Billboard Bits: Eric Clapton, Ashanti, Paul Anka

News on Eric Clapton, Ashanti

Eric Clapton has renewed his deal with Reprise, for whom he has recorded since 1983. Since Nielsen SoundScan began tabulating sales in 1991, the artist has sold 15.2 million copies of his Reprise releases in the United States, according to Nielsen SoundScan.

"I am happy to continue my relationship with Reprise Records," Clapton says. "We've done a lot in the past 25 years, and there's still plenty of music yet to be made." The artist just concluded a three-night stand at New York's Madison Square Garden with Cream; a live album from the trio's May run in London was recently issued by Reprise.

Although it is unknown what Clapton's next project will be, he will presumably devote time to writing his memoirs for Random House, which is due for a 2007 release to coincide with a North American tour and a boxed set.

-- Jonathan Cohen, N.Y.

Ashanti will on Dec. 6 release the compilation "Collectables" (the Inc./Def Jam), featuring six remixes of singles and album tracks and four newly recorded songs. New tracks on the disc include "Still On It," featuring Paul Wall and Method Man, "I Love You," "Show You," and "Found It In You."

The set also assembles remixes of "Rain On Me," featuring Ja Rule, Charli Baltimore and Hussein Fatal, and "Rock Wit U (Awww Baby)." Other guest artists include Nas ("Love Again"), Cam'ron and Juelz Santana ("Only U") Caddillac Tah, ("Still Down"), Free ("Focus"), and Black Child ("Break Up 2 Make Up").

Ashanti's last album, 2004's "Concrete Rose," has sold 845,000 copies in the United States, according to Nielsen SoundScan.

-- Clover Hope, N.Y.

A recent Paul Anka performance featuring material from his Verve album, "Rock Swings" is featured on a DVD of the same name, due Dec. 6. The show was filmed at the Montreal Jazz Festival in July and features Anka's jazzy renditions of such rock hits as "Smells Like Teen Spirit," "Black Hole Sun," "Everybody Hurts" and "Eye of the Tiger."

The DVD is rounded out by an early '60s short film about Anka dubbed "Lonely Boy," a performance for MSN's Simpatico Sessions and an interview with the artist.

"Rock Swings" debuted at No. 2 on Billboard's Top Jazz Albums chart, his first appearance ever on the tally. Its No. 120 debut on The Billboard 200 gave Anka his first entry there since 1983.

-- Jonathan Cohen, N.Y.