Keith Caulfield answers readers' questions about Emma Bunton, New Edition and Prince.

FREE EMMA

Hi Keith,

Is Emma Bunton releasing her album, "Free Me," in the United States in October? What track will be the first single?

Thank you,

Tiago Heitelvan

Hi Tiago,

At deadline, a release date for Emma Bunton's solo U.S. debut had not been announced. However, she is charting on Billboard's Hot Dance/Club Play Breakouts chart at No. 3 with the import single "Maybe." The track is from her 19 Records album "Free Me," which has already been released in the U.K.

The Breakouts chart is for titles that are "bubbling under" the bottom of the Hot Dance/Club Play tally. "Maybe" will most likely debut on the latter chart in the near future.



PINNING DOWN A NEW EDITION

Keith,

Could you please give me an accurate date for the release of the New Edition album? The date has changed a couple of times and I don't know when it is coming out at this point.

Thanks for your time.

Patrick

Hello Patrick,

The reformed New Edition's forthcoming album, "One Love," is due Oct. 26 through Bad Boy Records. The set features all of the group's original members except for Bobby Brown. The album's first single, "Hot 2Nite," is climbing Billboard's Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Singles & Tracks chart, where it is No. 41 at deadline.

The last time New Edition reconvened (with Brown), the group released the MCA album "Home Again." That 1996 set has sold 1.8 million copies in the United States, according to Nielsen SoundScan.

The album spawned a number of hit singles, two of which reached the top 10 of the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Singles & Tracks chart -- "Hit Me Off" (No. 1), "I'm Still in Love With You/You Don't Have To Worry" (No. 7) -- and one that topped out at No. 22, "One More Day."



TOUR-OLOGY

Keith,

How is it that the Prince show at the Wachovia Center [in Philadelphia] is listed as a sellout [on Billboard's Boxscore chart] when I attended the Aug. 23 show and there were hundreds of empty seats all around the top level of the arena? These were clear sight line seats so I know they could have been sold, and since entire sections were empty, I know they weren't "no shows."

Eric Friedman

Hi Eric,

I posed this question to Bob Allen, who manages Billboard's Boxscore chart, and this is his response:

Billboard lists a show as a sellout on the Boxscore chart if the number of tickets sold as reported by the promoter or venue is the same as the number of tickets available for sale. Often there are empty seats visible during a concert even if the show is reported as a sellout.

Reasons for this vary, but the most typical reason is simply that not all the seats were offered for sale to the general public. An act's popularity may dictate that only a certain amount of seats can be expected to sell, and that could very well be much less than the building's total capacity.

Technical aspects of the show may prohibit some seats from being sold -- i.e. the location of the stage, sound booth, spotlight operators, etc. Blocks of seats may be reserved for groups associated with the artist such as the record label or management. Sometimes radio stations buy seats to be used for giveaways.

And we can't overlook the fact that sometimes people buy tickets with plans to scalp them, and then the tickets don't sell.

Reasons for empty seats in a concert are many. Just because a seat is empty doesn't necessarily mean someone didn't buy the ticket. The seat may have been bought and not used, or may not have been available in the first place.