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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

In the United States, the Recording Industry Association of America awards certification based on the number of albums and singles sold through retail and other ancillary markets.[1] Other countries have similar awards (see music recording sales certification). Certification is not automatic; for an award to be made, the record label must request certification and pay a fee to have the sales of the recording audited. The audit is conducted against net shipments after returns (most often an artist's royalty statement is used), which includes albums sold directly to retailers and one-stops, direct to consumer sales (music clubs and mail order) and other outlets.

Presently, an American RIAA-certified gold record is a single or album that has sold 500,000 units (records, tapes or compact discs). Originally, the requirement for a gold single was one million units sold and a gold album represented $1 million in sales (at wholesale value). In 1975, the additional requirement of 500,000 units sold was added for gold albums. Reflecting growth in record sales, the platinum award was instituted in 1976 for albums selling one million units and singles selling two million units. The multi-platinum award was instituted in 1984, signifying multiple platinum levels of albums and singles. In 1989, the sales thresholds for singles were reduced to 500,000 for gold and 1,000,000 for platinum, reflecting a decrease in sales of singles. In 1992, RIAA began counting each disc in a multi-disc set as one unit toward certification. Because of these changes in criteria, the sales level associated with a particular award depends on when the award was made.

Nielsen SoundScan figures are not used in RIAA certification; the RIAA system predates Nielsen SoundScan and includes sales outlets Nielsen misses. Prior to Nielsen SoundScan, RIAA certification was the only audited and verifiable system for tracking music sales in the U.S.; it is still the only system capable of tracking 100% of sales (albeit as shipments less returns, not actual sales like Nielsen SoundScan). This system has allowed, at times, for record labels to promote an album as gold or platinum simply based on large shipments. For instance, in 1978 the Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band soundtrack shipped platinum but was a sales bust, with two million returns.[2] Similarly, all four solo albums by the members of Kiss simultaneously shipped platinum that same year but none of them even managed to crack the top 20 of the Billboard 200 album chart. The following year, the RIAA began requiring 120 days from the release date before recordings were eligible for certification, although that requirement has been reduced over the years and currently stands at 30 days. More recently, Sony was roundly criticized in 1995 for hyping Michael Jackson's double album HIStory as five times platinum, based on shipments of 2.5 million and using the RIAA's recently adopted practice of counting each disc toward certification, while SoundScan was reporting only 1.3 million copies sold.[3] A similar discrepancy between shipments and sales was reported with The Lion King soundtrack.[4]

Contents

List of certifications

Records

Currently, the RIAA certification criteria for albums are:

  • 500,000 units: Gold album.
  • 1,000,000 units: Platinum album
  • 2,000,000 or more units: Multi-Platinum album
  • 10,000,000 units: Diamond album

Multi-disc

Multi-disc albums are counted once for each disc within the album if it is over 100 minutes in length or is from the vinyl era. For example, each copy of OutKast's Speakerboxxx/The Love Below (running time of 134:56), and Shania Twain's Up! (145:44), both double albums, were counted twice, meaning each album was certified diamond after 5 million copies were shipped. Pink Floyd's The Wall and The Beatles' White Album, both vinyl-era, are counted double even though their running times are under the minimum.

Spanish

The following certifications are given only to recordings of which over 50% of the content is in the Spanish language:[5]

  • 50,000 units: Oro album.
  • 100,000 units: Platino album.
  • 200,000 units: Multi-Platino album.

Singles

It is estimated that there have been about 2,550 combined single certifications.

Standard singles are certified:

Note: Before January 1, 1989, gold was achieved at 1,000,000 copies, and platinum at 2,000,000 [1].

Digital

Recently, digital singles have begun to be certified due to the increase of the digital market and decrease of the physical commercial singles market. Although digital downloads have been around since 2003, they weren't considered to be significant until 2005, when they were first counted towards the Hot 100. Because of this, it is important to distinguish between singles that came out before and after the change (as singles after the change sold in higher quantities at a faster rate, while the older singles took longer to reach levels of certification). After the change, the certification standards were brought up to the same standard as retail distribution. Since then, digital distribution has become a prime selling method for singles - overhead can be considerable when distributing a CD with only a few tracks on it, and the roughly $1/track standard for digital distribution, combined with the ease of use in sellers like iTunes, has caused enormous growth.

Digital singles are certified:

  • Gold means 500,000 tracks downloaded
  • Platinum means 1,000,000 tracks downloaded
  • Double platinum means 2,000,000 tracks downloaded

From 2004 through July 2006, the certification level was 100,000 downloads for Gold and 200,000 for Platinum. When the RIAA changed the certification standards to match retail distribution in August 2006, all platinum and multi-platinum awards for a digital release were withdrawn. Gold certifications, however, were not, meaning a song that was downloaded over 100,000 times and certified so by the RIAA during that time frame, retains its gold status.[6]

Records

Lists from RIAA site showing current status holders of RIAA Certifications:

Artists with the most certifications of Gold, Platinum and Multi-Platinum albums as of March 2010

Albums that have been certified Gold might receive additional certifications for achieving Platinum and Multi-Platinum levels.

Artist # Gold # Platinum # Multi-Platinum Total source
AC/DC 20 20 12 52 [7]
Aerosmith 25 18 12 55 [7]
Alabama 22 20 10 52 [7]
The Beach Boys 20 9 6 35 [7]
The Beatles 45 39 24 108 [7]
Garth Brooks 16 16 15 47 [7]
Jimmy Buffett 17 9 3 29 [7]
Johnny Cash 18 10 5 33 [7]
Chicago 22 18 8 48 [7]
Eric Clapton 25 12 8 45 [7]
John Denver 20 13 7 40 [7]
Neil Diamond 40 21 11 72 [7]
The Doors 19 14 5 38 [7]
Bob Dylan 36 16 5 57 [7]
Grateful Dead 19 6 4 29 [7]
Jimi Hendrix 17 10 6 33 [7]
Isley Brothers 15 10 3 28 [7]
Alan Jackson 17 15 8 40 [7]
Jefferson Airplane/Starship 20 5 1 26 [7]
Jethro Tull 15 3 1 19 [7]
Billy Joel 18 17 12 47 [7]
Elton John 38 26 12 76 [7]
Toby Keith 16 12 5 33 [7]
Kenny G 15 11 8 34 [7]
Kiss 24 10 2 36 [7]
Led Zeppelin 19 18 14 51 [7]
Lynyrd Skynyrd 19 13 7 39 [7]
Madonna 19 17 12 48 [7]
Barry Manilow 24 13 6 43 [7]
Mannheim Steamroller 18 8 4 30 [7]
Johnny Mathis 16 6 2 24 [7]
Dave Matthews Band 15 13 7 35 [7]
Paul McCartney 15 7 4 26 [7]
Reba McEntire 26 19 9 54 [7]
John Mellencamp 15 12 5 32 [7]
Anne Murray 15 6 2 23 [7]
Willie Nelson 22 16 7 45 [7]
Ozzy Osbourne 15 12 9 36 [7]
Tom Petty 16 8 5 29 [7]
Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers 15 8 5 28 [7]
Pink Floyd 18 15 12 45 [7]
Elvis Presley 82 45 24 151 [7]
Prince 23 16 7 46 [7]
Queen 18 11 6 35 [7]
Kenny Rogers 31 19 8 58 [7]
Rolling Stones 42 28 11 81 [7]
Linda Ronstadt 17 13 7 37 [7]
Rush 24 14 3 41 [7]
Santana 20 10 7 37 [7]
Frank Sinatra 34 10 4 48 [7]
Bruce Springsteen 21 17 10 48 [7]
Rod Stewart 26 18 10 54 [7]
George Strait 38 33 13 84 [7]
Barbra Streisand 51 30 13 94 [7]
James Taylor 20 14 5 39 [7]
The Temptations 19 6 1 26 [7]
U2 16 16 11 43 [7]
Luther Vandross 19 15 7 41 [7]
The Who 18 12 5 35 [7]
Hank Williams, Jr. 23 8 1 32 [7]
Neil Young 18 7 3 28 [7]

Artists with the most certifications of Gold, Platinum and Multi-Platinum singles as of March 2010

Singles that have been certified Gold might receive additional certifications for achieving Platinum and Multi-Platinum levels. For example, Barbra Streisand has had 8 singles certified Gold, 5 of which went on to achieve Platinum certification as well.

This list includes the RIAA formats 'Single' and 'Video Single'. This list includes singles of the RIAA types 'standard' and 'digital'.

This table tracks artists with some number of singles that have received at least ten total certifications.

Artist # Gold # Platinum # Multi-Platinum Total source
Elvis Presley 54 27 8 89 [8]
Madonna 26 6 3 35 [9]
Mariah Carey 23 10 2 35 [10]
The Beatles 24 6 4 34 [11]
Whitney Houston 19 7 2 28 [12]
Janet Jackson 21 5 - 26 [13]
Elton John 18 6 1 25 [14]
Michael Jackson 16 9 - 25 [15]
Rihanna 11 10 4 25 [16]
Taylor Swift 12 8 4 24 [17]
The Temptations 17 6 - 23 [18]
Beyoncé 13 6 4 23 [19]
Aretha Franklin 15 - - 15 [20]
Carrie Underwood 10 4 1 15 [21]
Creedence Clearwater Revival 10 5 - 15 [22]
Linkin Park 8 6 1 15 [23]
Prince 12 2 - 14 [24]
TLC 9 4 - 13 [25]
Barbra Streisand 8 5 - 13 [26]
Lady Gaga 5 5 2 12 [27]
Britney Spears 7 4 - 11 [28]
Destiny's Child 7 3 - 10 [29]
The Carpenters 10 - - 10 [30]
Chris Brown 6 3 1 10 [31]
Shakira 5 4 1 10 [32]

RIAA Diamond certifications as of March 2010

Diamond (10+ Million) Certified[33]

Artist Album Release date Certified sales
Michael Jackson Thriller 01982-11-30 November 30, 1982 29 million
Eagles Their Greatest Hits (1971–1975) 01976-02-17 February 17, 1976 29 million
Pink Floyd The Wall 01979-11-28 November 28, 1979 23 million
Led Zeppelin Led Zeppelin IV 01971-11-08 November 8, 1971 23 million
AC/DC Back in Black 01980-07-21 July 21, 1980 22 million
Garth Brooks Double Live 01998-11-17 November 17, 1998 21 million
Billy Joel Greatest Hits Volume I & Volume II 01985-06-28 June 28, 1985 21 million
Shania Twain Come on Over 01997-11-04 November 4, 1997 20 million
The Beatles The Beatles 01968-11-25 November 25, 1968 19 million
Fleetwood Mac Rumours 01977-02-04 February 4, 1977 19 million
Guns N' Roses Appetite for Destruction 01987-07-21 July 21, 1987 18 million
Boston Boston 01976-08-25 August 25, 1976 17 million
Whitney Houston The Bodyguard: Original Soundtrack Album 01992-11-17 November 17, 1992 17 million
Garth Brooks No Fences 01990-08-27 August 27, 1990 16 million
Hootie & the Blowfish Cracked Rear View 01994-07-05 July 5, 1994 16 million
Elton John Elton John's Greatest Hits 01974-11-04 November 4, 1974 16 million
Eagles Hotel California 01976-11-08 November 8, 1976 16 million
Alanis Morissette Jagged Little Pill 01995-06-13 June 13, 1995 16 million
Led Zeppelin Physical Graffiti 01975-03-03 March 3, 1975 16 million
The Beatles 1967–1970 01973-04-02 April 2, 1973 16 million
Pink Floyd The Dark Side of the Moon 01973-04-17 April 17, 1973 15 million
Journey Greatest Hits 01988-11-11 November 11, 1988 15 million
Metallica Metallica 01991-08-02 August 2, 1991 15 million
The Bee Gees Saturday Night Fever (soundtrack) 01977-11-01 November 1, 1977 15 million
Santana Supernatural 01999-06-15 June 15, 1999 15 million
The Beatles The Beatles 1962 - 1966 01973-04-02 April 2, 1973 15 million
Bruce Springsteen Born in the U.S.A. 01984-06-01 June 1, 1984 15 million
Britney Spears ...Baby One More Time 01999-01-12 January 12, 1999 14 million
Backstreet Boys Backstreet Boys 01997-08-21 August 21, 1997 14 million
Meat Loaf Bat Out of Hell 01977-01-30 January 30, 1977 14 million
Garth Brooks Ropin' The Wind 01991-09-02 September 2, 1991 14 million
Simon & Garfunkel Simon & Garfunkel's Greatest Hits 01972-06-20 June 20, 1972 14 million
Bruce Springsteen Bruce Springsteen & E Street Band Live 1975 - '85 01986-11-07 November 7, 1986 13 million
Steve Miller Band Greatest Hits 1974-1978 01978-11-15 November 15, 1978 13 million
Backstreet Boys Millennium 01999-05-18 May 18, 1999 13 million
Prince and The Revolution Purple Rain 01984-06-25 June 25, 1984 13 million
Pearl Jam Ten 01991-08-20 August 20, 1991 13 million
Whitney Houston Whitney Houston 01985-02-21 February 21, 1985 13 million
Kenny G Breathless 01992-10-20 October 20, 1992 12 million
(multiple artists) Forrest Gump 01994-06-17 June 17, 1994 12 million
The Rolling Stones Hot Rocks 01971-12-15 December 15, 1971 12 million
Def Leppard Hysteria 01987-08-03 August 3, 1987 12 million
Boyz II Men II 01994-08-23 August 23, 1994 12 million
Kenny Rogers Greatest Hits 01980-10-18 October 18, 1980 12 million
Led Zeppelin Led Zeppelin II 01969-10-22 October 22, 1969 12 million
Phil Collins No Jacket Required 01985-04-15 April 15, 1985 12 million
Jewel Pieces of You 01995-02-13 February 13, 1995 12 million
Bon Jovi Slippery When Wet 01986-08-18 August 18, 1986 12 million
Shania Twain The Woman In Me 01995-02-07 February 7, 1995 12 million
Dixie Chicks Wide Open Spaces 01998-01-23 January 23, 1998 12 million
The Beatles Abbey Road 01969-10-01 October 1, 1969 12 million
Matchbox Twenty Yourself or Someone Like You 01996-09-16 September 16, 1996 12 million
TLC CrazySexyCool 01994-11-15 November 15, 1994 11 million
Aerosmith Aerosmith's Greatest Hits 01980-10-19 October 19, 1980 11 million
Shania Twain Up! 02002-11-19 November 19, 2002 11 million
Kid Rock Devil Without a Cause 01998-08-04 August 4, 1998 11 million
(multiple artists) Dirty Dancing 01987-08-04 August 4, 1987 11 million
Eagles Eagles Greatest Hits Volume II 01982-10-22 October 22, 1982 11 million
Celine Dion Falling Into You 01996-03-02 March 2, 1996 11 million
Led Zeppelin Houses of the Holy 01973-03-28 March 28, 1973 11 million
(multiple artists) Titanic 01997-11-07 November 7, 1997 11 million
OutKast Speakerboxxx/The Love Below 02003-09-23 September 23, 2003 11 million
The Beatles Sgt. Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band 01967-06-02 June 2, 1967 11 million
'N Sync No Strings Attached 02000-03-21 March 21, 2000 11 million
James Taylor James Taylor's Greatest Hits 01976-10-29 October 29, 1976 11 million
Creed Human Clay 01999-09-28 September 28, 1999 11 million
Dixie Chicks Fly 01999-08-31 August 31, 1999 10 million
Garth Brooks Garth Brooks 01989-04-12 April 12, 1989 10 million
Patsy Cline Greatest Hits 01973-02-14 February 14, 1973 10 million
Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers Greatest Hits 01993-11-16 November 16, 1993 10 million
Linkin Park Hybrid Theory 02000-10-24 October 24, 2000 10 million
Led Zeppelin Led Zeppelin 01990-10-08 October 8, 1990 10 million
Bob Marley and The Wailers Legend 01984-07-24 July 24, 1984 10 million
Celine Dion Let's Talk About Love 01997-11-05 November 5, 1997 10 million
George Michael Faith 01987-10-30 October 30, 1987 10 million
ZZ Top Eliminator 01983-03-23 March 23, 1983 10 million
The Beatles 1 02000-11-13 November 13, 2000 10 million
Van Halen 1984 01984-01-04 January 4, 1984 10 million
The Doobie Brothers Best of the Doobies 01976-10-29 October 29, 1976 10 million
Lionel Richie Can't Slow Down 01983-10-14 October 14, 1983 10 million
Norah Jones Come Away with Me 02002-02-26 February 26, 2002 10 million
Usher Confessions 02004-03-23 March 23, 2004 10 million
Mariah Carey Daydream 01995-10-03 October 3, 1995 10 million
Green Day Dookie 01994-02-01 February 1, 1994 10 million
The Notorious B.I.G Life After Death 01997-03-25 March 25, 1997 10 million
Madonna Like a Virgin 01984-11-12 November 12, 1984 10 million
Eric Clapton Unplugged 01992-08-25 August 25, 1992 10 million
No Doubt Tragic Kingdom 01995-10-06 October 6, 1995 10 million
Billy Joel The Stranger 01977-01-09 January 9, 1977 10 million
(multiple artists) The Lion King: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack 01994-04-27 April 27, 1994 10 million
U2 The Joshua Tree 01987-03-09 March 9, 1987 10 million
Madonna The Immaculate Collection 01990-11-13 November 13, 1990 10 million
Garth Brooks The Hits 01994-12-01 December 1, 1994 10 million
The Doors The Best of The Doors 01985-05-19 May 19, 1985 10 million
Carole King Tapestry 01971-01-30 January 30, 1971 10 million
Stevie Wonder Songs in the Key of Life 01976-09-28 September 28, 1976 10 million
Garth Brooks Sevens 01997-11-01 November 1, 1997 10 million
Def Leppard Pyromania 01983-01-20 January 20, 1983 10 million
MC Hammer Please Hammer Don't Hurt 'Em 01990-02-12 February 12, 1990 10 million
Britney Spears Oops!... I Did It Again 02000-05-16 May 16, 2000 10 million
Nirvana Nevermind 01991-09-24 September 24, 1991 10 million
'N Sync *NSYNC 01998-03-24 March 24, 1998 10 million
Mariah Carey Music Box 01993-08-31 August 31, 1993 10 million
Van Halen Van Halen 01978-02-10 February 10, 1978 10 million

See also

References

  1. ^ RIAA certification criteria. Retrieved on September 19, 2006
  2. ^ Hollie, Pamela. "Record Industry: Big Changes" The New York Times January 12, 1980: 27
  3. ^ Farber, Jim. "Don't Buy into Jax' Pyramid Scheme: Platinum-Status Symbol on 'History' Marking Over 5-million Albums Sold Proves to Be as Worthless as Fool's Gold" New York Daily News September 11, 1995
  4. ^ Philips, Chuck. "Sold, Shipped, What's the Diff? About 2 million albums, in the case of 'The Lion King,' pointing up the disparity between industry's sales tally and SoundScan's" Los Angeles Times January 15, 1995: 67
  5. ^ "Country Takes The Crop (February 14, 2008)". RIAA. http://www.riaa.com/newsitem.php?id=B5127985-CDB2-C7AD-ADF1-E33023D88A0C. Retrieved 2009-12-25. 
  6. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2009). Top Pop Singles 1955-2008 (12th ed.). p. 14. ISBN 0-89820-180-2. 
  7. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z aa ab ac ad ae af ag ah ai aj ak al am an ao ap aq ar as at au av aw ax ay az ba bb bc bd be bf bg bh bi "Gold & Platinum: Artist Tallies". Recording Industry Association of America. http://www.riaa.com/goldandplatinumdata.php?table=tblArtTal. 
  8. ^ RIAA Gold and Platinum Search for singles by Elvis Presley
  9. ^ RIAA Gold and Platinum Search for singles by Madonna
  10. ^ RIAA Gold and Platinum Search for singles by Mariah Carey
  11. ^ RIAA Gold and Platinum Search for singles by The Beatles
  12. ^ RIAA Gold and Platinum Search for singles by Whitney Houston
  13. ^ RIAA Gold and Platinum Search for singles by Janet Jackson
  14. ^ RIAA Gold and Platinum Search for singles by Elton John
  15. ^ RIAA Gold and Platinum Search for singles by Michael Jackson
  16. ^ RIAA Gold and Platinum Search for singles by Rihanna
  17. ^ RIAA Gold and Platinum Search for singles by Taylor Swift
  18. ^ RIAA Gold and Platinum Search for singles by The Temptations
  19. ^ RIAA Gold and Platinum Search for singles by Beyoncé
  20. ^ RIAA Gold and Platinum Search for singles by Aretha Franklin
  21. ^ RIAA Gold and Platinum Search for singles by Carrie Underwood
  22. ^ RIAA Gold and Platinum Search for singles by Creedence Clearwater Revival
  23. ^ RIAA Gold and Platinum Search for singles by Linkin Park
  24. ^ RIAA Gold and Platinum Search for singles by Prince
  25. ^ RIAA Gold and Platinum Search for singles by TLC
  26. ^ RIAA Gold and Platinum Search for singles by Barbra Streisand
  27. ^ RIAA Gold and Platinum Search for singles by Lady Gaga
  28. ^ RIAA Gold and Platinum Search for singles by Britney Spears
  29. ^ RIAA Gold and Platinum Search for singles by Destiny's Child
  30. ^ RIAA Gold and Platinum Search for singles by The Carpenters
  31. ^ RIAA Gold and Platinum Search for singles by Chris Brown
  32. ^ RIAA Gold and Platinum Search for singles by Shakira
  33. ^ RIAA - Gold & Platinum - Diamond Certifications

External links


Simple English

In the United States, the Recording Industry Association of America awards certification based on the number of albums and singles sold through retail and other secondary stores.[1]

List of certifications

Currently, the normal RIAA certifications for albums are:

  • 500,000 units: Gold album.
  • 1,000,000 units: Platinum album.
  • 2,000,000 units: Multi-Platinum album.
  • 10,000,000 units: Diamond album.

The following certifications are given only to recordings of which over 50% of the content is in the Spanish language: [2]

  • 100,000 units: Oro album.
  • 200,000 units: Platino album.
  • of 400,000 units: Multi-Platino album.

References

Other websites








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