Ask Billboard

Keith Caulfield answers readers' questions about Prince, the Ramones and Nick Carter.



Do you know the name of a song by Prince used in a ballet (sponsored by Billboard, I think)?


Hi Mario,

The Joffrey Ballet's "Billboards" premiered in January 1993 and used music written and/or performed by Prince. (The show has no affiliation with Billboard magazine.)

The rock ballet utilized 14 songs penned by Prince, including four from his album "Purple Rain" (the title track, "The Beautiful Ones," "Computer Blue" and "Baby I'm a Star") and three tracks from "Diamonds and Pearls" (the title song, "Thunder" and "Gett Off").

"Billboards" was released on VHS home video in February 1994, but has since gone out of print. It has not been issued on DVD.



[I have] a bet with a fellow broadcaster on whether or not the Ramones have a platinum record. Do they? And [if so] how many?

Screamin Scott

Hi Scott,

The Ramones have never had any of their albums certified platinum (for 1 million units shipped to retailers in the U.S.) by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA). The closest the group came was with "Ramones Mania," a greatest hits compilation released in 1988. That Sire/Warner Bros. set was certified gold (500,000 units shipped) by the RIAA.


Hi Keith,

Could you tell me exactly how many copies of Nick Carter's "Now or Never" CD have sold? Was it ever certified gold?


Hi Em,

Nick Carter's "Now or Never" album has sold 226,000 copies in the U.S., according to Nielsen SoundScan. The Jive set debuted and peaked at No. 17 on The Billboard 200 on Nov. 16, 2002.

Gold and platinum certifications are issued by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), and are based on shipments to U.S. retailers. Gold status is reached when the RIAA can account for 500,000 copies shipped, while the platinum level is 1 million. The record label, management or artist must request certification by the organization. For more on that process, visit