Ask Billboard

Answers to readers' questions about Cher, Paula Abdul and the AAA radio format.


Hey Keith,

Rumor has it that Diane Warren, who penned "If I Could Turn Back Time" for Cher, is writing new material for the latter's upcoming album. Do you have any news on this album? Could Cher be going back to her rock days?


Mike Spoganetz
Woodbridge, N.J.

Hello Mike,

Indeed, Diane Warren has submitted material for consideration for Cher's next album. What does this mean exactly? Will a Warren song end up on Cher's new CD? Maybe. Will the album be a more rock-oriented effort? Maybe.

What is likely happening right now is the song selection process. Cher and her team are probably listening to many tunes, offered to her by many different writers. At the end of this process, Cher may record a number of these songs, which will then be whittled down to a fitting number for the album.

Because the album is still in its early stages, you can imagine that a release date is probably far off in the future. (So far off in the future, even Cher's Warner Bros. publicist declined to comment.)

Cher's last album, 2002's "Living Proof," has sold 500,000 in the U.S. according to Nielsen SoundScan. That set was the follow-up to the massive 1998 release "Believe." Fueled by the Billboard Hot 100 No. 1 title track, the album has sold 3.6 million copies in America.

Diane Warren has penned a whopping 59 top 40 hits on The Billboard Hot 100, including four for Cher: "If I Could Turn Back Time" (No. 3), "Just Like Jesse James" (No. 8), "Love and Understanding" (No. 17) and "Save Up All Your Tears" (No. 37).



I am curious about Paula Abdul's rumored "new album." There have been rumors within the industry that she has been working on completing her first studio album since the close of "American Idol's" first season. What is the truth? Is she signed to a label? Do you know anything about a new single or album release date? She has been missed greatly by her fans. Her return to the spotlight will be a welcome return to the clubs and airwaves.


Matt Vessell

Hello Matt,

There have long been rumors and rumblings of Paula Abdul recording a new album. However, her representative did not respond to our queries regarding her future music plans.

Aside from her "Idol" judging gig, Abdul seems to have a pretty full plate. She created the new "Cardio Cheer" line of work out DVDs that are available via She also has a line of jewelry (Innergy) and cheerleading clothing (Skirtz).

Abdul has released five albums in the U.S. including the No. 1s "Forever Your Girl" and "Spellbound." The last was 2000's "Greatest Hits." The 16-track set includes 10 top 40 Billboard Hot 100 hits and six No. 1s. The Virgin album has sold 138,000 copies, according to Nielsen SoundScan.


Dear Keith,

I would like to know what exactly the term "triple-A" means. I have mostly seen it referenced in Billboard's singles reviews. For instance, the reviewer will say that a song was or is a big hit at triple-A radio. What does triple-A stand for, and how is the chart calculated (if there is indeed a chart)? My guess is that triple-A stands for adult contemporary, adult top 40 and adult R&B, and the triple-A chart amasses all three (once again, if there is a chart!).

Thanks Keith,

Jordan A. Knight
Decatur, Ga.

Hi Jordan,

Triple-A stands for "adult album alternative." Billboard sister publication Billboard Radio Monitor publishes a weekly radio chart based on this format of radio. Nielsen Broadcast Data Systems monitors 23 triple-A stations, including KFOG San Francisco and WXRT Chicago.

The chart's current No. 1 is K.T. Tunstall's "Black Horse & the Cherry Tree." Other acts on the chart include Coldplay, Death Cab For Cutie, Trey Anastasio, The Fray, Aqualung, Feist, Beth Orton, David Gray and Depeche Mode.