Keith answers readers' burning questions on Olivia Newton-John, the Pussycat Dolls and Missy Elliott.
Ask Billboard is updated every Friday. Submit your burning music questions to Keith Caulfield at firstname.lastname@example.org . Please include your first and last name, as well as your city, state and country, if outside the U.S.
DOLLS FOR SALE
I'm excited about the upcoming release in September of the Pussycat Dolls' new album, "Doll Domination."
(The group's new single) "When I Grow Up" is a great song and video. I'd like to know how many copies of their first release, "PCD", has sold in the U.S.
Also, how is it that (lead Pussycat Doll) Nicole Scherzinger's solo album seemed to fail so badly? It didn't fare so well on the Billboard 200 and its singles barely made any noise on either the Hot 100 or Pop 100 charts. Internationally, it seemed to be a different story.
What are the current sales figures on her album in the U.S.?
Richard Stegman Jr.
First off, Nicole Scherzinger's solo album was never released. So it never had a chance to chart.
I think it was natural to think that after the success of Pussycat Dolls "PCD" (2.9 million sold in the U.S. according to Nielsen SoundScan) a solo effort from Scherzinger would be a success. However, after at least two singles ("Whatever U Like" and "Baby Love") from Scherzinger flopped in the U.S. last fall -- neither charted on the Billboard Hot 100 - plans for the album were temporarily shelved. Instead, Scherzinger and Interscope Records (her and the Dolls' label) focused on the Dolls' sophomore album.
Currently Missy Elliott is working on her seventh studio album. I was wondering what her album certifications are. Some sources say that her last two albums were platinum; other sources say that they are not.
Do you know anything about how well all of her albums have done and by any chance, know when her new single "Best, Best" will be released?
Information about the gold and platinum certification program administered by the Recording Industry Association of America can be found on its Web site at RIAA.com .
Missy Elliott's first four albums each sold over a million, with the biggest of the bunch being "Under Construction," having sold 2.1 million in the U.S. according to Nielsen SoundScan. ("Under" is home to the singles "Work It" and "Gossip Folks" and the full-length earned a Grammy nomination for Album of the Year.) Her two most recent albums, "This Is Not a Test!" and "The Cookbook" have sold 700,000 and 645,000 respectively.
Regarding "Best, Best," if you are a fan of vinyl, you're in luck. The single will be issued commercially on vinyl 12" July 29 with a list price of $5.98 while radio stations have already started playing the track.
'FRIENDS' IN THE U.S.
There is a worldwide release of Olivia Newton-John's latest album from EMI on July 15 but I don't see it in your new releases index. Can you tell me if this album will be released in the U.S.?
Gary H. Taylor
I just got word that "Olivia Newton-John & Friends: A Celebration In Song" will be released in the U.S. through EMI on Sept. 2. Canada will get the album first, on July 29.
The 12-song album will feature duets with Cliff Richard, Barry Gibb, Keith Urban and many others. Proceeds will benefit the Olivia Newton-John Cancer and Wellness Centre.
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