Ask Billboard

Keith Caulfield answers readers' questions about Hootie & the Blowfish, Liz Phair and Olivia.


Hey Keith!

Hootie & The Blowfish has been on tour for the past three months and I would like to know how many albums they have sold of their new self-titled CD.



Hi Jonathan,

Thus far, "Hootie & the Blowfish" has sold 122,000 copies in the U.S., according to Nielsen SoundScan. The Atlantic album was released March 4 and debuted at No. 46 on The Billboard 200.

As you mentioned, the band is on the road, and is in the Midwest U.S. this week. On Aug. 15 Hootie will hit Springfield, Ill., followed by dates in Memphis, Tenn., (Aug. 16), New Orleans (Aug. 17) and Des Moines, IA (Aug. 21).

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


Dear Keith,

There was a lot of press about Liz Phair going commercial with her new album. I see the video on VH1 a lot, and I am wondering how the album is selling. What are the Nielsen SoundScan totals for her previous albums?


Jason Englisbe
Simpsonville, S.C.

Hi Jason,

Liz Phair released her debut "Exile In Guyville," in 1993 via independent label Matador records. The set has sold 405,000 copies in the U.S. according to Nielsen SoundScan. Its follow-up, 1994's "Whip-Smart," also on Matador, has sold 394,000 copies.

After a break of four years, Phair returned in 1998 with "Whitechocolatespacegg," released jointly by Matador and Capitol. The set failed to find as big of an audience, and has sold 270,000 copies.

Following another break, Phair returned to her music, and at Capitol's urging, wrote and recorded some songs with the hitmaking production/songwriting team the Matrix. "We sat with our notebooks and scribbled away and fought over lines and I kept saying I wouldn't sing something if it wasn't me," Phair recently told Billboard. "It was a different process, but it wasn't this devil machine that came in to obliterate my point of view."

"Liz Phair" features four songs from her pairing with the Matrix. The album has sold 108,000 copies since its June 24 release. "Why Can't I," the first single from the album, is No. 12 on Billboard's Adult Top 40 chart, and No. 16 on the Bubbling Under Hot 100 chart.



Can you please tell me how much J Records artist Olivia's self-titled album has sold in the U.S.? It was released June 15, 2001, and featured the hit single "Bizounce." I would like to know the total sales figures of the album sales as of July 2003.

Thanks very much,

J.R. Jackson
Brooklyn, N.Y.

Hi J.R.,

Olivia's album has sold 140,000 copies in the U.S., according to Nielsen SoundScan. A commercial release of the single "Bizounce" has moved 415,000 copies. The latter ultimately peaked at No. 4 on Billboard's Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Singles & Tracks chart and No. 15 on Billboard's Hot 100.

Olivia's album peaked at No. 22 on the Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums tally and No. 55 on The Billboard 200.