Answers to readers' questions about Deborah Cox, Kimberley Locke and Britney Spears.

BUILDING A NEW 'HOME'

Hi Keith,

Deborah Cox has a new single out called "House Is Not a Home" and I have been trying to find out if there is a new full-length album that is forthcoming. However, I cannot uncover any information and was hoping you might have heard some word about a new album.

Thanks,

Joe Dominguez
Denver

Hi Joe,

Currently, Deborah Cox is climbing Billboard's Hot Dance Airplay chart with "House Is Not a Home," which rises 4-3 on the chart dated Nov. 19, 2005. The Deco/Nervous single also debuts at No. 48 on the Hot Dance Club Play chart.

Cox is at work on a new studio album and she has stated that she is collaborating with producers Shep Crawford, Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis. No release date or label has been announced.

The artist's last album, "The Morning After," was released in 2002 on J Records and has sold 200,000 in the United States, according to Nielsen SoundScan. Cox is best known for the single "Nobody's Supposed To Be Here," which spent 14 weeks at No. 1 on Billboard's Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart in late 1998 and early 1999.



SECOND ALBUM IS A LOCKE

Keith,

I live in the U.K. and was wondering how Kimberley Locke has done in the United States. Has she ever reached the Billboard Hot 100 with any of her releases? And how have her albums faired stateside? Will she release another album soon?

Lisa Hagan

Hi Lisa,

Kimberley Locke is prepping her second album, "Based on a True Story," for a March 2006 release. Her first set, "One Love," peaked at No. 16 on The Billboard 200 when it was released in May 2004.

The set has sold 208,000 copies in the United States, according to Nielsen SoundScan. The album spawned two top 10 hits on Billboard's Adult Contemporary airplay chart: "8th World Wonder" (No. 6) and "I Could" (No. 8).



WHERE'S THE ZONE?

Hello Keith,

I have been confused lately, as I've been hearing that Britney Spears' "In The Zone" album has sold more than 3 million units in the United States. However, it is only certified double platinum (2 million units shipped) by the Recording Industry Association of America. Who has the right figure?

Also, with Spears supposedly aiming to release a new studio album in 2006, how many units would she have to sell to make it No. 1 on The Billboard 200?

Erik Giusti
California

Hi Erik,

"In the Zone" has sold 2.9 million copies in the United States, according to Nielsen SoundScan.

The album was certified double-platinum in December 2003 by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), reflecting U.S. shipments of 2 million copies to U.S. retailers. As RIAA certification is conducted on a request basis, it is likely that Spears' label, Jive, nor her management have yet ordered (and paid for) another round of certification.

As with all things relating to the gold and platinum certification program administered by the RIAA, we refer you to the organization's Web site -- riaa.com -- for additional information.

Regarding your question about the number of copies an album must sell to rank No. 1 on The Billboard 200, the answer is that there is no answer. The title that reaches to the top of the chart on any given week is the one that sells the most.

Just two weeks ago, Destiny's Child's "#1's" set the record for the lowest sales for a title that debuted at No. 1 (113,000). The very next week, the 20th volume in the "NOW! That's What I Call Music" compilation series moved 378,000 to top the chart.

The number of copies a chart topping album sells varies greatly depending on the time of year and other market conditions. During the busy December holiday shopping season, almost everything in the top 10 is selling many hundreds of thousands of units each week. In the weeks following Christmas, the numbers tend to drop off dramatically.

For the record, all four of Britney Spears' studio albums debuted at No. 1 on The Billboard 200. Her most recent effort, "Greatest Hits: My Prerogative," debuted at No. 4 in 2004. The five albums have sold a combined 28 million copies in the United States.

Questions? Comments? Let us know: @billboard

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