Ask Billboard

Keith Caulfield answers readers' questions about Jennifer Lopez, Gloria Estefan and more.



I have two album-sales questions I was hoping you could answer.

First, I've noticed that Jennifer Lopez's "Get Right" mysteriously faded relatively pretty quickly on the radio and on the top 40 charts compared to her prior singles, and I've still yet to hear any other song from the album. Has the follow up simply faltered at radio, or hasn't one been released yet? It made me wonder: How has her album "Rebirth" (Epic) sold so far sales-wise compared to her other albums?

Secondly, and on a far more obscure note, I was wondering about the sales stats of Feist's "Let It Die" (Cherry Tree/Interscope). I'm a college-radio deejay, and "Let It Die" was easily my favorite CD to hit our station's mailbox this past semester, and I'm curious as to how many other people have discovered it!

Jeff Fiedler
Washington Crossing, Pa.

Hi Jeff,

It's fair to say that Jennifer Lopez's "Get Right" was an underperforming single. The lead track from "Rebirth" spent 17 weeks on The Billboard Hot 100, peaking at No. 12. On Billboard's Mainstream Top 40 chart, it reached No. 18 and was on the chart for eight weeks.

However, the lead singles from Lopez's previous three studio albums all made the top 2 on the Mainstream Top 40 chart and were top three hits on the Hot 100. (They were "If You Had My Love," "Love Don't Cost a Thing" and "Jenny From the Block").

The second "Rebirth" single was "Hold You Down" featuring Fat Joe. It didn't really make much of an impact at radio or on the Hot 100 either. It peaked at No. 27 on the Mainstream Top 40 chart and at No. 64 on the Hot 100. It was later remixed into a hip-hip number dubbed the "Spring Mix" with new music and lyrics. That version reached No. 39 on the Mainstream Top 40 chart.

Since its release in March, "Rebirth" has sold 653,000 copies in the United States. according to Nielsen SoundScan.

To answer your second question, Feist's "Let It Die" album, released in April, has sold just under 9,000 copies in the United States.


Dear Keith,

I'm 18 and have been a huge fan of Gloria Estefan for many years now. After her final tour came to an end recently, it got me wondering about something. I want to know how many albums she has sold throughout her career. Most importantly, I want to know the total sales of these three albums that I listen to most: "Destiny" (1996), "gloria!" (1998) and "Unwrapped" (2003). If you could help me out I'd appreciate it.

Thanks in advance for your time and effort,

Jason Joseph

Hi Jason,

Because Gloria Estefan's career dates back to before Nielsen SoundScan began tracking sales data (1991), we have to rely on information from the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) to figure out her estimated U.S. sales.

According to the RIAA, Estefan (with and without Miami Sound Machine) has shipped 19.5 million albums to U.S. retailers. Using Nielsen SoundScan data, she has sold a cumulative 11.1 million units since 1991.

Finally, here are the U.S. sales numbers requested for Estefan's more recent English albums, according to Nielsen SoundScan:

"Destiny," 1996; 877,000
"gloria!," 1998; 571,000
"Unwrapped," 2003; 162,000



I am interested to know how old Billboard is. Could you tell me the date of the first publication?

Tonya Goettl


Billboard will be 111 years old later this year. The first Billboard was dated Nov. 1, 1894. At the time, it was named Billboard Advertising, was eight pages and cost 10 cents.

When the publication began, its subject matter was about posting advertisements outdoors -- billposting. Through the years, Billboard evolved into a magazine covering live entertainment and eventually what it is today, a business periodical covering the music and entertainment industry.