Keith Caulfield answers readers' questions about Sisters, Madonna and Britney Spears.

GETTING SNIPPY

Dear Keith,

Last year's Scissor Sisters' debut was one of my favorite CDs of 2004. I understand it was the No. 1 album of the year in England. How many units did they sell in the United States?

Their first CD was a great mix of pop, dance, and a ballad or two; including an adventurous cover of a Pink Floyd song ("Comfortably Numb"). Are there any plans for a follow up, and if so do you know which musical direction the group plans to go?

Thanks!

Potter
Washington

Hi Potter,

Indeed, the Scissor Sisters' self-titled debut was the biggest selling album in the United Kingdom last year. In the United States, it didn't do as well, but still sold a respectable 237,000 copies, according to Nielsen SoundScan.

Right now, the band is working on a new album that may be released before the end of the year. There are a few tour dates scheduled, including an appearance at the massive Live 8 benefit show on July 2, which will find the band playing in London's Hyde Park, and Belfast's Vital Festival on Aug. 23 and 24.

The band's official Web site promises that fans will hear new songs from the upcoming album at the shows.



MADONNA DROUGHT

Dear Keith,

This is something that has been on my mind.

The last Madonna single that charted on The Billboard Hot 100 was "American Life," placing at No. 37 around April 2003. Being a huge fan of the diva, I know that the follow-ups, "Hollywood" and "Nothing Fails," both failed to chart on the Hot 100.

As we near mid-2005, I wonder, is the longest span of time that Madonna has not appeared on the Hot 100 since her initial debut? Your response is most welcome.

Thank you,

Procopio Frisella
Michigan

Hi Procopio,

While this question is up Fred Bronson's alley at "Chart Beat, being a Madonna fan, I'll go ahead and answer this one.

We are currently in the longest Madonna-drought on The Billboard Hot 100. It has been 73 weeks since she last graced the chart -- when "Me Against the Music" logged its final week (Jan. 17, 2004). "Against" was her collaboration with Britney Spears, which was the lead single from Spears' "In the Zone" album.

Previously, the longest span of time between Madonna singles on the Hot 100 was 62 weeks, between the last week of "Causing a Commotion" on the chart in early 1988 and the debut of "Like a Prayer" in March 1989.

While Madonna has been working on a new album, not a heck of a lot is officially known about it. No title or release date has been announced.

Madonna is slated to take part in the July 2 Live 8 benefit concert in London, joining the aforementioned Scissor Sisters on the bill.



ZONED

Keith,

Has Britney Spears' "In the Zone" sold more than 3 million copies yet? Ithink it must have, but the last I'd heard it stood at 2.7 million copies.

Thanks,

Tommy

Hi Tommy,

Well, speaking of Britney Spears, here's a Spears question to answer!

Sales of "In the Zone" now stand at 2.9 million copies in the United States, according to Nielsen SoundScan.

The album spawned four Billboard Hot 100 hits: "Me Against the Music" (No. 35), "Toxic" (No. 9), "Everytime" (No. 15) and "Outrageous" (No. 79).

Spears' most recent single to hit the Hot 100 was "Do Somethin'" from her "Greatest Hits" album. The single debuted and peaked at No. 100 in April.