[From Fox News]
Whitney's Album in a Free Fall
When they start counting album sales this morning for last week, I can tell you the folks at Arista Records will be fit to be tied.
In its third week of release, Whitney Houston's Just Whitney is listed at No. 36 on the Billboard charts. And that position may be a generous one once Hits Daily Double does its tallying up. It may be heave-ho for Houston, who has $20 million-plus in cash of Arista's money in her pocket and no way to make it back.
Those big record company contracts you read about $100 million for Whitney, for example are advances against sales. If albums don't sell, the companies get mad. Sometimes, as in the case of Mariah Carey's Glitter, they want their money back.
Arista is not having the jolliest New Year's to start with. They have a lot of albums on the charts, but they're not selling as predicted. Santana's Shaman has sold just under 2 million copies, which isn't bad but is far lower than its blockbuster predecessor. Albums by Toni Braxton, Kenny G, and TLC their final album with late singer Lisa Lopes have all been disappointments.
Houston has her own problems, though, which contributed to the poor showing of this album. Two of the ten tracks were released in advance to almost no airplay on radio. Then the whole album was put on the Internet six weeks before its release, allowing fans to download it for free. This was followed by Houston's disastrous appearance on TV with Diane Sawyer ("Crack is whack"), followed by her odd "live" showing on Good Morning America. Since then, Houston has done nothing to promote the album.
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