Keith Caulfield answers readers' questions about Melanie C, S Club 7, Kirk Franklin, and Erykah Badu.

SOMETHING NEW FROM SPORTY?

Keith,

I heard that Melanie C's second album is coming out on March 10 and the single on Feb. 24 in U.K. I was wondering if she has any plans to release the new album or single in U.S.? I also wanted to know how many copies her first album "Northern Star" has sold so far in U.S.

Ilya Avezbakiyev

Hi Ilya,

Melanie C's second album, "Reason," is due out in the U.K. on March 10. The Virgin set will be preceded by the single "Here It Comes Again," which will hit stores on Feb. 24. It will debut Jan. 10 on U.K. radio, but you can hear a preview of the track at the former "Sporty Spice" girl's official Web site (northern-star.co.uk) beginning Jan. 6.

There is no word on when the album will be released stateside. Her first effort, "Northern Star," sold 90,000 units in the U.S., according to Nielsen SoundScan. One single from the disc, "I Turn To You," reached No. 1 on Billboard's Hot Dance Music: Club Play chart.



S-CLUBBIN'

Hey Keith,

I was wondering when S Club's new album was coming out. I loved the single "Never Had a Dream Come True" and couldn't wait for their new album. I heard about their new single "Don't Stop Movin'" that was released in August. On the single it said that the new album would be released on Nov. 19, but I went to the store to check it out and they said that the album had not been released. Then someone said the album wouldn't be released until Dec. 17.

Also, their new single "Don't Stop Movin'" has gotten no publicity, and as far as I know it's hasn't been on the radio. The video isn't being played and obviously it has gotten nowhere in the charts. I don't see why! "Don't Stop Movin'" is such a great song and video! And "Never Had a Dream Come True" was a top-10 Hot 100 hit here. Does S Club 7 have a future in the U.S.?

Thanks,
Molly

Hi Molly,

S Club's third U.S. album, "Don't Stop Movin'" was released Dec. 17 in the U.S. by Universal. The set is a compilation of tracks from the group's last two U.K. releases ("Seeing Double" and "Sunshine").

It is true that the album has gotten very little publicity in the U.S. However, a new season of the group's ABC Family show recently began, so one would think that there would be a built-in audience for the group. That audience helped sell more than 600,000 copies of the group's 2000 album, "7," in the U.S., according to Nielsen SoundScan.

The group is going to be touring the U.K. early next year and will release a film (also titled "Seeing Double"). Perhaps S Club might squeeze in a little time to promote the new album in the States.

For what it's worth, "Don't Stop Movin'" is a very good pop album, and most certainly worth listening to if you enjoyed the title track or admired "Never Had a Dream Come True." (I happened to review the new release for the Jan. 11 issue of Billboard.)



A KIRK & ERYKAH UPDATE

Hi Keith,

I want to know how many albums Kirk Franklin has sold and if Erykah Badu has a new album slated to be released any time soon.

Kevin

Hi Kevin,

Kirk Franklin has sold about 4.5 million copies of his albums in the U.S., according to Nielsen SoundScan. He has earned four No. 1 Contemporary Christian albums (spending a total of 58 weeks at the top) and six No. 1 Gospel sets (with a cumulative 190 weeks at No. 1).

As for Badu, last we heard, she was at work in a recording studio, presumably putting together material for her next album. Her last studio effort, 2000's "Mama's Gun," debuted and peaked at No. 3 on Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums and No. 11 on The Billboard 200. It has sold 1.2 million units in the U.S. according to Nielsen SoundScan.