Ask Billboard

Keith Caulfield answers readers' questions about the Billboard Music Awards, Fabolous, Ünloco and box sets.



Will the 2003 Billboard Music Awards be held in Las Vegas this year? I have only heard that Shania Twain will perform. Any info on this would be appreciated.

Thank you,

Sandy Brinton

Hi Sandy,

The 2003 Billboard Music Awards will be held Dec. 10 at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas. While performers and presenters have not yet been confirmed, it has been announced that Sting will be presented with the Billboard Century Award during the event.



The single "Into You" by Fabolous is listed in Billboard as "Fabolous feat. Tamia or Ashanti." The radio single and the video clearly feature Tamia. Is there another version out there featuring Ashanti? If so, was it released to radio and did they make two videos?


Daniel T. Harris
Saint Louis, Mo.

Hi Daniel,

The original album version of Fabolous' "Into You" features Ashanti. However, due to contractual agreements, the song could not be used as a video or radio single if Ashanti was on the track. Therefore, Tamia was enlisted to sing Ashanti's vocals and appear in the video. Now that the Tamia version has become a hit, her version of the song has been stripped onto Fabolous' album, "Street Dreams."

That Desert Storm/Elektra release has sold 963,000 copies in the U.S., according to Nielsen SoundScan. "Into You" is No. 6 this week on Billboard's Hot 100.



I am a huge Ünloco fan and I was wondering if you could tell me how to find out how far the band's albums "Becoming I" and "Healing" are from becoming gold.


Hi Julia,

Both of Unloco's albums have quite a way to go before either reach gold status. A gold album, as certified by the Recording Industry Association of America, means that 500,000 copies of a title have been shipped to U.S. retailers.

According to Nielsen SoundScan, which tracks U.S. retail sales, "Becoming I" has sold 22,000 copies, while "Healing" has shifted 18,000.


Hi Keith,

We were wondering if you could tell us what is the best-selling box set of all time.


Bill and Laura Rosich
Woodstock, Ga.

Hi Bill and Laura,

For purposes of this answer, I am not including double-albums. Only titles with three or more records/CDs.

According to the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), which certifies gold and platinum albums, the box set with the highest unit shipment is Bruce Springsteen & the E Street Band's "Live 1975 - 85" set. The 1986 Columbia title has been certified for 13 million units shipped to U.S. retailers.

That number is a little misleading, however, as the RIAA certifies multi-disc sets differently than single-disc albums. According to the organization's rules for certification, each disc in a multi-disc set is counted, not simply the set as a whole.

Because the "Live" set is three discs, you need to divide the 13 million by three in order to find out how many copies were actually shipped. Therefore, about 4.3 million units of the collection have been shipped in the U.S.