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Keith Caulfield answers readers' questions about Crazy Frog, top selling female artists and Carly Simon.


Dear Keith,

This is no so much a question, more of a plea. Please [throw away] the Crazy Frog trash [single "Axel F."] the moment you hear it. We've been subjected to it here in the United Kingdom and I'm kinda hoping that folks in the United States have more than two brain cells connected.

This has nothing whatsoever to do with music. It's just wallet fodder, er, or something or other.



Hi Mickey,

Crazy Frog's cover of the 1985 Billboard Hot 100 No. 3 hit "Axel F." is already garnering airplay in the United States. The Next Plateau/Universal single was heard a few stations last week, including WKTU New York. The track doesn't officially vie for widespread airplay consideration until July 19.

The single, a reworking of the famous "Beverly Hills Cop" instrumental theme by Harold Faltermeyer, is already an enormous hit in Europe. It already spent multiple weeks at No. 1 in the United Kingdom and also topped the chart in France, Switzerland, Denmark, Flanders and Billboard's Singles Sales Eurochart.



Can you tell me who the top 10 best-selling female artists of all time, and how many records they have sold?


Martin W. Quinlan

Hello Martin,

That's an easy enough question. I assume you mean solo female artists, right?

I can't use Nielsen SoundScan's figures for this list, as that company, which currently supplies the data that informs Billboard's sales charts, only began tabulating data in 1991. Thus, I am using the certification information from the Recording Industry Association of America (visit them at The organization bases its gold and platinum awards on the number of units shipped to retailers -- in the United States; there is no one firm that keeps track of worldwide sales.

As you can see from the list below, Barbra Streisand is out in front with more than 70 million units. She's followed by Madonna and then Mariah Carey according to an RIAA statement issued July 6 announcing certifications issued in June.

With Madonna, who is now No. 2, planning to release a new studio album later this year and Carey's latest continuing to sell strongly, these numbers will most definitely change in a few months.

Here is the list of to top 10 female artists according to the RIAA:

1. Barbra Streisand (70.5 million)
2. Madonna (60 million)
3. Mariah Carey (58.5 million)
4. Whitney Houston (54 million)
5. (tie) Celine Dion (47 million)
(tie) Shania Twain (47 million)
7. Reba McEntire (36.5 million)
8. Britney Spears (31 million)
9. Linda Ronstadt (30 million)
10. Janet Jackson (25 million)


Hey Keith!

With the July 19 release of Carly Simon's "Moonlight Serenade," I couldn't help but wonder how many units she's moved of her three previous albums of standards?


Jef Fazeka

Hi Jef,

Carly Simon's latest standards set "Moonlight Serenade," includes the title track as well as "I Only Have Eyes for You" and "I've Got You Under My Skin," was released, as you noted, July 19 by Columbia.

She has released three previous standards albums: 1981's "Torch," 1990's "My Romance" and 1997's "Film Noir." The first two are too old to have complete sales data, and neither have been certified gold (500,000 units shipped) by the RIAA. However, we do know how much each has sold since Nielsen SoundScan began collecting information in 1991. From 1991 through the present, "Torch" has done 56,000, while "My Romance" has moved 182,000. "Film Noir" has shifted 200,000.

For more information on Simon, visit her official Web site Also, to read a recent Billboard feature about the artist and "Moonlight Serenade," click here.