Latin Music Week

Ask Billboard

Keith Caulfield answers reader questions about Cher, Gwen Stefani and the Beatles.


Hi Keith,

I have read several times how you recount album sales for artists such as Britney Spears, Madonna, Michael Jackson and so forth. But for quite a while I have wondered what are the SoundScan-era sales for Cher's albums (at least the most outstanding) and do you know if she is coming out with a new record at all anytime soon?


Charles Walker,
Fresno, Calif.

Hi Charles,

It's no great shock that Cher's biggest selling U.S. album in the Nielsen SoundScan era (1991-present) is "Believe" at 3.6 million copies. Her next largest seller is 2003's "The Very Best of Cher" which has moved 2.2 million. Her 2002 set "Living Proof" has sold about 498,000.

Another greatest hits album, released in 1999 (shortly after "Believe" became a phenomenon) and titled "If I Could Turn Back Time – Cher's Greatest Hits" has sold 936,000.

No plans have been announced regarding any upcoming studio albums from Cher. Her most recent release is 2005's "Gold" set, a two-CD anthology covering her biggest hits stretching back to the 1960s.


Hi Keith,

I love both Gwen Stefani and Kelly Clarkson but I was wondering why did Gwen win the Digital Song award at the Billboard Music Awards for "Hollaback Girl" when "Since You've Been Gone" sold many more copies via download?


Gabriel Duque

Hi Gabriel,

You are mistaken. Gwen Stefani's "Hollaback Girl" sold more digital downloads than Kelly Clarkson's "Since U Been Gone."

For the purpose of Billboard's year-end charts and the categories featured during the Billboard Music Awards, sales of downloads are tracked while titles were charting on the Hot Digital Songs chart between November 2004 and November 2005. During that time, according to Nielsen SoundScan's sales data, "Hollaback" sold more than "Gone."

To date, "Hollaback" stands at nearly 1.1 million downloads, while "Gone" is at 994,000.



In an older edition of Joel Whitburn's Billboard Top Pop Singles (1955-1986), the Beatles are listed as having 21 No. 1 hits. In a subsequent version of the books, it lists them as having 20. The confusion seems to be around the songs 'Come Together' and 'Something' (A and B sides, respectively). How many No. 1 hits have the Beatles officially had?

Tim Bishop

Hi Tim,

Normally this is a question Fred Bronson would handle in Chart Beat Chat. However, I couldn't resist.

The Beatles have 20 No. 1 Hot 100 singles. The confusing thing tends to be "Come Together/Something," which was a double A-sided single.

The two songs originally charted separately on the Hot 100 as the A and B sides of the "Come Together/Something" single. However, as both singles were peaking on the Hot 100, Billboard changed its rules regarding double-sided singles, and let the two titles chart together as one on the Hot 100. That week, the combined point total of the two songs pushed it to No. 1 on the Hot 100 for one week as "Come Together/Something."

Just to recap, here are the Beatles' 20 Hot 100 No. 1s:

"I Want To Hold Your Hand"
"She Loves You"
"Can't Buy Me Love"
"Love Me Do"
"A Hard Day's Night"
"I Feel Fine"
"Eight Days a Week"
"Ticket To Ride"
"We Can Work It Out"
"Paperback Writer"
"Penny Lane"
"All You Need Is Love"
"Hello Goodbye"
"Hey Jude"
"Get Back"
"Come Together/Something"
"Let It Be"
"The Long and Winding Road/For You Blue"