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February 17, 2010
RIAA Tallies The Decade's Top Gold & Platinum Award Winners
WASHINGTON -- The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) today released a tally of the decade's highest Gold and Platinum award achievements.
Included in the RIAA’s 2000-2009 count (below) are the artists who received the most G&P certifications, the best selling music releases, and a timeline of notable decade dates.

“We’ve seen a decade of major music milestones and extraordinary artist achievements as part of our historic Gold and Platinum program,” said Mitch Bainwol, Chairman and CEO, RIAA.  “The names, songs and albums on our list are the decade’s best and are etched in our music DNA.”

“As the way fans access and enjoy music continues to evolve, so has and will the G&P program in recognizing the highest commercial and artistic success,” added Bainwol.  “As a community, we’ve endured our share of challenges, but the new decade brings reasons for hope and optimism.  The appetite for music is stronger than ever and the breadth of innovation is amazing.  In this ever-evolving landscape, we’re grateful that the RIAA’s Gold and Platinum program continues to be the music industry’s recognized brand for success.”

While the RIAA’s Gold and Platinum program was officially launched in 1958, the past decade included a number of significant milestones:
On May 10, 2001 Sony/Jive boy band *NSYNC’s No Strings Attached (2000) became the first album of the decade to earn an RIAA Diamond award marking more than ten million in U.S. sales.  The decade of Diamond albums that followed -- from Linkin Park’s Hybrid Theory to Norah Jones’ Come Away With Me and more -- represent some of the best and most influential recordings in G&P history.

In 2004 the RIAA formally expanded its G&P program to include a Digital Sales award in endorsement of the significant sales of emerging digital music formats.  Two years later, in 2006, the RIAA launched the Master Ringtone Sales Award to recognize the growing popularity of enjoying music through cellular phones.

Come 2008 the RIAA heralded the 50th anniversary of its historic Gold Record, marking 50 years to the day Elvis was awarded his first Gold award for “Hard Headed Woman,” one of the King’s 53 Gold single certifications from the RIAA.

Several of the decade’s best awards were presented in 2009, including the best-selling digital download of all time -- at 5x multi-Platinum -- to Warner/Atlantic rapper Flo Rida for his hit  “Low” as well as the highest certified ringtone ever to Universal/Cash Money artist Lil Wayne for his hot phone tone “Lollipop,” also at 5x multi-Platinum.

The following are the decade’s highest Gold and Platinum award achievements:


*Each level of multi-Platinum counts as its own unit and contributes to the tally
*Only music released, as well as certifications granted, during 2000 - 2009 are included

Most total certifications (includes cumulative album, digital song, master ringtone, and music video certifications):

Group: The Eagles – 48 (Warner)

Male solo artist: Michael Jackson – 44 (Sony/Epic)

Female solo artist: Beyonce – 64 (Sony/Columbia)

Most album certifications: 

Group: Nickelback – 25 (Roadrunner)

Male solo artist: George Strait – 29 (UMG/MCA Nashville)

Female solo artist: Britney Spears – 23 (Sony/Jive)

Most digital song certifications: 

Group: Linkin Park – 13 (Warner)

Male solo artist: Kanye West – 19 (UMG/Def Jam)

Female solo artist
: Taylor Swift – 25 (Big Machine)

Most master ringtone certifications:
Male solo artist: T.I. – 15 (WMG/Atlantic/Grand Hustle)

Female solo artist: Beyonce – 19 (Sony/Columbia)


*Format is: (record label/year released)

Highest certified album:

Group:  *NSYNC’s No Strings Attached (Sony/Jive, 2000), – 11x Platinum & OutKast’s Speakerboxxx/The Love Below – 11x Platinum (LaFace/Jive, 2003)

Male solo artist: Usher’s Confessions – 10x Platinum (LaFace/Jive, 2004)                                                                                                

Female solo artist: Shania Twain’s Up! – 11x Platinum (UMG/Mercury Nashville, 2002)

Highest certified digital song:

Group: Coldplay’s “Viva La Vida” – 3x multi-Platinum (EMI/Capitol, 2008) and The Fray’s “How to Save a Life” – 3x multi-Platinum (Sony/Epic, 2006)

Male solo artist: Flo Rida’s “Low” – 5x multi-Platinum (Warner/Atlantic, 2008)

Female solo artist: Lady Gaga’s “Just Dance” – 4x multi-Platinum (UMG/Interscope, 2008) and Taylor Swift’s “Love Story” – 4x multi-Platinum (Big Machine, 2008)

Highest certified master ringtone:  

Group:  D4L’s “Laffy Taffy” – 3x multi-Platinum (Atlantic, 2006), Hinder’s “Lips of an Angel” – 3x multi-Platinum (Universal Records, 2006), and Shop Boyz’ “Party Like a Rockstar” –3x multi-Platinum (Universal, 2007)

Male solo artist: Lil Wayne’s “Lollipop” – 5x multi-Platinum (Universal/Cash Money, 2008)

Female solo artist: Beyonce’s “Irreplaceable” – 3x multi-Platinum (Sony/Columbia, 2006)


January 3, 2000 LeAnn Rimes’ self-titled 1999 Curb album becomes the decade’s first Platinum album
May 10, 2001 *NSYNC’s 2000 Jive album No Strings Attached is certified the first decade’s Diamond album of the decade
July 29, 2003 The decade’s top certified artist – Beyonce – receives her very first Gold album award for Dangerously in Love (Columbia, 2003).  The album is currently 4x multi-Platinum
September 23, 2004 The decade’s highest certified album by a female solo artist – Shania Twain’s Up! –  reaches 11x multi-Platinum
October 22, 2004 Digital Single award introduced.  45 titles were included in the initial group of certifications, encompassing tracks from each major recording company and representing nearly every genre in music
October 7, 2005 Interscope artist Gwen Stefani’s “Hollaback Girl” becomes first digital single to sell one million units
January 7, 2005 Warner band Linkin Park earns a Diamond award for Hybrid Theory (2000)
February 15, 2005 Norah Jones’ debut Blue Note album Come Away with Me turns Diamond three years after its release
April 15, 2005  The Beatles earn their 5th Diamond award for 1 (Apple Corps Ltd./Capitol, 2000)
November 1, 2006 Capitol Nashville country artist Garth Brooks takes Double Live (2008) 21x multi-Platinum.  Garth Brooks is currently the best-selling solo artist in history having certified more than 128 million units to date
June 2006 Master Ringtone award introduced.  The Black Eyed Peas, Chamillionaire, D4L, T-Pain earn the RIAA’s first multi-Platinum ringtone certifications
January 10, 2007 Daniel Powter’s “Bad Day” goes double-Platinum to become the RIAA’s first multi-Platinum digital download
July 27, 2007 The best selling ringtone by a female solo artist, Beyonce’s “Irreplaceable,” certifies 3x multi-Platinum
2008 RIAA celebrates 50th Anniversary of Gold Record
November 7, 2008 The decade’s highest certified album by a male solo artist – Usher’s Confessions – reaches 10x multi-Platinum
May 8, 2009 Flo Rida’s “Low” goes 5x multi-Platinum; is the highest certified digital download in history
August 21, 2009 Michael Jackson’s legendary album Thriller climbs to 29x multi-Platinum to tie the Eagles’ Their Greatest Hits (1971-1975) as the highest certified album in RIAA Gold & Platinum history
October 12, 2009 The decade’s top recipient of digital download certifications – Taylor Swift – takes her best selling song “Love Story” 4x multi-Platinum
December 15, 2009 Lil Wayne’s ringtone “Lollipop” becomes the highest certified ringtone ever at 5x multi-Platinum

The Recording Industry Association of America is the trade group that represents the U.S. recording industry. Its mission is to foster a business and legal climate that supports and promotes our members' creative and financial vitality. Its members are the record companies that comprise the most vibrant national music industry in the world. RIAA® members create, manufacture and/or distribute approximately 90% of all legitimate sound recordings produced and sold in the United States. In support of this mission, the RIAA works to protect intellectual property rights worldwide and the First Amendment rights of artists; conducts consumer, industry and technical research; and monitors and reviews state and federal laws, regulations and policies. The RIAA® also certifies Gold®, Platinum®, Multi-Platinum™, and Diamond sales awards, as well as Los Premios De Oro y Platino™, an award celebrating Latin music sales.


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