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Music Legend Earns First Diamond Award

WASHINGTON – With the imminent release of A Time 2 Love, Stevie Wonder’s first studio album in 10 years, Universal Motown began combing through the Wonder catalog. The result: a 10 times Platinum certification for Songs In The Key Of Life, enough to earn the iconic Wonder his first RIAA Diamond award, according to the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA).

Easily one of the greatest albums on Wonder’s resume, Songs In The Key Of Life remained uncertified until this most recent audit and now stands as the highest certified title in his catalog. The album represents the 11th Gold, sixth Platinum and second multi-Platinum album of his five decade long career.

Pop sensation Kelly Clarkson had an excellent month starting with the double Platinum certification of her sophomore set for RCA Records, Breakaway, matching the sales mark set by her 2003 debut, Thankful, (although Breakaway reached double Platinum status nearly twice as quickly). Additionally, Clarkson also earned her third Gold digital single for “Miss Independent,” as well as a pair of Platinum and multi-Platinum digital singles for more than 400,000 downloads each of “Breakaway” and “Since U Been Gone.”

Compton, California native Jayceon Taylor, better known as The Game, earned Gold, Platinum and double Platinum honors for his Aftermath/Interscope Records debut, The Documentary. The Game also picked up a Platinum digital single for “How We Do.”

Capitol Nashville’s Dierks Bentley earned his first ever RIAA Platinum award for his self-titled debut. Bentley’s follow-up, Modern Day Drifter, is slated for release in early May.

Another pair of artists also earned their first Platinum award in March with Jesse McCartney’s Beautiful Soul and T.I.’s Urban Legend each crossing the one million sales mark. McCartney also earned a Gold digital single for the title track to Beautiful Soul, his solo recording debut.

Country megastar Kenny Chesney received the ninth Gold and sixth Platinum album of his career when his latest BNA release, Be As You Are, was certified for sales of more than one million copies.

Music Row legend Dolly Parton added more sparkle to her wall with the Gold certification of 1993’s Honky Tonk Angels, her 11th Gold record overall.

Currently on their respective tours of America and Japan, Jimmy Eat World, Papa Roach and The Used each earned Gold records in March. Futures by Jimmy Eat World (their second), Getting Away With Murder by Papa Roach (their third) and In Love and Death by The Used (their third) have each sold in excess of half a million copies.

A diverse quintet of artists joined the ranks of the RIAA’s Gold and Platinum program in March with first-timers Chris Botti (When I Fall In Love), Omarion (O), Postal Service (Give Up), Relient K (Two Lefts Don’t Make A Right…But Three Do) and Smile Empty Soul (Smile Empty Soul) each earning Gold awards.

The RIAA awarded a total of five multi-Platinum, 10 Platinum and 26 Gold albums in March. All certifications are calculated by Gelfand, Rennert & Feldman. Complete lists of all album, single and video awards for March 2005 are attached and can also be accessed at www.riaa.com.

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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.

Contact:
Jonathan Lamy
Cara Duckworth
Liz Kennedy
202/775-0101