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Ask Billboard: Kylie ‘Fever’

Billboard readers discuss new albums by Kylie Minogue and Liz Phair, plus the sales of the top girl groups in the Nielsen SoundScan era.

Ask Billboard is updated every Friday. Submit your burning music questions to Gary Trust at Please include your first and last name, as well as your city, state and country, if outside the U.S.


Hi Gary,

I’m a huge fan of Kylie Minogue and I have one particular question about her chart history in the U.S., relating to her “Fever”-era album.

I’ve read that her only American hits are the “The Loco-Motion” in the late ’80s and then “Can’t Get You Out of My Head” from “Fever” in 2002.

Right before the release of “Fever” was when I really got into Kylie. When she ended up breaking (again) in America back then, I was totally following all things Kylie. I thought for sure that even if “Come Into My World,” for which she won a 2004 Grammy Award for Best Dance Recording, wasn’t a big hit on the Billboard Hot 100, that at least “Love at First Sight” definitely was. I mean, I remember hearing the latter song everywhere back then, on the radio constantly, even for some time after, and seeing the video at least occasionally.

Was “Love at First Sight” not as big a hit as I remember it to be? I know it wasn’t “Can’t Get You Out of My Head,” but it must’ve had some sort of U.S. success. Can you please provide any in-“sight”?

Thank you, and with best regards,

Saco Sarkissian

P.S.: I’ve been reading Billboard charts since I was a kid, and then since day one when you guys launched online. I so appreciate what Billboard does, and just had to add that.

Hi Saco,

Thanks for the kind words. Kylie Minogue, who debuts on the Billboard 200 this week at No. 19 with “Aphrodite” and sends first single “All the Lovers” 6-4 on Dance/Club Play Songs, has placed seven songs on the Hot 100 in her career:

Peak Position, Title (Year)
No. 28, “I Should Be So Lucky”(1988)
No. 3, “The Loco-Motion” (1988)
No. 37, “It’s No Secret” (1989)
No. 7, “Can’t Get You Out Of My Head” (2002)
No. 23, “Love at First Sight” (2002)
No. 91, “Come Into My World” (2002)
No. 91, “Slow” (2004)

“Love at First Sight” also reached No. 1 on Dance/Club Play Songs and inked a No. 10 peak on the Pop Songs mainstream top 40 radio airplay chart.

Billboard 200 chart manager Keith Caulfield writes about Minogue in this week’s issue of Billboard magazine. Here is an excerpt from his weekly “Over the Counter” column, which spotlights Minogue’s new album and should please fans of the dance music cornerstone:

“While Kylie Minogue is a pop superstar outside of America, she’s only flirted with chart success in the U.S. on a handful of occasions, (first) in 1988.

“She famously returned in 2002, storming the Hot 100 with the worldwide hit ‘Can’t Get You Out Of My Head.’ It was the first single from her ‘Fever’ album, which debuted at No. 3 on the Billboard 200 and went on to sell 1.1 million in the U.S.

“Since ‘Fever,’ the artist has remained on the U.S. radar, as each of her subsequent albums has been released stateside. But, as was the case with ‘Fever,’ her two follow-up albums (‘Body Language’ and ‘X’) frustratingly dropped in the U.S. market months after their European counterparts reached shelves.

“However, her latest set, ‘Aphrodite,’ which bows at No. 19 this week on the Billboard 200 with 18,000, changes all that, as it was released on both sides of the Atlantic simultaneously.

“(The new album’s) debut sales week is triple what her last studio effort, ‘X,’ managed when it debuted and peaked at No. 139 with 6,000 in April 2008, five months after it bowed in the U.K. ‘Aphrodite’ also surpasses the highwater mark of her ‘Fever’ follow-up, ‘Body Language,’ which topped out at No. 42 (but with a much larger opening sales frame of 43,000).”


Hey Gary,

Love the Ask Billboard section, so awesome! My question is, which female group has sold the most in the U.S. in the Nielsen SoundScan data era (since 1991)?

I’m not sure if it was Destiny’s Child, TLC or Dixie Chicks. I’m calling the Dixie Chicks, but could you please clear this up for me?


Lawrence Jones
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Hi Lawrence,

Thanks. You are correct – of the three acts you mention, Dixie Chicks have totaled the highest U.S. album sales since the inception of SoundScan point-of-sale tracking in 1991. The trio has shifted 26,733,000 albums in its career (through the week ending July 11).

Destiny’s Child ranks second among groups featuring all female members, with album sales of 16,985,000. TLC places third in the category with 15,567,000 albums sold.

Overall, dating to the launch of SoundScan data, Dixie Chicks are the 32nd-best-selling act. Destiny’s Child ranks at No. 90 and TLC, No. 107.

One other all-female act places among SoundScan’s 150 top-selling acts. Spice Girls hold the No. 145 spot with album sales of 11,976,000.


Hi Gary,

Many Liz Phair fans were surprised and delighted when she released a new album, “Funstyle,” directly to her website July 3. Is it possible for albums released that way to chart on the Billboard 200?

Could you also please list the SoundScan sales to-date for each of Phair’s previous albums?

Many thanks,

Jarrod Peter
Melbourne, Australia

Hi Jarrod,

Phair’s new album has been registered with SoundScan, granting it eligibility to chart on the Billboard 200. However, its first-week sales were less than 1,000, and, thus, the title did not rank among the top 200-selling sets of the week.

Here are the U.S. sales of the Connecticut-born singer/songwriter’s prior five albums, according to SoundScan:

491,000, “Exile in Guyville” (1993)
433,000, “Liz Phair” (2003)
412,000, “Whip-Smart”(1994)
293,000, “Whitechocolatespaceegg”(1998)
83,000, “Somebody’s Miracle” (2005)

Phair’s career U.S. album sales stand at 1,718,000, according to SoundScan.

Phair’s new self-released collection follows her departure from the ATO label, after executives were not enthusiastic about her segue to a more experimental sound.

Currently on her website, Phair poetically offers her views on the album and her career direction in a posting entitled “How To Like It”:

“You were never supposed to hear these songs. These songs lost me my management, my record deal and a lot of nights of sleep.

“Yes, I rapped one of them. I’m as surprised as you are. But here is the thing you need to know about these songs and the ones coming next: These are all me. Love them, or hate them, but don’t mistake them for anything other than an entirely personal, untethered-from-the-machine, free for all view of the world, refracted through my own crazy lens.

“This is my journey. I’ll keep sending you postcards.”