Washington, DC - Proving once again that the taste of the American music consumer is as eclectic as ever, three very diverse artists jockeyed for the honor of having the best selling record of the year. With certified sales of an additional five and a half million units since January, reggae crossover artist Shaggy's album "Hotshot" was certified six times Platinum®, making it the best selling record of 2001 according to the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA).
Following closely behind, Irish new age artist Enya's "A Day Without Rain" and 'N Sync's "Celebrity" were each certified for sales of five million copies this year, good enough to tie them for having the second best selling record of 2001.
"When the industry has a year when you can mention Shaggy, Enya and 'N Sync in the same breath, there is a clear indication that Americans are not turning to any one genre of music," said RIAA President and CEO Hilary Rosen.
2001 will be remembered as the year when many new artists achieved superstar status and made a major impact on the music scene. Without question, R&B chanteuse Alicia Keys had an amazing year as her debut "Songs In A Minor" sold an impressive four million copies and became the cornerstone of Clive Davis' new label, J Records. In addition to Keys' success, the label had a very solid year as new records by Luther Vandross and O-Town were certified both Gold® and Platinum®.
Warner Bros. Records' alt-metal quintet Linkin Park enjoyed great success this year as well. Their debut album had been certified Gold® late last year but the band's biggest sales were charted this year as "Hybrid Theory" now stands at five times Platinum®.
With sales of more than three million copies, the soundtrack to the Coen Brothers' "O Brother, Where Art Thou?" was far and away the best selling soundtrack of the year. Produced by T-Bone Burnett and featuring a breakthrough performance by Dan Tyminski, the album was also crowned Album of the Year at the 2001 Country Music Association awards.
Building on the success of their Platinum® debut "Dysfunction," Staind's second album "Break The Cycle" posted impressive sales in 2001 and was certified Gold®, Platinum® and quadruple Platinum®.
2001 was once again the year of the Diamond® as the RIAA added six more albums to the already impressive list of recordings that have been certified for sales in excess of 10 million copies. Led Zeppelin received their fifth Diamond® award for their self-titled boxed set, tying them with The Beatles as the artist with the most Diamond® awards. The Eagles earned their second RIAA Diamond® award for "Eagles' Greatest Hits, Vol. 2" while Madonna also earned her second Diamond® award for "The Immaculate Collection." Aerosmith picked up their first Diamond® award for "Aerosmith's Greatest Hits," while Lava Records bad boy Kid Rock reached Diamond® status for "Devil Without A Cause."
Creed continued to enjoy huge commercial success as their second album, "Human Clay" earned the band their first Diamond® award while their latest for Wind-up Records, "Weathered," posted sales of more than four million copies in December making it one of the best selling records of the year. This brings the band's cumulative sales total to 19 million just four short years after the release of their debut, "My Own Prison."
Garth Brooks came through late in the year with the release of "Scarecrow," his 14th album for Capitol Nashville. Certified for sales of more than three million copies, it was the best selling country record of the year. His "Double Live" record added another million as well and has been certified for sales of more than 14 million copies. All told, Brooks further lengthened his lead as the highest certified solo artist in history with his cumulative sales now topping 104 million.
Despite his untimely death in 1996, Tupac Shakur continues to release Multi-Platinum™-selling recordings. 2001 was no exception as the hip-hop legend's "Until The End of Time" was certified Gold®, Platinum®, and triple Platinum®, easily making it the best selling hip-hop record of the year. He remains the best selling hip-hop artist in history, with cumulative sales of more than 33 million albums.
Just as she did last year, Britney Spears once again made an impact on the Gold® and Platinum® award program as we saw her new album, "Britney" being certified Gold®, Platinum® and quadruple Platinum® in December. Her second album, "Oops!…I Did It Again" also added another million in sales and is now certified nine times Platinum®. Showing that she dominates all media, she also added a triple Platinum® video for "Britney Spears -- Live and More!" as well as Platinum® video for "Britney -- The Videos." Rounding out her year, she also earned her third Gold® single for "Stronger."
Destiny's Child had another spectacular year as their latest album, "Survivor" was certified Gold®, Platinum® and ultimately triple Platinum®. In addition, their "8 Days of Christmas" was certified Gold® while their sophomore effort for Columbia Records, "The Writing's On The Wall" added another two million and has been certified for sales of more than eight million copies.
Labels dug deep into their vaults this year and upgraded the catalog titles of some of music's most respected and timeless artists. Starting in January, Elektra added an impressive 16.5 million units to the AC/DC catalog with the band's classic, Diamond® certified album "Back In Black" leading the way by jumping from 16 million to 19 million. Elektra also checked in with huge boosts for both the Eagles' (adding an additional 17 million units) and the Doors (12.5 million) whose cumulative album sales total stand at 83.5 million and 29.5 million units, respectively. Adding to the huge numbers they put up last year, The Beatles added another eight million in sales in 2001 led by their single disc greatest hits collection "1," which now stands at eight times Platinum®. Finally, the John Denver catalog received a long overdue upgrade, with RCA adding an additional 19 million units to his overall sales total. Led by "John Denver's Greatest hits" (nine million), it now stands at 32.5 million.
DreamWorks Records had a great year, certifying 11 albums totaling more than 10 million units. Topping the list was Lifehouse's "No Name Face" which was certified Gold®, Platinum® and double Platinum®. DreamWorks also received Platinum® honors for new faces Nelly Furtado for her debut "Whoa, Nelly!" and Alien Ant Farm for "ANThology." Additionally, they solidified the legendary status of the Isley Brothers with Platinum® honors (their 10th) for "Eternal," as well as future legend Toby Keith for "Pull My Chain."
Some of America's musical legends both past and present were honored with their first Gold®, Platinum® or Multi-Platinum™ awards this year. Bluesman B.B. King's collaboration with Eric Clapton, "Ridin' With The King" was certified double Platinum® in February while jazz saxophonist John Coltrane posthumously received the first Gold® records of his career when "A Love Supreme" was certified in January followed by "Blue Train" in April. Otis Redding and Louis Armstrong received Platinum® awards this year for "The Very Best of Otis Redding" and "What A Wonderful World," respectively, while America's "First Lady of Song," Ella Fitzgerald, received her first Gold® record for "The Best of The Song Books."
Following the tragic events of September 11th, the recording industry gave back to America by releasing several charity albums the proceeds of which would benefit the families of the victims of the attacks. Standing out were Interscope's "America: A Tribute To Heroes," which compiled the musical performances from the telethon of the same name and was certified Gold® for sales of more than 500,000 copies.
Released on Columbia Records, "The Concert For New York City" was certified both Gold® and Platinum® while "God Bless America" was also certified Gold®. In addition, Arista Records re-released Whitney Houston's version of the "Star Spangled Banner" and it was quickly certified Platinum®.
In total, the RIAA certified 327 Gold®, 227 Platinum® (the most in RIAA history) and 243 Multi-Platinum® albums in 2001. A complete list of certifications for 2001 can be accessed at www.riaa.com.
The sophomore year of the RIAA's Los Premios De Oro® y Platino® Latin music award program proved to be nearly as strong as the inaugural year. Led by huge catalog certifications for Sony Discos' Vicente Fernandez and Ana Gabriel, along with certifications of titles by Christina Aguilera, Selena, Molotov, A.B. Quintanilla y Los Kumbia Kings and Thalia among others, the RIAA awarded a total of 109 Discos de Oro®, 58 Discos de Platino®, and 17 Discos de Multi-Platino™ in 2001. To qualify, recordings must be comprised of a minimum of 51% Spanish language content and/or repertoire and meet the other necessary criteria will be honored with a Disco de Oro® (100,000), Disco de Platino® (200,000) or Disco de Multi-Platino™ (starting at 400,000 and increases in increments of 200,000).
The RIAA's Gold® and Platinum® award program finished strong with the certification of many of the year's eagerly anticipated fourth quarter releases. In addition to the previously mentioned albums by Creed, Britney Spears and Garth Brooks reaching Multi-Platinum™ status, the critically acclaimed "Echoes: The Best of Pink Floyd" was also certified Gold®, Platinum® and subsequently double Platinum® this month giving the band their 12th Multi-Platinum™ album.
Roadrunner Records' Nickelback received their first RIAA Multi-Platinum™ award for "Silver Side Up" which is now double Platinum® while on the opposite end of the musical spectrum, Billy Gilman earned his first Multi-Platinum™ album for "One Voice" which has also sold more than two million copies.
Christmas came early for many big artists as their latest albums were certified both Gold® and Platinum® in December. Lenny Kravitz' "Lenny," Jewel's "This Way," Kid Rock's "Cocky," Enrique Iglesias' "Escape," Madonna's "GHV: Greatest Hits, Vol.2," Shakira's "Laundry Service," Pink's "M!ssundaztood" and "The Great Depression" by rapper DMX were all certified for sales of more than one million copies.
Fred Durst protégés Puddle of Mudd picked up their first RIAA Platinum® album with "Come Clean," their debut for Flawless/Geffen/Interscope.
Two of the biggest acts on the country music scene earned their first Platinum® awards as well as Gary Allan's "Smoke Rings In The Dark" and Montgomery Gentry's Columbia Nashville debut "Tattoos & Scars" have been certified for sales of more than one million copies.
Neo-soul artist India.Arie earned her first Platinum® honors for "Acoustic Soul" while contemporary gospel duo Mary Mary earned their first Platinum® award for their major label debut "Thankful." Rounding out the list of newcomers to the Platinum® club was CeCe Winans' solo debut "Alone In His Presence."
Classic rockers The Police and The Cars added some sales to their respective catalogs in December. The Police's timeless "Synchronicity" climbed to eight million while "Ghost In The Machine" moves up a notch to triple Platinum® and "Zenyatta Mondatta" is now double Platinum®. Their 1994 boxed set "Message In A Box" was also certified Platinum®. "The Cars' Greatest Hits" was upgraded from three to six times Platinum® while "Heartbeat City" is now quadruple Platinum® and their 1981 release "Shake It Up" is now double Platinum®.
As can be expected, Christmas music was popular heading into the holidays with the latest from Chip Davis' Mannheim Steamroller, "Christmas Extraordinaire" being certified Gold®, Platinum® and double Platinum® while Barbra Streisand's "Christmas Memories" earned both Gold® and Platinum® honors. In addition, the double disc holiday collection "Now That's What I Call Christmas!" was certified Gold®, Platinum® and quadruple Platinum® this month and "The Christmas Music of Johnny Mathis" earned the vocalist his 15th Gold® album.
MCA Nashville recording artist George Strait earned his 28th Gold® album for "The Road Less Traveled" while labelmates Reba McEntire earned her 21st Gold® album for "Greatest Hits, Vol. 3: I'm A Survivor" and LeeAnn Womack earned her first Gold® single for "I Hope You Dance."
Jazz artist Diana Krall earned her fourth Gold® record for her 1995 release "All For You," her tribute to the late Nat King Cole.
The RIAA awarded a total of 27 Multi-Platinum™, 33 Platinum® and 37 Gold® albums in December. All certifications are calculated by Gelfand, Rennert & Feldman. Complete lists of all album, single and video awards for December 2001 are attached and can also be accessed at www.riaa.com
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.
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