2019 American Music Awards

Ask Billboard

Keith and his readers discuss Ashlee Simpson, Reba McEntire, college charts and more!

Ask Billboard is updated every Friday. Submit your burning music questions to Keith Caulfield at askbb@billboard.com.


Hi, Keith!

In mid-December we heard Ashlee Simpson's comeback single "Outta My Head."

But now (her record label) Geffen is releasing "Little Miss Obsessive,"
Simpson's first single for her upcoming album. What's going on? Is "Outta my Head" not on the upcoming record? Why would they release this, "Little Miss Obsessive," as the "first" single?

Thanks for clearing things up a little bit.


Hi Diego,

It's not uncommon that an artist will release what is purported to be the "first" single from an upcoming album, only to be later followed by another "first" or "lead" single from the same album.

Often, we can chalk this up to the "first" single underperforming and therefore necessitating the label and/or artist to forget it existed in the first place. Thus, you move on and release the "real" first single from the album and hope it does better.

"Outta My Head" peaked at No. 21 on the Bubbling Under Billboard Hot 100 chart and failed to reach any of our radio airplay charts. The tune has sold 110,000 digital downloads since it was released in mid-December.

Simpson isn't the first artist that has had something like this happen to them. In late 2000, Usher released "Pop Ya Collar," the first single from his forthcoming 2001 studio album.

"Collar" ultimately peaked at a lowly No. 60 on The Billboard Hot 100 and everyone quickly forgot about it.

Then, in May of 2001, out comes the single "U Remind Me," and it's a smash, peaking No. 1 on The Billboard Hot 100 and becoming the "first" single from Usher's "8701" album. In fact, "Pop Ya Collar" doesn't even appear on the U.S. version of "8701," though it does show up on some non-U.S. editions of the album.


Dear Keith,

For as well as Reba McEntire's "Duets" album has sold, I'm surprised there haven't been any more songs released from the album. Do you know why? And are there plans to release any other singles? There is just a diverse group of people on the album that I expected to hear more from it. My favorites are the duets with LeAnn Rimes and Don Henley.


William Becker
Knoxville, Tenn.

Hello William,

Actually, we're on to the third single from "Duets" at the moment. The first single was of course the Kelly Clarkson duet "Because of You." It peaked at No. 2 on the Hot Country Songs chart. The second single was actually "The Only Promise That Remains" with Justin Timberlake. However, the single missed the Hot Country Songs chart.

So, the third single is "Every Other Weekend," a track that, on the album, is sung with Kenny Chesney. However, the single version was recorded with Skip Ewing, one of the co-writers of the tune.

On the current Hot Country Songs chart, dated March 15, the single rises from No. 57 to No. 41.



I used to read the Billboard college charts. I think I saw a Billboard chart appearing in the back of Rolling Stone. I can't seem to find it on your Web site. Does Billboard produce a chart for what is hot on college campuses?


Thomas Burrell

Hello Thomas,

I'm pretty sure Billboard has never compiled a weekly college radio chart.

We may have occasionally spotlighted a particular college station, or, highlighted trends in the format, but as for a normal, weekly chart, we've never had one.

Our sister company Nielsen Broadcast Data Systems monitors radio airplay data, and they do track airplay on some college stations. However, we don't employ that information for a college-radio specific chart.


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