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Press Release & Statements

Sugarland's Sweet Success

October 20, 2008
September Shines Gold for Six First-Time Artist Recipients

WASHINGTON–The Recording Industry Association of America’s (RIAA) certified Sugarland’s 2008 Mercury Nashville release Love on the Inside Gold and Platinum status within only two months of its release, according to its monthly Gold & Platinum report for September.  This prestige adds esteem to the country music duo, whose Gold certified single ‘Stay’ recently won Song of the Year at the 2008 Academy of Country Music Awards.

Additionally, Def Jam rapper and N.Y. native Nas’ untitled ninth career album quickly went Gold as well.  This marks Nas’ fifth Gold album certification to date, each commemorating sales exceeding 500,000.

Fewer mantels will be barren this autumn as six artistic rising talents brought home their very first RIAA-certified digital single awards in September.  Topping the list were Bad Boy Records pop diva group and MTV Making The Band winners Danity Kane and GRAMMY-winning ‘Superstar’ Atlantic rapper and producer Lupe Fiasco.  Their respective hits ‘Damaged’ and ‘Superstar’ sold more than one million downloads each to earn both Gold and Platinum prestige.

Not far behind were three more Atlantic artists: Estelle, Jason Mraz, Yael Naim whose respective ‘American Boy,’ ‘I’m Yours,’ and ‘New Soul’ each reached RIAA-certified Gold accolade.  And last --but not least-- five member A&M/Octone alternative metal band Flyleaf also earned their pioneer digital single Gold.

The RIAA awarded stately rapper Flo Rida the highest digital single certification in September --4x multi-Platinum-- as well as a 3x multi-Platinum ringtone award for his EP 'Low’ featuring T-Pain.  And as if that weren’t enough, the southern star also received a Gold record for his rising song ‘Elevator’ featuring Timbaland.  Having only released his first debut album this year, Atlantic artist Flo Rida is certainly exploding onto the scene, also winning two 2008 MTV Video Music Awards nominations for ‘Low’: Best Male Video and Best Hip Hop Video.

Hip hop artist Plies earned his second Gold mastertone certification for ‘Bust It Baby Part 2’ off of his second studio album Definition of Real (2008/Atlantic).  Earlier this year, Plies’ debut album The Real Testament and accompanying single ‘Hypnotized’ went Gold while his ‘Shawty’ ringtone rang Gold & Platinum.

In August:

Alternative Capitol Records’ rockers Coldplay’s fourth studio album and 2008 release Viva la Vida or Death and All His Friends reached Gold and Platinum status in August according to the RIAA’s  monthly Gold & Platinum report. Look out for a brand new special edition version of Viva la Vida or Death and All His Friends entitled Viva la Vida Prospekt's March Edition to be released on November 24th.  The multi-track release will treat fans to a guest appearance from Jay-Z, a live version of ‘Lost’ from Chicago's United Centre and a new EP entitled ‘Prospekt's March.’

As his fans await the upcoming October 28th release of his 12th studio album, country star Toby Keith earned his 12th career Platinum certification for Toby Keith's 35 Biggest Hits (2008/Universal).  Kudos to the Oklahoma native who has sold more than 23 million albums since releasing his self-titled debut album in 1993.

Congratulations to Chicago punk group Rise Against who picked up their first Gold album in August for Sufferer and Witness released on Geffen Records.  Look out for the brand new Appeal to Reason, the fifth studio album by the elevating band out this month.  

2008 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee and Warner Brothers’ recording artist Madonna earned her first multi-Platinum digital single certification (2x multi-Platinum) for her chart-topper '4 minutes to Save the World’ while ‘Hung Up’ also went Platinum.  The Material Girl, whose career sales surpass 63.5 million albums, is the second supreme-selling female artist of all time next to Barbara Streisand. Never one to rest on her laurels, the ageless Madonna kicked off the U.S. leg of her ‘Stick & Sweet’ tour earlier this month.

Top acts from today and yesterday earned their first RIAA digital single certifications in August.  R&B Hollywood Records singer Jesse McCartney’s 'Leavin' procured Platinum and industry veteran and Universal rapper Bryan "Baby" Williams Birdman’s ‘Pop Bottles’ popped Gold.

Warner Brothers’ rockstars the Red Hot Chili Peppers continue to churn out the hits.  The mainstays on the California rock scene received six single certifications in August:  ‘Dani California’ –  double Platinum, ‘Snow’ – Gold & Platinum, and ‘Californication,’ ‘Tell Me Baby,’ and ‘Under The Bridge’ – Gold.  That’s hot!

Also in August, the RIAA celebrated the 50th anniversary of its historic Gold Record as part of its Gold & Platinum certification program.  On August 11, 1958 Elvis was awarded his first ever RIAA Gold certification for his hit single ‘Hard Headed Woman.’  Several prominent artists from Akon to Judas Priest commented on the golden anniversary of G&P.

In September and August combined, the RIAA awarded a total of 53 digital singles, 34 albums and, 2 ringtones.  All certifications are calculated by Gelfand, Rennert & Feldman.  Complete lists of all album, single, mastertone and video awards can also be accessed at


The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) is the trade organization that supports and promotes the creative and financial vitality of the major music companies. Its members comprise the most vibrant record industry in the world. RIAA® members create, manufacture and/or distribute approximately 85% of all legitimate recorded music produced and sold in the United States.

In support of this mission, the RIAA works to protect the intellectual property and First Amendment rights of artists and music labels; conduct consumer, industry and technical research; and monitor and review 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.

Jonathan Lamy
Cara Duckworth
Liz Kennedy