Ask Billboard

Keith Caulfield answers readers' questions about the Rolling Stones, Mariah Carey, Sarah McLachlan, Madonna and Kelly Clarkson.


Hi Keith!

I heard that the Rolling Stones are recording a new album, its first in eight years. Can you tell me how many copies of the band's last studio album, "Bridges to Babylon" have been sold, and how many copies of "Live Licks?"

Thanks in advance and have a nice year.

Federico Petito
Buenos Aires

Hi Frederico,

Indeed, the Rolling Stones are at work on new material for what will be its first studio album since 1997's "Bridges to Babylon." The band's frontman, Mick Jagger, said recently at the Golden Globe awards that he and the other Stones were writing and recording new material. However, he did not say when the album would be released.

Last month, producer Don Was told that he worked with the band on some early sessions in Paris.

"Bridges to Babylon" has sold 1.2 million units in the United States, according to Nielsen SoundScan, and peaked at No. 3 on The Billboard 200.

Since then, the band has re-released its ABKCO catalog (including "Beggar's Banquet" and "Let It Bleed"), and issued two live albums ("No Security" and "Live Licks") and two greatest hits compilations ("Forty Licks" and "The Best of the Rolling Stones: Jump Back '71-'93").

As for your question about "Live Licks," the set has sold 78,000 since its November 2004 release.


Dear Keith,

Within the past year or so, Mariah Carey, Sarah McLachlan and Madonna have released remix albums. Can you tell me how much each of these have sold?

Thank you,

Jason Englisbe
Simpsonville, S.C.

Hi Jason,

Sarah McLachlan's "Remixed" crept onto The Billboard 200 at No. 200 in late 2003 and peaked at the same position. Released through Nettwerk/Arista, the disc has sold 118,000 units in the United States, according to Nielsen SoundScan. That number does not include the 44,000 units the "Remixed" album has sold as an import when first released in Canada in 2001.

Mariah Carey's "The Remixes" has sold 199,000 units since it was released in October 2003. The two-CD album peaked at No. 1 on Billboard's Top Electronic Albums chart and No. 26 on The Billboard 200. Carey is prepping to release her eighth studio album, "The Emancipation of Mimi," which is due March 22. The album's first single is "It's Like That."

Madonna's "Remixed & Revisited," a six-song EP released in late 2003, has shifted 109,000 copies. She is also working on new music, but when that material will be released is unknown.



I received Kelly Clarkson's "Breakaway" for Christmas. I really like the album. Can you tell me how many CDs she has sold and if you think she will actually make it in the music business?


Shawn Marcoux
Raleigh, N.C.

Hi Shawn,

In less than two months, "Breakaway" has already sold 1.1 million units in the United States, according to Nielsen SoundScan. The RCA album contains two top 10 hits on Billboard's Mainstream Top 40 chart in the title track and latest single "Since U Been Gone."

Clarkson has had quite a bit of success since she won the first season of Fox's "American Idol." She's charted six singles on the Mainstream Top 40 chart, four of which went top 10. Her biggest hit on that list was "Miss Independent," which spent six weeks at No. 1 in 2003. Clarkson's first album, "Thankful," has sold 2.1 million units.

It's hard to say if anyone will make it in the music business, but at the rate Clarkson is going, it seems like she is off to a great start and could have a pretty solid career.