Ask Billboard

Keith answers readers' questions on Ringo Starr, Chaka Khan, Lenny Kravitz and more!

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


Hi Keith,

Last year, Ringo Starr and Mick Jagger released greatest hits compilations. How well did both albums perform on the charts? Is it true that Starr's album sold better?


Carlos Centurion
Buenos Aires, Argentina

Hi Carlos,

Ringo Starr's "Photograph: The Very Best of Ringo" has sold 31,000 in the U.S. according to Nielsen SoundScan. That includes 5,000 downloads of the digital version of the album, the tracklist of which was slightly altered. It debuted and peaked at No. 130 on The Billboard 200 chart upon its release in August 2007.

Mick Jagger's "The Very Best of Mick Jagger," which was released in October 2007, has moved 45,000. It too peaked the week it debuted on The Billboard 200, at No. 77.



Now that Chaka Khan has two more Grammy awards to add to her collection, how has her latest album "Funk This" sold since its debut? Also, how has her solo career gone so far in terms of sales?


Myron R. Lymore

Hi Myron,

Chaka Khan nabbed two Grammys this year, one for Best R&B Album (for "Funk This") and another for Best R&B Performance by a Duo or Group With Vocals ("Disrespectful," featuring Mary J. Blige). In the latter category, she beat out heavyweight singles from R. Kelly and Usher ("Same Girl), Rihanna featuring Ne-Yo ("Hate That I Love You"), Angie Stone featuring Betty Wright ("Baby") and T-Pain featuring Akon ("Bartender").

So far, "Funk This" has sold 160,000 in the U.S. according to Nielsen SoundScan. It debuted at No. 15 on The Billboard 200, her highest charting album since "I Feel For You" hit No. 14 back in 1984. "Funk This" is her biggest selling album since her 1996 greatest hits set "Epiphany: The Best of Chaka Khan Volume One." That effort has shifted 796,000.



I am a fan of Lenny Kravitz whose new album "It Is Time for a Love Revolution" was recently released. I have been hearing that his previous two albums "Baptism" and "Lenny" had disappointing sales compared to his earlier albums. I know that his "Greatest Hits" and "5" albums were multimillion sellers but how well did his last two studio albums sell in comparison to those big sellers?


John Moore

Hi John,

You're right.

Kravitz's last studio album, 2004's "Baptism," has sold 551,000 in the U.S., while the one before that, 2001's "Lenny," sold 724,000.

However, his "Greatest Hits" set, released in 2000, has moved a handsome 4.5 million. His 1998 studio effort "5" has moved 3 million. That was a huge comeback after his 1995 set "Circus" failed (534,000), especially in light of the success of his 1993 album "Are You Gonna Go My Way" (2.2 million).

Clearly, Kravitz has been very hot and cold, hit or miss with his album sales over the years.

So far, Kravitz's new album, "It Is Time for a Love Revolution" has sold 133,000 since its release earlier this month, according to Nielsen SoundScan.


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