Keith Caulfield answers readers' questions about Whitney Houston, Fiona Apple and Christina Milian.
FIRST THINGS FIRST
I have been a fan of Whitney Houston's voice for years now. Despite her recent return to a rehabilitation center, does she still have any plans for putting out an album anytime soon? I heard that she got back together with Clive Davis, and I really want to see the results of this rekindled partnership.
Can you also tell me how Whitney's last album sold, and how the singles off that album did?
Thanks for your help,
Obviously, the most important thing right now is that Houston gets the help she seeks. Whatever plans she had regarding a forthcoming album are on the backburner for the moment.
That said, Billboard has reported over the past few months that a number of producers and songwriters -- including the Underdogs, Cathy Dennis and Rodney Jerkins -- have all been called upon to submit material for a new Houston set.
In the past few years, the Underdogs have produced Omarion, Ruben Studdard, Mario, JoJo and Tyrese. While Dennis is best known for her string of early 1990s pop hits -- including the No. 2 Billboard Hot 100 single "Touch Me (All Night Long)" -- she has also written songs for Kylie Minogue ("Can't Get You Out Of My Head") and Britney Spears ("Toxic"). Finally, Jerkins has produced 10 top 10 Hot 100 hits, including Destiny's Child's recent No. 3 hit "Lose My Breath."
Houston's last studio effort, "Just Whitney," was released in 2002 and spawned three Hot 100 singles: "Whatchulookinat" (No. 96), "One of Those Days" (No. 72) and "Try It On My Own" (No. 84). The album peaked at No. 9 on The Billboard 200 and has sold 728,000 copies in the United States, according to Nielsen SoundScan.
I am fan of the amazingly talented American singer songwriter Fiona Apple. I heard a rumor that she was supposed to have an album released but that executives at her label refused to release it, saying Apple wasn't popular. The music scene is in need of this singer/songwriter. She has so much ability, it would be a shame to see someone so young not use her talent for the good that she does.
Fiona Apple worked on new material following the 1999 release of her last album, "When The Pawn..." However, the new songs she finished have yet to be officially released.
Here's where the plot thickens. An entire album's worth of unreleased material has been leaked onto the Internet, but the original source of the leak is unknown. The publicized title of the album is "Extraordinary Machine." Additionally, Epic Records, the singer's label, does not have a release date for any upcoming Apple product.
Fans of Apple maintain that Epic did not find the album commercially appealing, and thus decided not to release the album. However, there has been no comment from Epic regarding the label's views on the set nor why the album has not been issued.
A fan Web site, www.freefiona.com, has been set up by fans of the singer in order to promote the awareness of the album and the plight of Apple.
In recent MTV News and Newsweek stories, Apple and her management have declined to comment. In the same Newsweek story, Epic's parent company Sony Music stated "We join music lovers everywhere in eagerly anticipating her next release."
Apple's last album, "When the Pawn Hits the Conflict He Thinks Like a King What He Knows Throws the Blows When He Goes To The Fight And He'll Win the Whole Thing 'Fore He Enters the Ring There's No Body To Batter When Your Mind Is Your Might So When You Go Solo, You Hold Your Own Hand and Remember That Depth is the Greatest of Heights And if You Know Where You Stand, Then You Know Where To Land and if You Fall It Won't Matter, Cuz You'll Know That You're Right," but typically referred to as "When the Pawn," has sold 913,000 copies in the United States, according to Nielsen SoundScan.
Her 1996 debut set, "Tidal," has shifted 2.7 million copies.
IT'S ABOUT TIME TO BE COOL
I have a question about Christina Milian. Her album "It's About Time" came out in June 2004 and I was wondering how much it has sold. She had a big hit with "Dip It Low," but I didn't see the album doing as well as the song did.
Also, do you know when she is releasing her next album?
Thus far, Christina Milian's "It's About Time" has sold 368,000 copies in the United States, according to Nielsen SoundScan. The album's lead single "Dip It Low," topped out at No. 5 on Billboard's Hot 100 and spent 30 weeks on the chart. Her album debuted and peaked at No. 14 on The Billboard 200.
She recently contributed two new songs to the soundtrack of "Be Cool," in which she co-stars with John Travolta and Uma Thurman. On her official Web site, Milian says that she is aiming to head back into the studio soon to work on a new album. She hopes that the forthcoming set will see a release before the end of the year.