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Readers' questions about Sophie Ellis Bextor, 'N Sync's Justin Timberlake, and Rush answered by Keith Caulfield.

SOPHIE'S CHOICE

Keith,

Is it true that Sophie Ellis Bextor will soon release music in the U.S.? I've heard that maybe she was thinking of trying to break the market with the help of Universal and I was just wondering if it were true.

Steve,

Sophie Ellis Bextor's first American single, "Murder on the Dancefloor," was serviced to U.S. radio stations this week for airplay consideration. Ellis Bextor and Gregg Alexander (of New Radicals fame) wrote the single, and Matt Rowe and Alexander produced it. The track is from the forthcoming Universal album "Read My Lips," for which a U.S. release date has not yet been announced.

"Murder" has already been a chart hit around the world. It hit No. 1 in a number of territories, including Australia, France and Ireland. It was also a top-5 single in the U.K., Germany, and Sweden, among other countries.

U.S. audiences might remember Ellis Bextor thanks to her vocal contributions on the DJ Spiller track "Groovejet (If This Ain't Love)." The Big Beat/Atlantic single was a dancefloor hit, and reached No. 3 on Billboard's Hot Dance/Club Play chart in May 2001.

For further information, visit Ellis Bextor's Web site at sophieellisbextor.net.


'JUSTIFYING' JUSTIN

Keith,

There has been a lot of buzz concerning the debut solo single from 'N Sync's Justin Timberlake. I know it has been leaked to radio, but I have yet to hear it. Can you tell me when it will be officially released and when I can expect to see the album in stores? I am hearing that it will be out Nov. 12 and that it will be titled "Out of the Blue." Is this all just Internet gossip or is there some truth involved?

Thanks,

Peaches

Hi Peaches,

Justin Timberlake's first solo single, "Like I Love You," should be released to U.S. radio shortly. It recently debuted on some outlets early (including KIIS in Los Angeles). As previously reported here on Billboard.com, the track is taken from his forthcoming Jive album, "Justified," due out Nov. 12.

The single was co-written and produced by the Neptunes, and a music video for the track will debut on Sept. 9.

In the meantime, you can catch Timberlake performing "Like I Love You" on the MTV Video Music Awards at 8 p.m. Aug. 29. The ceremony will be televised live (tape delayed on the West Coast) from New York's Radio City Music Hall.


RUSHING TO JUDGEMENT

Keith,

How is the new Rush album "Vapor Trails" doing as far as sales go? Do you think it will go gold or platinum? They have not had an album, in recent history, to not go at least gold.

Thanks,

Mike Kilgore

Mike,

In June, Rush's "Vapor Trails" debuted and peaked at No. 6 on The Billboard 200. The Anthem/Atlantic album has since sold 254,000 copies in the U.S. according to SoundScan.

The Recording Industry Association of America certifies gold and platinum albums based upon the number of units shipped to retailers in the U.S. Gold indicates 500,000 units, while platinum awards 1,000,000 units. Every Rush album has been certified gold or platinum, and certainly "Trails" has a decent shot at eventually getting a gold award.