Decade Of Meteoric Sales Of Mostly Mediocre Music

(UPDATED) The recorded music industry may feel like its in a death spiral, but that didn't stop The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) from releasing a celebratory tally of the decade's highest Gold and Platinum award achievemecelnts.

Each level of multi-Platinum counts as its own unit and contributes to the tally. Only music released, as well as certifications granted, during 2000 – 2009 are included. Most total certifications (includes cumulative album, digital song, master ringtone, and music video certifications):
  • image from www.recmod.com Group: The Eagles – 48 (Warner)
  • Male solo artist: Michael Jackson – 44 (Sony/Epic)
  • Female solo artist: Beyonce – 64 (Sony/Columbia)

Most album certifications:

  • Group: Nickelback – 25 (Roadrunner)
  • Male solo artist: George Strait – 29 (UMG/MCA Nashville)
  • Female solo artist: Britney Spears – 23 (Sony/Jive)

Most digital song certifications:

  • Group: Linkin Park – 13 (Warner)
  • Male solo artist: Kanye West – 19 (UMG/Def Jam)
  • Female solo artist: Taylor Swift – 25 (Big Machine)

Most master ringtone certifications:

  • Male solo artist: T.I. – 15 (WMG/Atlantic/Grand Hustle)
  • Female solo artist: Beyonce – 19 (Sony/Columbia)

*Format is: (record label/year released)

Highest certified album:

  • Group
    *NSYNC’s No Strings Attached (Sony/Jive, 2000), – 11x Platinum &
    OutKast’s Speakerboxxx/The Love Below – 11x Platinum (LaFace/Jive, 2003)
  • Male solo artist:
    Usher’s Confessions – 10x Platinum (LaFace/Jive,
  • Female solo artist: Shania Twain’s Up! – 11x Platinum (UMG/Mercury Nashville, 2002)

Highest certified digital song:

  • Group:
    Coldplay’s “Viva La Vida” – 3x multi-Platinum (EMI/Capitol, 2008) and
    The Fray’s “How to Save a Life” – 3x multi-Platinum (Sony/Epic, 2006)
  • Male solo artist: Flo Rida’s “Low” – 5x multi-Platinum (Warner/Atlantic, 2008)
  • Female solo artist:
    Lady Gaga’s “Just Dance” – 4x multi-Platinum (UMG/Interscope, 2008) and
    Taylor Swift’s “Love Story” – 4x multi-Platinum (Big Machine, 2008)

Highest certified master ringtone: 

  • Group
    D4L’s “Laffy Taffy” – 3x multi-Platinum (Atlantic, 2006), Hinder’s
    “Lips of an Angel” – 3x multi-Platinum (Universal Records, 2006), and
    Shop Boyz’ “Party Like a Rockstar” –3x multi-Platinum (Universal, 2007)
  • Male solo artist: Lil Wayne’s “Lollipop” – 5x multi-Platinum (Universal/Cash Money, 2008)
  • Female solo artist: Beyonce’s “Irreplaceable” – 3x multi-Platinum (Sony/Columbia, 2006)

January 3, 2000 LeAnn Rimes’ self-titled 1999 Curb album becomes the decade’s first Platinum album

May 10, 2001 *NSYNC’s 2000 Jive album No Strings Attached is certified the first decade’s Diamond album of the decade 

July 29, 2003
The decade’s top certified artist – Beyonce – receives her very first
Gold album award for Dangerously in Love (Columbia, 2003).  The album
is currently 4x multi-Platinum
September 23, 2004 The decade’s highest certified album by a female solo artist – Shania Twain’s Up! –  reaches 11x multi-Platinum
October 22, 2004
Digital Single award introduced.  45 titles were included in the
initial group of certifications, encompassing tracks from each major
recording company and representing nearly every genre in music
October 7, 2005 Interscope artist Gwen Stefani’s “Hollaback Girl” becomes first digital single to sell one million units
January 7, 2005 Warner band Linkin Park earns a Diamond award for Hybrid Theory (2000)
February 15, 2005 Norah Jones’ debut Blue Note album Come Away with Me turns Diamond three years after its release
April 15, 2005  The Beatles earn their 5th Diamond award for 1 (Apple Corps Ltd./Capitol, 2000)
November 1, 2006
Capitol Nashville country artist Garth Brooks takes Double Live (2008)
21x multi-Platinum.  Garth Brooks is currently the best-selling solo
artist in history having certified more than 128 million units to date
June 2006 Master
Ringtone award introduced.  The Black Eyed Peas, Chamillionaire, D4L,
T-Pain earn the RIAA’s first multi-Platinum ringtone certifications
January 10, 2007 Daniel Powter’s “Bad Day” goes double-Platinum to become the RIAA’s first multi-Platinum digital download
July 27, 2007 The best selling ringtone by a female solo artist, Beyonce’s “Irreplaceable,” certifies 3x multi-Platinum
2008 RIAA celebrates 50th Anniversary of Gold Record
November 7, 2008 The decade’s highest certified album by a male solo artist – Usher’s Confessions – reaches 10x multi-Platinum
May 8, 2009 Flo Rida’s “Low” goes 5x multi-Platinum; is the highest certified digital download in history
August 21, 2009
Michael Jackson’s legendary album Thriller climbs to 29x multi-Platinum
to tie the Eagles’ Their Greatest Hits (1971-1975) as the highest
certified album in RIAA Gold & Platinum history
October 12, 2009
The decade’s top recipient of digital download certifications – Taylor
Swift – takes her best selling song “Love Story” 4x multi-Platinum
December 15, 2009 Lil Wayne’s ringtone “Lollipop” becomes the highest certified ringtone ever at 5x multi-Platinum

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1 Comment

  1. Haven’t all of these titles been extensively tested by market research before being released? Market research tests what kind of song a majority of people like or would buy. It fits listeners’ tastes under the Gaussian Bell curve, finding out about an instantaneous mainstream musical style this way for one moment in time: the release date. Hence, it is not meant to produce music that challenges the listeners and grows on them, because that would be a process to occur over an unknown period of time. But big budget major music corporations, like buskers actually, want to make the buck right away, so they play what the majority of people like. It’s old buskers’ wisdom that people put the more money into the hat the more dull or more cliched or more overplayed the song in question is. That is why standards albums and reissues used to sell so well during the past decade. Rod Stewart once said in an interview that the label J Records he is with didn’t want him to make a country album, because “it didn’t test well”, adding that he didn’t understand what they meant by it.
    But hypebot readers do understand.
    So it’s not a surprise at all that the bestsellers are mostly mediocre stylistically. Instead, they were specifically designed that way to appeal to large audiences. Casting bands like Daniel Powter are a prime example for this. His sound, lyrical content and beanie hat fits those of Josh Kelley and Gavin DeGraw to a T.

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