current gold or platinum status is according to the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA). For further information on about the gold and platinum certification program, please visit the organization's Web site at

Gold indicates 500,000 units shipped to U.S. retailers (minus returns), platinum equals 1 million units shipped. Also, multi-disc or "double albums" abide by different standards for certification, about which has more information.

Also, Prince's new album, "3121," is due out this spring through Universal Records. You can check out the first single and video, "Te Amo Corazon," at his official Web site

Title (Year of Release; Units Sold Since 1991; Gold/Platinum Certification)

"For You" (1978; 88,000; no certification)
"Prince" (1979; 183,000; platinum)
"Dirty Mind" (1980; 125,000; gold)
"Controversy" (1981; 200,000; platinum)
"1999" (1982; 641,000; 4x platinum)
"Purple Rain" (1984; 2.3 million; 13x platinum)
"Around the World in a Day" (1985; 162,000; 2x platinum)
"Parade" (1986; 230,000; platinum)
"Sign 'O' the Times" (1987; 271,000; platinum)
"Lovesexy" (1988; 68,000; gold)
"Batman" (1989; 111,000; 2x platinum)
"Graffiti Bridge" (1990; 145,000; gold)
"Diamonds and Pearls" (1991; 2.5 million; 2x platinum)
"Symbol Album" (1992; 1.1 million; platinum)
"The Hits/The B-Sides" (1993; 630,000; platinum)
"The Hits 1" (1993; 1.4 million; platinum)
"The Hits 2" (1993; 1.6 million; platinum)
"Come" (1994; 310,000; gold)
"The Black Album" (1994; 261,000; no certification)
"The Gold Experience" (1995; 423,000; gold)
"Chaos and Disorder" (1996; 131,000; no certification)
"Emancipation" (1996; 628,000; 2x platinum)
"Crystal Ball" (1998; 113,000; no certification)
"Newpower Soul" (1998; 214,000; no certification)
"The Vault - Old Friends 4 Sale" (1999; 113,000; no certification)
"Rave Un2 the Joy Fantastic" (1999; 487,000; gold)
"The Very Best of Prince" (2001; 1.2 million; platinum)
"The Rainbow Children" (2001; 157,000; no certification)
"N.E.W.S." (2003; 29,000; no certification)
"Musicology" (2004; 2 million; 2x platinum)