Ask Billboard

Keith Caulfield answers readers' questions about boy bands, Fischerspooner and Green Day.


Hi Keith!

I was wondering which boy band has sold the most records. Did the New Kids on the Block (aka NKOTB) sell more records than the Backstreet Boys, 'N Sync, 98 Degrees or O-Town? Could you give me a rundown of their album sales?

Also, whatever happened to O-Town? I own both of their CDs and they rocked! I haven't heard anything about them. Have they broken up? If so, do any of them plan on releasing solo CDs?

Thanks so much,

Richmond, Ky.

Hi Joey,

The leader of the male pop vocal group pack is Backstreet Boys, with more than 29.5 million albums sold in the United States, according to Nielsen SoundScan. 'N Sync is second with 27.6 million.

New Kids on the Block have shipped 17.5 million albums in the United States, per the Recording Industry Association of America. (Most of the New Kids album sales came previous to the establishment of Nielsen SoundScan in 1991; that is why I am using RIAA figures.) 98 Degrees has sold 6.9 million, while O-Town has moved 1.9 million.

Before O-Town disbanded in late 2003, the quintet released two albums. Its self-titled debut opened at No. 5 on The Billboard 200 in 2001, while the follow-up, "O2," peaked at No. 28.

Of the group, Ashley Angel recently signed with Blackground Records and has completed a solo studio album that should be released later this year. Another O-Town member, Jacob Underwood, fronts the band Jacob's Loc. The rock group recently opened for Silvertide, and more information can be found at the band's official Web site:



Fischerspooner's masterpiece "#1" was, in my opinion, the best album of 2003. I see that the group has a new single in the iTunes Music Store; does that mean a new album will be released soon? Are there any plans for another U.S. tour?



Hello Paul,

Fisherspooner does indeed have a new album on the horizon. "Odyssey" is due April 5, and features the lead single "Just Let Go." Released through Capitol Records in the United States, the set will be promoted through a multitude of events.

The group is staging gatherings every Thursday in New York until the album's release. Additionally, listening parties will be held at the South by Southwest music festival in Austin, Texas, and the Winter Music Conference in Miami. In April and May, the group will play shows in New York before hitting Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago and Boston in June. In the fall, Fischerspooner is aiming for a national U.S. headlining tour.


Hi Keith,

I like Green Day's album "American Idiot", especially its current song "Boulevard of Broken Dreams." However, I'm a bit concerned about the title track to the album. Because of the Dixie Chicks' infamous remark about President Bush two years ago, I'm a bit worried that Green Day might make the same mistake. Am I wrong?

Thank You,

Jeevaka Weerasena
Leeds, U.K.

Hi Jeevaka,

You really don't have anything to worry about. "American Idiot" has already sold 2.6 million units in the United States, according to Nielsen SoundScan, and it's the band's biggest selling album since its 1994's breakthrough, "Dookie."

Because Green Day was already an outspoken and liberal punk rock band, hearing them state their views on the U.S. government and American society isn't terribly shocking. However, for the Dixie Chicks, a female country trio that has many fans in conservative parts of America, it was, obviously, a completely different matter.

Nonetheless, the Dixie Chicks have done all right for themselves. The group's last studio album, "Home," has sold 5.2 million units in the United States. The set, which the group was promoting in England when singer Natalie Maines made her now infamous remarks about Bush, spawned three major hits on Billboard's Hot Country Singles & Tracks chart: "Travelin' Soldier" (No. 1), "Long Time Gone" (No. 2) and "Landslide" (No. 2).