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Gold & Platinum News

Swift Springs Forward In March

Taylor Becomes RIAA's Newly Crowned Top Digital Single Artist
Adele's "21" Promptly Procures Platinum
As RIAA Certifies 56 Song Downloads

WASHINGTON—Who will take the crown in 2011 for highest digital download certifications?  It’s a real horse race and another sign of a dynamic and competitive music marketplace, with Taylor Swift now seizing Gold & Platinum Program history with 22.5 million career digital song certifications to date, according to the Recording Industry Association of America’s (RIAA) March G&P tally. 

Colossal congratulations to Taylor, who was also honored by the Academy of Country Music as Entertainer of the Year this month, for bringing “You Belong With Me” from 2x to 3x multi-Platinum and popular songs “Fifteen,”  “Forever & Always” and “Back To December” Platinum in March to total 22.5 million career digital certifications thus far.  In February, Lady Gaga was on top with 20 million digital singles certified, while Rihanna and the Black Eyed Peas remain in good company with 19 and 17.5 million respective song certifications today.

No stranger to Gold and Platinum prowess, Taylor is the RIAA’s top certified artist of digital singles for the past decade spanning 2000-2009.  Additionally, all three of Taylor’s Big Machine Records albums are RIAA certified triple-Platinum or higher with Taylor Swift (2006) currently 4x multi-Platinum, Fearless (2008) 6x multi Platinum and Speak Now 3x multi-Platinum. 

Speaking of movers and shakers, Columbia/XL singing sensation Adele took her sophomore album 21 Platinum in March to commemorate more than one million copies sold in just ONE MONTH after its February release.  Popular first single off the new album, “Rolling In The Deep,” hit Gold to mark 500,000 digital downloads sold.  To boot, Adele’s first album 19 (2008) soared to Platinum heights in March to offer the stellar UK songstress some serious “two for two” bragging rights!

The RIAA is also proud to announce the Platinum certification of Bruno Mars’ debut album Doo-Wops & Hooligans.  This marks the Elektra smooth singer’s first Platinum album award while his hits “Grenade” and “Just the Way You Are” are Gold and 3x multi-Platinum, respectively.  Added kudos to Mars for taking home his first Grammy award in February for “Just the Way You Are” as 2011’s Best Male Pop Vocal Performance.

Five superb 2010 album releases certified Gold in March for shipping more than 500,000 copies: pop quartet Big Time Rush’s BTR (Columbia/Nickelodeon JV), heavy metal band Disturbed’s Asylum (Reprise), R&B singer R Kelly’s Love Letter (Jive), Nashville rock band Kings of Leon’s Come Around Sundown (RCA) and pop rock star Pink’s Greatest Hits... So Far!!! (LaFace).

Pittsburgh rapper Wiz Khalifa earned his first double-Platinum award for “Black & Yellow,” his major label single debut on Atlantic Records.  Released in September, the song experienced great popularity during Super Bowl XLV season when the Pittsburgh Steelers faced the Green Bay Packers.  While the “Green and Yellow” Packers ultimately won the celebrated game, “Black & Yellow’s” fame endures!  Look for more Wiz beats off of his new album release Rolling Papers.

4x multi-Platinum download honors were awarded to The All American Rejects and Owl City for their respective hits “Gives You Hell” (Interscope, 2008) and “Fireflies” (Universal Republic, 2009).  Hip hop stars Nelly and Young Money also earned multi-Platinum download nods for their respective Universal Records jams “Just A Dream” and “Bedrock” certifying 3x multi-Platinum.  Additionally, Enrique Iglesias earned a 2x multi-Platinum award for selling more than two million downloads of “Tonight I’m Lovin’ You.”

Ubiquitous U.K. acts Mumford & Sons and Florence and the Machine took home premiere Platinum download nods for songs “Little Lion Man” (Glassnote Records, 2010) and “Dog Days Are Over” (Universal Republic, 2009).  Fabulous fems Nicki Minaj and Christina Perri were also given first-time Platinum awards for respective ballads “Your Love” (Universal Records, 2010) and “Jar of Hearts” (Atlantic Records, 2010).  Nicki additionally brought tracks “Right Through Me” and “Moment 4 Life” Gold for selling 500,000 downloads each.  

Country singer Eric Church earned his Midas touch in March, receiving his first two Gold download awards for songs “Smoke a Little Smoke” and “Love Your Love the Most.”  Congrats to the EMI Records Nashville star who was also named the Academy of Country Music Awards’ Top New Solo Vocalist this month.  Additional applause to another first-ever Gold record recipient, fellow country crooner Jaron and the Long Road to Love for debut Atlantic Records single “Pray for You.”

Universal Motown lyricists Lil Wayne and Drake racked up the Gold download awards in March.  Three for Lil Wayne’s “6 Foot 7 Foot,” “Knockout” and “Right Above It” and two for Drake’s “Miss Me” and “Find Your Love.”  Atlantic Records rapper and producer Lupe Fiasco additionally earned his second Gold download award for his latest single “The Show Must Go On” (2010).

In March the RIAA awarded a total of 17 album and 56 digital single certifications.  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.


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