WASHINGTON – The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) certified its first ever country genre multi-Platinum digital single in January, according to its monthly Gold & Platinum report. The top nod went to idolized American sweetheart Carrie Underwood to commemorate more than 2 million downloads of her hit single ‘Before He Cheats’ on Arista Records. Additionally, Underwood’s ‘Jesus, Take the Wheel’ received Platinum certification for sales of more than 1 million downloads. No cheating those numbers!
The highest certification in January went to the Eagles’ Long Road Out of Eden at 7x multi-Platinum for selling more than seven million copies. The album, released in October, is the band’s first studio album since 1994’s acclaimed Hell Freezes Over which went 8x Platinum. The sales represent an enduring interest in the band's classic sound 13 years after their last album release.
Country legend Garth Brooks was not far behind with his album The Ultimate Hits on Pearl Records, reaching 5x Platinum and pushing his total career album sales to 128 million. The Ultimate Hits is a double-disc collection featuring all of the tracks on his Diamond-certified album The Hits (released in 1994), 12 best sellers he’s had since then, and four new tracks. To date, Brooks is the highest selling solo artist in G&P history for which he received a special career award from the RIAA last year.
Canadian punk rock maverick Avril Lavigne received her first multi-Platinum digital single award for ‘Girlfriend’ on RCA Records for selling more than two million copies. Lavigne recently earned five nominations for the 2008 Canadian Juno awards which are presented annually to honor musical achievements in Canadian music. She was second only to veteran songstress Celine Dion who received six nods.
On the heels of the recent holiday season, R&B sensation J. Holiday received at least one gift that he won’t be returning. The D.C.-born singer scored his first Gold album for selling more than 500,000 copies of ‘Back Of My Lac.’
Barry Manilow also has the holiday spirit. His In the Swing of Christmas on Hallmark was certified Gold in January, marking his third Gold-certified Christmas album and the 24th Gold album of his career. So go on and give the gift of Barry next holiday season.
The recently reunited Smashing Pumpkins’ Zeitgeist album on Reprise also hit Gold, bringing the group to almost 19 million in total career sales.
Congratulations to Boston-bred Boys Like Girls whose freshman self-titled album achieved Gold certification. Double kudos to the boys for their digital single ‘The Great Escape’ which also went Platinum in January. Make a great escape to one of their exciting concerts next month in cities across the country including Minneapolis, Pittsburgh, and Cleveland.
In January, RIAA awarded a total of 21 albums and 18 digital singles. All certifications are calculated by Gelfand, Rennert & Feldman. Complete lists of all album, single, mastertone and video awards can also be accessed at www.riaa.com.
Additionally, effective January 1, 2008, the RIAA Premios de Oro y Platino established new thresholds for certification requirements. The new certification levels are Oro - 50,000 units, Platino - 100,000 units, and multi-Platino - 200,000 units (in increments of 100,000 units). All titles certified under the Latin program prior to January 1, 2008 received automatic amendments to their certification levels.
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.