October 02, 2001
Jonathan Lamy
Cara Duckworth
Liz Kennedy

Pass The Mic…Beastie Boys Are Still 'Licensed'


Benchmark Debut Climbs To Nine Million Keys' "Songs In A Minor" Continues To Dominate


Washington, DC - Hip-hop legends The Beastie Boys reached the cusp of Diamond® status as their groundbreaking debut "Licensed To Ill" has been certified nine times Platinum® according to the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA).

Combining sales from both it's former home on Columbia Records and where it currently resides on the Island/Def Jam Music Group, it remains one of the best selling hip-hop records in history and brings the trio's cumulative album sales total to 21 million units.

"The Beastie Boys made the transition from punk to hip-hop to label heads to political activists without sacrificing any artistic credibility," said RIAA President and CEO Hilary Rosen. "'Licensed To Ill' has been and will continue to be one of the most influential hip-hop albums."

Bolstered by the success of her first single, "Fallin'" as well as heavy video airplay, Alicia Keys showed no sign of slowing down as her "Songs In A Minor" continued to ride high atop the music charts and reached triple Platinum® status last month.

Pennsylvania-bred alt rockers Fuel picked up their first Multi-Platinum™ award for "Something Like Human" which has been certified for sales of more than two million copies. This surpasses the mark set by their previous Epic Records release "Sunburn" which is certified Platinum®.

DreamWorks continued to demonstrate the Midas touch as "Eternal," the latest effort by R&B legends The Isley Brothers and their first for the Beverly Hills based label, was certified both Gold® and Platinum® last month.

Gorillaz, the world's first virtual hip-hop band and brainchild of artist Jamie Hewlett, acclaimed hip-hop producer Dan Nakamura and Blur's Damon Albarn received their first Platinum® album for their self-titled Virgin Records debut last month.

Led Zeppelin frontman Robert Plant earned his first Multi-Platinum™ award this month as well for his critically acclaimed 1988 solo album "Now and Zen" which has been certified triple Platinum®.

Maxwell earned another set of Gold® and Platinum® records last month as "Now," his latest for Columbia records has been certified for sales of more than one million copies.

Warner Bros. Records continued to comb through their extensive catalog of titles last month and added six additional certifications to their growing 2001 list. The super funky Red Hot Chili Peppers were awarded their third Multi-Platinum™ album for 1995's "One Hot Minute" (two million) while jazz saxophonist David Sanborn and The Pretenders earned Gold® honors for "Backstreet" and "Pretenders II," respectively. Folk trio Peter, Paul & Mary received another Platinum® album (their third) for "Album 1700" while the soft rock sounds of Seals and Croft's "Summer Breeze" was certified both Platinum® and subsequently double Platinum®.

Not to be outdone, Sony Music checked in with a whopping 11 Platinum® single certifications last month. Chicago's "If You Leave Me Now," Bonnie Tyler's "Total Eclipse of The Heart," Marvin Gaye's classic "Sexual Healing," Cheryl Lynn's "Got To Be Real," The Manhattans' "Shining Star," Men At Work's "Down Under," Pink Floyd's "Another Brick In The Wall (Part II)," Michael Murphey's "Wildfire," Charlie Rich's "Behind Closed Doors" and "Always & Forever" and "The Groove Line" by Heatwave were all certified for sales in excess of one million copies.

Natural, the latest entry in the growing pool of boy bands earned their first Gold® single for "Put Your Arms Around Me" released on Lou Pearlman's Trans Continental Records.

Other newcomers to the Gold® and Platinum® award program were Jennifer Knapp, Mtume and Jadakiss who earned their first Gold® records for "Kansas," "Juicy Fruit" and "Kiss Tha Game Goodbye," respectively.

The RIAA awarded a total of 12 Multi-Platinum™, 16 Platinum® and 18 Gold® albums in September. All certifications are calculated by Gelfand, Rennert & Feldman. Complete lists of all album, single and video awards for September 2001 are attached and can also be accessed at


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.