Ask Billboard

Keith Caulfield answers readers' questions about Dolly Parton, Kylie Minogue and Monica.


Dear Keith,

Thanks for offering the opportunity for us to get some answers we might not otherwise get.

I am a huge fan of Dolly Parton and have about 30 of her albums and CDs. Her three recent bluegrass albums have garnered her the best reviews of her long and storied career. However, none of them have sold enough to be certified gold. Could you tell me how well each has sold? My guess is that each succeeding one sold better than the previous one based on chart positions.

Could you also tell me which of her albums has sold the most during the Soundscan era?

Thank you so much!

George G. Kitchens III
Sunbury, Pa.

Hi George,

Thanks for the kind words. I've been writing this column for more than five years and I appreciate it when readers take the time to say 'thanks.'

Dolly Parton's three bluegrass albums have garnered much critical acclaim, and decent sales. In 1999, she issued "The Grass Is Blue" on Sugar Hill Records, which has sold 195,000 copies in the U.S., according to Nielsen SoundScan. She followed it up with "Little Sparrow" in 2001 and "Halos & Horns" in 2002. Those two sets have sold 212,000 and 187,000 copies, respectively.

Her biggest selling album in the SoundScan era is "Eagle When She Flies," which was released in March 1991 (just two months before SoundScan began reporting figures to Billboard). The Columbia album, which sports the No. 1 Hot Country Singles & Tracks chart hit "Rockin' Years," has sold 1.1 million units to date.


Dear Keith

I was wondering when the lovely miss Kylie Minogue will be releasing her new single "Slow" in the U.S., and same for her fantastic album "Body Language" (with the really wicked song "Red Blooded Woman" and sexy "Chocolate")?

Thanks a lot,


Hi Marietta-Rose,

Capitol commercially released "Slow" Dec. 9 as a limited edition 12" vinyl picture disc in the U.S. The track is already spinning on dance-leaning top 40 and rhythmic radio stations, but don't expect a full-fledged push at mainstream top 40 radio until January.

The full-length "Body Language" is due Feb. 10 in the U.S. It was released in November internationally.

For all things Kylie, visit her official Web site at



I was just wondering what sales have been like for Monica's album "After the Storm." It seems as though it fizzled on the charts and I was just wondering how it fared overall.

Christopher Richardson

Hi Christopher,

Monica's "After the Storm" has sold 685,000 copies in the U.S., according to Nielsen SoundScan. The set was released in June by J Records and features the song, "So Gone," which reached No. 1 on Billboard's Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Singles & Tracks chart.

The album's second single, "Knock Knock," stalled out at No. 24 on the R&B tally.

"After The Storm" has slipped off The Billboard 200 and is at No. 74 on the Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart. It debuted at No. 1 on The Billboard 200 in July, and peaked at No. 2 on the R&B list.