Ask Billboard

Keith Caulfield answers readers' questions about the Flaming Lips, Bette Midler and Mandy Moore.



There's this VH1 commercial [that] features a song that has the lines "Do you realize? / That you have the most beautiful face?" Do you know the artist who sings this particular song? Your insight would be greatly appreciated.


Ryan Rosado

Hi Ryan,

The song in question is "Do You Realize??" by the Flaming Lips. It's from the group's Warner Bros. album, "Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots."

"Yoshimi" has sold 307,000 copies in the U.S., according to Nielsen SoundScan and peaked at No. 50 on The Billboard 200. The album's "Approaching Pavonis Mons By Balloon (Utopia Planitia)" earned the Flaming Lips a 2002 Grammy for best rock instrumental performance.

The group is currently on tour with the Red Hot Chili Peppers, and will head off to Europe for a series of dates through early November.

For more information, visit the band's official Web site at



I am thrilled to see how well Bette Midler's new album debuted on The Billboard 200 chart. I was wondering if you can provide information as to how many copies she sold and how that compares to her previous releases. Also, I would like to hear your opinion as to what you attribute the success of this project.



Hi Gabriel,

"Bette Midler Sings the Rosemary Clooney Songbook" debuted at No. 14 on The Billboard 200 last week. It sold 71,000 copies in its first week in U.S. stores, according to Nielsen SoundScan. That's Midler's biggest one-week sales total in the SoundScan era (1991 through the present).

Here are her other SoundScan-era albums and their sales totals:

"For the Boys" soundtrack (1991, 98,000 units
"Experience the Divine" (1993, 1.9 million)
"Gypsy" TV soundtrack (1993, 111,000)
"Bette of Roses" (1995, 670,000)
"Bathhouse Betty" (1998, 496,000 units)
"Bette" (2000, 226,000)

I'd imagine that the "Songbook" album did well in its first week due to Midler's numerous media appearances. She was on NBC's "Today" show twice during the week, including once performing with the album's producer, Barry Manilow.


Hi Keith,

I have been curious for at least a year now about how many copies Mandy Moore's three albums have sold as well as the "A Walk To Remember" soundtrack. Does she have any U.S. CD singles that have sold anything? Thank you very much!



Hi Joel,

Mandy Moore has released two proper albums, and one "special edition" set. In 1999, she bowed with "So Real," which has sold 943,000 copies in the U.S., according to Nielsen SoundScan. That album was re-released in 2000 with a new cover, new title, and a revamped tracklist. The "I Wanna Be With You - Special Edition" set has sold 791,000.

In 2001, Moore released her self-titled album, which has sold 442,000 copies. She has released one commercially available single in the U.S.: "Candy." That single has sold 487,000.

As previously reported by, Moore performs songs by Joni Mitchell, Joe Jackson, Carly Simon, the Waterboys XTC and others on "Coverage," due Oct. 21 via Epic Records.