Ask Billboard: Mariah Carey, Danity Kane, Mindless Self Indulgence

Keith and his readers discuss Mariah Carey, Danity Kane, Mindless Self Indulgence and more!

Ask Billboard is updated every Friday. Submit your burning music questions to Keith Caulfield at Please include your first and last name, as well as your city, state and country, if outside the U.S.


Hi Keith,

I've been a fan of your column for years, and as a journalist myself I applaud the quality of the stuff featured on

I've got a few questions for you:

1. Mariah Carey is the female artist with the most No. 1 hits on the Billboard Hot 100. Since some of her hits only spent one or two weeks at the top, I was wondering who is the artist with the most weeks at number one is. Can you answer this?

2. The concept of flop (album) is a weird one, born from the gap between expectation and actual performance. Can you tell me how many copies the following "flops" have sold?

Tina Arena, "Don't Ask"
Madonna, "Erotica"
Nelly Furtado, "Folklore"
Mariah Carey, "Glitter"
Whitney Houston, "Just Whitney"
Kylie Minogue, "Body Language"

As you can see, I love my divas.

Thanks a whole lot,

Vicken Karkoukli
Lyon, France

Hello Vicken,

First, thank you for the compliment. Secondly, will you be traveling to Nice to see Madonna's Sticky and Sweet tour on August 26?

To answer your first question, Carey is both the woman with the most No. 1 Billboard Hot 100 singles (with 18) and the overall artist with the most weeks at No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 (with 79).

For anything and everything about the Billboard Hot 100, which celebrates its 50th anniversary this year, check out newly launched Web site,

As for what makes a flop album, I'd concur to a degree that when an album fails to meet sales expectations, it is usually considered a flop.

For Tina Arena's "Don't Ask" album, I'm unsure what the sales expectations were. When the album was released, she had a minor hit single with "Chains"
(which peaked at No. 38 on the Billboard Hot 100). However, previous to her U.S. debut, she was a successful recording artist in Australia, so one could assume that her then record label, Epic, thought that success would translate in America.

Unfortunately, "Don't Ask" has only sold 141,000 in the U.S. according to Nielsen SoundScan.

As for the rest of the albums you inquired about, all were the follow-up to an album that sold well for the artist. For example, Madonna's "Erotica,"
released in 1992, was her first new studio album release since 1989's four-times platinum "Like a Prayer," and she was still basking in the glory of 1991's 10-million selling hits set "The Immaculate Collection."

That said, here are the U.S. sales of the rest of the albums you asked about.

Madonna, "Erotica" (1.9 million)
Nelly Furtado, "Folklore" (425,000)
Mariah Carey, "Glitter" (638,000)
Whitney Houston, "Just Whitney" (736,000) Kylie Minogue, "Body Language" (171,000)



I'm a huge fan of Danity Kane. My question is: how many copies of Danity Kane's latest album, "Welcome to the Dollhouse," have been sold? I usually keep updated on them through Wikipedia but sometimes it gives the wrong information on album sales for Danity Kane.

For example, Wikipedia currently states that 800,000 copies have been sold of Danity Kane's second album, but I'm not sure if that is correct.

Along with the sales for the U.S., I would definitely like to know how many copies, worldwide, did Danity Kane sell with its first and second albums?

Thank You,
James W. Lewis Jr.

Hi James,

With Wikipedia you always must ensure that the data can be tracked back to a legitimate source. There be a fact or figure quote on a Wikipedia page that is erroneous, or misleading.

It's good that you asked about this, because "Welcome to the Dollhouse" has certainly not sold 800,000 in the U.S. It has actually sold 525,000 according to Nielsen SoundScan. We don't have a worldwide figure for the album, as SoundScan does not track international sales.

Danity Kane's first album, its 2006 self-titled effort, has sold 935,000 in the U.S.



I have a couple of friends who were arguing with me as to whether the band Mindless Self Indulgence have had three singles in the top five of the Billboard Hot 100 chart in the same week.

According to them, these three singles occupied the Nos. 1, 2 and 5 slots in the same week.

Has this band actually accomplished this feat or are my friends just being overzealous about their favorite band?

Thanks very much,
Dan Bovair

Hi Dan,

Well, your friends are sort of correct.

The feat that Mindless Self Indulgence accomplished was placing three singles in the top five of the Hot Singles Sales chart - which is a very different chart than the Billboard Hot 100.

They should never be confused or considered of the same importance.

Hot Singles Sales is a chart that tracks weekly sales of physically released singles. However, it is rare that singles are issued in a physical format anymore, so the amount of sales you need to have in order to get on the chart is very minimal.

So, on the Hot Singles Sales chart dated July 26, 2008, Mindless Self Indulgence debuts at Nos. 1, 2 and 5 with the singles "Pay For It," "On It" and "(It's 3 AM) Issues." That week, "Pay For It" sold 4,000 singles when it debuted at No. 1.

Why is the Hot Singles Sales chart different than the Billboard Hot 100 chart? The latter blends together radio airplay data from over 1,200 U.S. radio stations, digital track download sales (from services like iTunes), streaming data from Yahoo! and AOL, as well as physical single sales. The Billboard Hot 100, established 50 years ago this month, is our supreme singles chart.

Unfortunately, Mindless Self Indulgence has yet to chart on the Billboard Hot 100 chart.


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