Ask Billboard

Keith Caulfield answers readers' questions about Bob Seger, Donna Summer and Celine Dion.



I'm really excited about Bob Seger & the Silver Bullet Band's "Greatest Hits 2" hits coming out and I'm thrilled to see so many of his albums recently certified [gold or platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America]. My question is about his 1995 release "It's a Mystery": Did that album ever go platinum? How many copies has it sold?

Randy Sutton Jr.

Hi Randy,

"It's A Mystery" has sold 536,000 copies in the U.S., according to Nielsen SoundScan since its release in October 1995. It has been certified gold by the Recording Industry Association of America for U.S. shipments of 500,000 units to retailers (visit to learn more about the organization's certification process).

Bob Seger's second hits album was released on Nov. 4, and it includes the following top-40 Billboard Hot 100 hits: "Understanding" (No. 17), "Shame on the Moon" (No. 2), "Fire Lake" (No. 6), "Tryin' To Live My Life Without You" (No. 5) and his only No. 1 hit, "Shakedown" (from "Beverly Hills Cop II").

Seger's first "Greatest Hits" album, released in 1994, has sold 6.3 million copies in the U.S.



On the VH1 special "Live & More Encore!" in 1999, Donna Summer mentioned she was putting together a Broadway show called "Ordinary Girl." I know a book by that title was recently released but I was wondering what happened to the Broadway show?

I have also heard off and on for about three years that Summer would have a new album out but that never happened. What's the story? Will she have new music out anytime in the future?


Robert Becker
Knoxville, Tenn.

Hi Robert,

Billboard dance editor Michael Paoletta recently talked to Donna Summer for a feature about her new album, "The Journey - The Very Best of Donna Summer," as well as her autobiography, "Ordinary Girl." The following is excerpted from the Oct. 25 issue of the magazine:

Now that the book is completed, Summer hopes to have her much-discussed musical, 'Ordinary Girl,' up and running soon.

"It has certainly been a journey," Summer says. "And while there were times when I felt lost and isolated-and thought that people wouldn't like me if they knew the real me -- I always knew that, deep down, I was this ordinary girl."

Summer says she is in discussions with several labels about a new recording deal.

"I need a label that will give me space to grow," Summer says. "I want to be as creative as anyone else. That's not too much to ask for, is it?"

Hopefully that clears up some questions. In the meantime, perhaps the three new songs on "The Journey" will tide you over until a new studio album from Summer is released.

Since its release in late September, "The Journey" has sold 36,000 copies in the U.S., according to Nielsen SoundScan.


Hi Keith,

Celine Dion is to release a new French album, "1 Fille & 4 Types" on Nov. 11. I am curious to find out how much her three previous French-language releases sold in the USA: "Dion Chante Plamondon" (1991), "The French Album" (1995) and "S'il Suffisait D'aimer" (1998).

Thank you,

Andre Fortin

Hi Andre,

"1 Fille & 4 Types" has been preceded by the first radio single and music video, "Tour L'or Des Hommes." The 12-song album is her first French-language set to be released in the U.S. since "S'il Suffisait D'aimer," which was issued in 1998.

Here is a tally of Dion's Nielsen SoundScan sales of her previous three French albums that were released in America: "S'il Suffisait D'aimer" (1998; 103,000), "The French Album" (1995; 230,000) and "Dion Chante Plamondon" (1991; 109,000).

For all things Celine, visit her official Web site at


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