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Press Release & Statements

Country Taps Out Summer

October 08, 2009
WASHINGTON -- Some of country's leading musicians and bands racked up the summer accolades while a medley of rock, rap and pop artists scored sizzling successes as well, according to the August and September G&P tallies from the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA).

Both month’s highest album certifications, at 4x Platinum, went to Big Machine southern songstress Taylor Swift.  Her self-titled 2006 debut and 2008 album Fearless grew to quadruple-Platinum status in August and September respectively.  Close behind was a double-Platinum tie between MySpace breakout artist Colbie Caillat’s Coco (Universal Motown, 2007) and Grand Hustle rapper T.I.’s Paper Trail (2008), both selling two million copies.  

Three country acts -- former Hootie & the Blowfish lead singer Darius Rucker, Atlanta artists Zac Brown Band, and Music City natives Lady Antebellum -- also received their very first Platinum album awards.  Their respective 2008 releases Learn To Live (Capitol Nashville), The Foundation (Homegrown/Atlantic Records), and Lady Antebellum (Capitol Nashville) each sold more than one million copies.  And that’s not all the Zac Brown Band and Lady Antebellum have in common – both have received the Academy of Country Music Awards’ “Top New Duo or Vocal Group” prize, Z.B.B. in 2008 and L.A. in 2007.

RCA rockers Dave Matthews Band’s first studio album release in four years Big Whiskey and the Groogrux King promptly certified Platinum in only two months.  Fans quickly purchased more than one million copies to earn DMB their 13th career Platinum album award.  Also multiplying their Platinum album collections were country artists Rascal Flatts who took their sixth for Unstoppable on Lyric Street and hip hop quartet The Black Eyed Peas who earned their third for The E.N.D. on Interscope.

Brooklyn born R&B artist Maxwell added to his Midas Touch collection when BLACKsummers'night (2009, Columbia) hit Gold in August. This is Maxwell’s fifth Gold album award; the first was Maxwell’s Urban Hang Suite in 1996.  

“No One” by J Records R&B recording artist and GRAMMY-winning talent Alicia Keys and “Bad Day” by Warner Bros. singer-songwriter by Daniel Powter tied for September’s top digital certification.  Both singles have been downloaded more than three million times to go triple-Platinum, earning each artist their highest single certs yet.  In August, American sweetheart Miley Cyrus’ “The Climb” took the top spot at 2x Platinum.  The catchy pop song is featured on Miley’s Platinum-certified Hannah Montana: The Movie soundtrack released on Walt Disney last spring.

Diamond Award winners Linkin Park took two songs -- “New Divide” (2009) and “Bleed It Out” (2007) -- to Platinum heights in August.  The Warner Bros. artists first earned Diamond prestige in 2005 when Hybrid Theory sold 10 million copies.  Reprise artist Michael Buble also scored two single certs for “Home” (2005) and “Everything” (2007), Buble’s first ever Platinum single awards.

It was a strong summer for Georgia-reared country singer Jason Aldean who raked in more brass with three Gold single awards.  The Broken Bow artist earned his fourth Gold song cert for “Amarillo Sky”(2005) and Gold mastertones for “She’s Country” (2008) and “Big Green Tractor” (2009).  Aldean boasts three RIAA-certified albums, his first (Jason Aldean) has gone Platinum while his other two (Relentless and Wide Open) have hit Gold.

Roc Nation rap mogul Shawn “Jay-Z” Carter and Epic pop songstress Shakira also upped their ante in September.  Their respective recent releases “Run This Town” and “She-Wolf” each sold more than 500,000 copies in less than two months to go Gold.  

Congrats to the following four groups receiving their inaugural RIAA-certified digital single awards:

Golds for L.A. rock band Carolina Liar for “Show Me What I’m Looking For” (Atlantic, 2008), R&B singer-songwriter Jeremih for “Birthday Sex” (Def Jam, 2009) and comedy troupe The Lonely Island for “I’m On A Boat” (Universal, 2009).  And big kudos to N.Y. pop stars Cobra Starship for their first Platinum award for hit song “Good Girls Go Bad” (featuring Leighton Meester) off of Fueled by Ramen.

On the ring-front, the highest late summer cert -- 3x Platinum -- went to Atlantic rappers D4L’s “Laffy Taffy.”  At 2x Platinum was T.I.’s “Whatever You Like” (Grand Hustle), while Platinum ring-wards went to soft-rock singer James Blunt’s “You’re Beautiful” (Atlantic), alternative Mississippi artists Saving Abel’s “Addicted” (Virgin), and rap star T.I.’s (featuring Rihanna) “Live Your Life” (Grand Hustle).

Beyonce earned her 13th Gold mastertone for “Ego” on Columbia.  Kudos to the preciously-medaled star who accepted the “Woman of the Year” award at Billboard’s inaugural Women in Music ceremony.

In August and September combined, the RIAA awarded a total 33 digital singles, 24 albums, and 17 mastertones.  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