Gold & Platinum News

RIAA Announces 2010 Gold & Platinum Honors

Boyle, Swift, Lady Antebellum Among Top-Selling Artists; Digital Certs Soar to New Heights

WASHINGTON – Susan Boyle’s The Gift, Taylor Swift’s Speak Now, and Lady Antebellum’s Need You Now tied for the highest certification honor of the year, all notching more than three million in U.S. album shipments, according to Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA’s) year-end round up of Gold & Platinum program certifications. 

Superb Scottish soloist Susan Boyle, whose album debut I Dreamed A Dream earned the distinction as the RIAA’s highest certified 2009 album, released her second album The Gift in November on Columbia.  Surely gifted to many during the 2010 holiday shopping season, more than three million copies were purchased by December to earn Boyle a triple-Platinum award the same month she received her very first Grammy nomination for The Gift as “Best Pop Vocal Album.”  Good luck to Susan, and all of the terrific artists nominated, at next month’s 53rd annual Grammy awards. 

Among Taylor Swift’s 2010 gifts to music fans was her October album release Speak Now, which certified triple-Platinum in December.  With Speak Now, 21-year old Swift adds to her multi-Platinum streak, as all three of her Big Machine albums have certified triple-Platinum or higher.  Taylor also earned her ninth Platinum download award for “Today Was A Fairytale,” her single off the soundtrack to the 2010 film Valentine's Day, in which she also appeared. To-date Taylor is the top certified solo artist of digital singles in RIAA G&P history with 16.5 million downloads certified! 

In good company was country trio Lady Antebellum’s Need You Now album.  Released in January, the Capitol Nashville collection sailed straight through to Gold, Platinum, and 3x multi-Platinum certifications by October.  In addition, the album’s title “Need You Now” track earned an impressive quadruple-Platinum certification – the band’s highest cert to-date– and “I Run To You” sprinted to Platinum.

2010 also became the landmark year for digital certifications.  Top G&P digital download awards in 2010 represent the highest certified in the program’s history, with more artists than ever enjoying multi-Platinum honors.

One such group was the Black Eyed Peas.  It was quite clear that music fans couldn’t get enough of BEP in 2010, with the fabulous foursome taking home some prestigious honors.  They include earning the highest song certification of ANY act in G&P history, thanks to the success of their 2009 release “I Gotta Feeling,” soaring to 6x multi-Platinum.  The Universal/Interscope act also saw “Boom Boom Pow” hit 5x multi-Platinum, plus “Meet Me Halfway” and “Imma Be” rang 2x multi-Platinum.  Catch the Peas headlining the Super Bowl XLV halftime show on February 6th at the Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas.

Four songs released in 2010 took triple-Platinum plaques to mark the year’s best selling downloads.  The top-ranking awards went Atlantic rapper B.o.B.’s “Airplanes” featuring Hayley Williams, Mercury Records smooth songster Taio Cruz’s “Break Your Heart” and “Dynamite,” and Capitol rocker Katy Perry’s “California Gurls” featuring Snoop Dog.  So-Cal superstar Perry additionally earned a 2x multi-Platinum award for her sizzling summer hit “Teenage Dream” selling more than two million downloads from July to October.

RCA songstress Ke$ha, whose January album debut Animal went Platinum in September, racked up some serious accolades in 2010, including digital certifications representing more than nine million downloads of her pop-punk songs.  Topping her G&P list was “Tik-Tok” at 5x multi-Platinum, “Your Love Is My Drug” at 2x multi-Platinum, plus “Blah Blah Blah” and “Take It Off” at Platinum.

2010 will also be known as the year of The Bieb.  The YouTube-discovered musician hosted Saturday Night Live, wrote an autobiography, embarked on a world tour, and of course, made some sensational music.  In January, Justin took his first album My World (Island, 2009) Platinum before releasing his second, My World 2.0, in March which soared to double-Platinum by September.  Meanwhile Justin’s heartthrob hit “Baby” featuring Ludacris went 2x multi-Platinum, while “One Time” went Platinum, and “One Less Lonely Girl” struck Gold for selling more than 500,000 digital downloads. 


Not only was 2010 the year of The Bieb, but it could also be known as the year of The B.o.B. The Atlantic Records rapper earned four premiere G&P certifications in 2010, including a Gold for his debut April album release B.o.B Presents: The Adventures of Bobby Ray, a 3x multi-Platinum nod for his huge hit “Airplanes” featuring Hayley Williams, a 2x multi-Platinum for “Nothin’ On You” featuring another 2010 breakthrough artist, Elektra singer Bruno Mars, and a Platinum  for “Magic” with Weezer’s Rivers Cuomo.  You may recognize Bruno’s other beautiful ballades “Just The Way You Are” and “Grenade” which earned respective first RIAA Platinum and Gold download awards in 2010. 

While a whopping 98 songs went Platinum in 2010, notable first-time Platinum song certs included Kris Allen’s “Live Like We’re Dying” (Jive, 2009), Muse’s “Uprising” (Warner Bros., 2009), Neon Tree’s “Animal” (Mercury, 2010), Orianthi’s “According To You” (Geffen, 2009), Shontelle’s “Impossible” (Universal Records, 2010), The Band Perry’s “If I Die Young” (Republic Nashville, 2010), Trey Songz’s “Say Ahh” feat. Fabolous (Atlantic, 2009), and Uncle Kracker’s “Smile” (Atlantic, 2009). 

As can be expected, Christmas music was popular heading into the holidays, and the new O Holy Night album from ten year old Jackie Evancho was no exception.  The America's Got Talent leading light released her highly anticipated record on Columbia in mid-November, only to watch it sail straight through to Platinum by December.  The Platinum is Jackie’s first, but surely not her last, and we look forward to many more years of Jackie’s beautiful music!  

Gleek out Glee fans!  The Golden Globe for “Best Television Series—Musical or Comedy” isn’t the only award Fox‘s famed Glee cast earned in 2010.  The peppy pop group also won the series’ first RIAA-certified Platinum album award in September for Glee’s premiere soundtrack Glee: The Music, Volume 1 plus a second Platinum album nod for Glee: The Music, The Christmas Album in December.

Other artists tearing up the 2010 charts by earning their first Platinum album awards include Canadian hip hop star Drake’s Thank Me Later (Universal Motown, 2010), Trinidadian-American rapper Nicki Minaj’s Pink Friday (Universal Motown, 2010), and solo pop act Owl City’s Ocean Eyes (Universal Republic, 2009).

All the “little monsters” went Gaga for their top lady in 2010.  The NYC-bred talent, and Billboard Magazine’s 2010 “Artist of the Year,” took her debut album The Fame (Interscope, 2008) triple-Platinum, her single “Poker Face” quadruple-Platinum, and her dance floor hits “Bad Romance,” “Paparazzi,” and “Love Game” Platinum.  Look out for Gaga’s third and next album, Born This Way, due this spring. 

Continuing their successful trend, Zac Brown Band sprung forward in ’10 to earn their highest album cert yet, a double-Platinum for their debut The Foundation (Atlantic, 2008).  The Atlanta country group’s second album You Get What You Give (2010) additionally went Gold, while their mouthwatering “Chicken Fried” single went 2x multi-Platinum and feel good jam “Toes” went Platinum.

A notable first Gold record went to French alt-rock band Phoenix for Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix.  The Grammy award-winning quartet, which has been together since the mid-nineties, also took the album's lead single “1901” Gold for selling more than 500,000 downloads in the U.S. 

Also seeing Gold for the first time included artists Luke Bryan, Selena Gomez & The Scene, Adam Lambert, and Mumford & Sons for their respective albums Doin' My Thing (Liberty, 2009), Kiss & Tell (Hollywood, 2009), For Your Entertainment (RCA Records, 2009), and Sigh No More (Glassnote Records, 2010).

First-time Gold digital song certifications reached rising stars Lee Brice’s “Love Like Crazy” (Curb, 2009), Fabolous’ “Throw It In The Bag” (Mercury, 2009), Gloriana’s “Wild At Heart” (Reprise/Emblem, 2009), David Guetta’s “Sexy Bitch” (Astralwerks, 2009), Mumford & Sons’ “Little Lion Man” (Glassnote Records, 2010), Willow Smith’s “Whip My Hair” (Columbia, 2010), and The Ready Set’s “Love Like Woe” (Sire, 2010). 

The RIAA awarded alt-rock stars Soundgarden a Platinum award for their innovative partnership with gaming publisher Activision Publishing, Inc. for the release of Telephantasm in September.  Telephantasm marks Soundgarden’s first album release in 13 years and the Seattle band’s fourth Platinum album award. 

Tip of the Stetson to Arista Records icon Alan Jackson who earned his 15th career Platinum album award for Good Time (2008) in February.  Jackson wrote all 17 songs on the album and has sold more than 43 million albums to-date, proving this country legend knows the key to havin’ a good time. 

All we need is love!  In 2010 the fab four’s Love went 2x multi-Platinum, Beatles In Stereo reached 3x, 1 scored 11x, and the legendary The Beatles 1967-1970 album (1973) rocked all the way to 17x multi-Platinum.  With total U.S. album sales topping 177 million, The Beatles are the best-selling act in RIAA Gold & Platinum program history.  The Beatles’ music went on sale at iTunes for the first time ever in winter 2010, and all 16 Beatles’ studio albums can be purchased individually or as a digital box set.

On the ring-front, five popular songs earned Platinum ringtone certs denoting more than one million phone tones sold.  The 2010 awards went to AC/DC’s “Thunderstruck” (Columbia, 2003), Akon’s “Right Now (Na Na Na)” (Universal Motown, 2008), Jason Aldean’s “Big Green Tractor” (Broken Bow, 2009), Drake’s “Best I Ever Had” (Universal Motown, 2009), and Young Money’s “Bedrock” (Universal Motown, 2009).  Gold tone certs went to Akon’s “Right Now (Na Na Na)” (Universal Motown, 2008), Johnny Cash’s “Ring Of Fire” (Columbia Nashville, 2003), and Maxwell’s “Pretty Wings” (Columbia, 2009).

In 2010 the RIAA awarded a total of 161 album, 313 digital single, and 12 Ringtone certifications.  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 are the music labels that 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