Saturday, March 6, 2010

RIAA Tallies The Decade's Top Gold & Platinum Award Winners

WASHINGTON -- Late last month the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) released a tally of the decade's highest Gold and Platinum award achievements.

Included in the RIAA’s 2000-2009 tally (below) are the artists who received the most G&P certifications, the best selling music releases, and a timeline of notable decade dates.

“We’ve seen a decade of major music milestones and extraordinary artist achievements as part of our historic Gold and Platinum program,” said Mitch Bainwol, Chairman and CEO, RIAA. “The names, songs and albums on our list are the decade’s best and are etched in our music DNA.”

“As the way fans access and enjoy music continues to evolve, so has and will the G&P program in recognizing the highest commercial and artistic success,” added Bainwol. “As a community, we’ve endured our share of challenges, but the new decade brings reasons for hope and optimism. The appetite for music is stronger than ever and the breadth of innovation is amazing. In this ever-evolving landscape, we’re grateful that the RIAA’s Gold and Platinum program continues to be the music industry’s recognized brand for success.”

While the RIAA’s Gold and Platinum program was officially launched in 1958, the past decade included a number of significant milestones:

On May 10, 2001 Sony/Jive boy band *NSYNC’s No Strings Attached (2000) became the first album of the decade to earn an RIAA Diamond award marking more than ten million in U.S. sales. The decade of Diamond albums that followed -- from Linkin Park’s Hybrid Theory to Norah Jones’ Come Away With Me and more -- represent some of the best and most influential recordings in G&P history.

In 2004 the RIAA formally expanded its G&P program to include a Digital Sales award in endorsement of the significant sales of emerging digital music formats. Two years later, in 2006, the RIAA launched the Master Ringtone Sales Award to recognize the growing popularity of enjoying music through cellular phones.

Come 2008 the RIAA heralded the 50th anniversary of its historic Gold Record, marking 50 years to the day Elvis was awarded his first Gold award for “Hard Headed Woman,” one of the King’s 53 Gold single certifications from the RIAA.

Several of the decade’s best awards were presented in 2009, including the best-selling digital download of all time -- at 5x multi-Platinum -- to Warner/Atlantic rapper Flo Rida for his hit “Low” as well as the highest certified ringtone ever to Universal/Cash Money artist Lil Wayne for his hot phone tone “Lollipop,” also at 5x multi-Platinum.

The following are the decade’s highest Gold and Platinum award achievements:


*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):

Group: The Eagles – 47 (Warner)

Male solo artist: Michael Jackson – 49 (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, 2004)

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)

Music News & Notes

BULLET FOR MY VALENTINE: 'Fever' Cover Artwork Unveiled

Welsh metallers BULLET FOR MY VALENTINE will release their third album, "Fever", in the U.S. on April 27 (one day earlier internationally) via Jive/Zomba.

"Fever" pairs BULLET FOR MY VALENTINE with producer Don Gilmore, best known for his work with LINKIN PARK and GOOD CHARLOTTE. "He totally beat me up to get the best songwriting out of me," Tuck told Rock Sound. "We needed someone to take us to another level even though we've had such huge success off our own backs."


SONIC SYNDICATE: New Album Title, Artwork Unveiled

Swedish/British modern metallers SONIC SYNDICATE have set "We Rule The Night" as the title of their new album, due in Europe on May 28 via Nuclear Blast Records. The CD was recorded at Bohus Sound studios in Kungälv, Sweden with producer Toby Wright, who has previously worked with KORN, SLAYER, MÖTLEY CRÜE, KISS, FEAR FACTORY, IN FLAMES, STONE SOUR and OZZY OSBOURNE, among others.

The cover artwork for "We Rule The Night" was created by Gustavo Savez of Abstrata Art and can be viewed at the left.


Iron Maiden Announces The Final Frontier World Tour

Band Photo: Iron Maiden

Iron Maiden has announced that the forthcoming new studio album will be called "The Final Frontier" and is expected be released late summer of this year. The announcement comes with news of a North American Tour with special guests Dream Theater to open in Dallas, Texas, on 9th June and finish in Washington D.C. on 20th July, making it Maiden's most extensive North American tour in many years.

Following these shows in USA and Canada, The Final Frontier World Tour will travel back to Europe for a few selected major festival and stadium shows with the band planning to continue to many other countries in 2011.

IMTV will return to to cover The Final Frontier World Tour to give fan club members an insight to the band's touring world. This exclusive footage includes regular video from the live shows, touring, band interviews, insights into the crew and what they do and much much more. The website will also feature exclusive tour diaries, exclusive photographs and anything else that helps the fans get a real insight into the dynamics of a big tour.

Confirmed dates for The Final Frontier 2010 North American Tour with Dream Theater:

Jun. 09 Dallas, TX - Center
Jun. 11 Houston, TX - Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion
Jun. 12 San Antonio, TX - AT&T Center
Jun. 14 Denver, CO - Comfort Dental Amphitheatre
Jun. 16 Albuquerque, NM - The Pavilion
Jun. 17 Phoenix, AZ - Cricket Wireless Pavilion
Jun. 19 San Bernardino, CA - San Manuel Amphitheatre
Jun. 20 Concord, CA - Sleep Train Pavilion
Jun. 22 Auburn, WA - White River Amphitheatre
Jun. 24 Vancouver, BC - GM Place
Jun. 26 Edmonton, AB - Rexall Place
Jun. 29 Saskatoon, SK - Credit Union Center
Jun. 30 Winnipeg, MB - MTS Center (without Dream Theater)
Jul. 03 Toronto, ON - Molson Amphitheatre
Jul. 07 Montreal, QC - Bell Centre
Jul. 11 Holmdel, NJ - PNC
Jul. 12 New York, NY - Madison Square Garden
Jul. 14 Pittsburgh, PA - First Niagra Pavilion
Jul. 15 Cleveland, OH - Blossom Music Center
Jul. 17 Detroit, MI - DTE Energy Music Theatre
Jul. 18 Chicago, IL - First Midwest Bank Amphitheatre
Jul. 20 Washington D.C. - Jiffy Lube Live

The Final Frontier 2010 European Tour:

Jul. 30 - Aug. 01 UK - Knebworth Sonisphere Festival
Aug. 05 Germany - Wacken Festival
Aug. 07 Sweden - Stockholm Stora Skuggan Sonisphere Festival
Aug. 08 Finland - Helsinki Pori's Kirjurinluoto Sonisphere Festival
Aug. 11 Norway- Bergen Bergenhus Festning - Koengen


DROWNING POOL: New Album Artwork

Texas heavy rockers DROWNING POOL will release their new, self-titled album in April via Eleven Seven Music. Commented the band: "After months of lockdown in the recording studio in New Jersey, we are proud to emerge with our most solid and dynamic album yet. All you DROWNING POOL fans will dig the new tunes so crank it up and rock out with us!"


Thrice Tour and Extremely Limited Edition Vinyl

Vagrant Records has announced that a second pressing of Thrice's latest studio album, Beggars (09/09), will be available on vinyl as of yesterday. Of the 1000 piece limited run, only 100 will be pressed on colored vinyl and available exclusively through the Vagrant store. The package includes a 24-page booklet with exclusive liner notes written by the band (this second run is not numbered or autographed and does not contain a download card).

The Orange County, CA-based quartet will be joining Manchester Orchestra next month for a string of co-headlining dates across the country.


First Dates Announced for Simon & Garfunkel North American Tour

The following concert dates are now being shown on the Simon & Garfunkel website along with the individual sites of both men, but are not yet being shown on many of the concert aggregation sites such as Pollstar. Tickets for Fargo go on sale this morning. St. Paul, Madison and Montreal go on sale on the 13th. All of the rest are set for the 12th. Look for confirmation of these shows and more shows to be added soon.

04/24 - New Orleans, LA - Jazz & Heritage Festival
04/29 - Vancouver, BC - General Motors Place
05/01 - Edmonton, AB - Rexall Place
05/02 - Calgary, AB - Pengrowth Saddledome
05/04 - Saskatoon, SK - Credit Union Centre
05/05 - Winnipeg, MB - MTS Centre
05/07 - Fargo, ND - Fargodome
05/08 - St. Paul, MN - Xcel Energy Center
05/09 - Madison, WI - Kohl Center Arena
05/12 - Toronto, ON - Air Canada Centre
05/14 - Ottawa, ON - Scotiabank Place
05/15 - Montreal, QC - Bell Centre


Foreigner, Styx And Kansas United In Rock Tour

The tour of the summer unites three iconic bands, Styx, Foreigner and special guests Kansas, responsible for countless Top Ten hits and well over 100 million album sales.

United In Rock, scheduled to kick off in May, brings together three bands that helped shape rock and roll for a generation of music fans by dominating the charts and airwaves for decades. Tickets go on sale March 6th for shows in Boston and Chicago with additional tour dates and ticket on sale information to be announced shortly at With tickets beginning at $10* in select markets, this is sure to be the summer's biggest night of hits in 2010, uniting fans from all over the country to a rock bash for less cash.

"I am very excited to be performing this summer with both Foreigner and Kansas on our United In Rock Tour. These three bands represent the more rocking side of the classic rock genre. With the countless great rock songs each band will be performing this is going to be a guitars-a-blazin' good time had by all. STYX is a band that one of our best known songs is about the blue collar man in the unemployment line and we totally identify with the average hard working people that are facing difficult economic times. We want to say thank you with affordable tickets for you and your family," said James "JY" Young of Styx.

"Super line up, amazing songs, can't wait, let's rock," said Foreigner's Mick Jones.

The three rock legends will team up for an evening full of some of the most memorable rock songs ever recorded, mining 30 years of hits on a tour that will take them to Dallas, Houston, Los Angeles, San Bernardino, Phoenix, Las Vegas, San Francisco, Denver, Kansas City, St. Louis, Chicago, Atlanta, Virginia Beach, DC, New York, Boston, Cleveland, Indianapolis, Pittsburgh, Detroit and more cities to be announced.

June 3 Kansas City Starlight Theatre On sale now
June 4 St. Louis Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre On sale now
June 5 Chicago Charter One Pavilion at Northerly Island On sale 3/6
June 20 Boston Bank of America Pavilion On sale 3/6

*More dates to be announced soon.


YES and Peter Frampton To Come Alive Together This Summer

Two of the most influential and ground-breaking artists of the 1970s- YES and Peter Frampton- are reuniting for a twenty-five city national co-headline summer tour, which kicks-off in early June and runs through the middle of July.

The two performed stadium shows together in 1976, including a show to more than 100,000 at JFK Stadium in Philadelphia. Tickets will go on sale for the June 16, Bethel Woods Center for the Arts, Bethel, NY show on March 5. For additional ticket information please visit: or

The concerts will feature more than three hours of music from the Grammy Award winners, performances which are sure to include YES classics such as "I've Seen All Good People," "Starship Trooper," as well as Frampton hits "Show Me The Way," "Baby, I Love Your Way" and "Do You Feel Like We Do."

One of history's greatest, legendary, progressive rock bands, YES will feature a lineup of guitarist Steve Howe, bassist Chris Squire, and drummer Alan White, as well as Oliver Wakeman (son of Rick Wakeman) on keyboards and lead singer Benoit David. Songs that have left an indelible mark on rock 'n' roll history and a concert spectacular that has become synonymous with YES, make this tour one that should not be missed.

YES's performance will include the hugely successful and indelible catalogue of music from hit albums such as Drama, Fragile, Close to the Edge and 90125. Classics such as "Roundabout," a seminal hit which consistently appears on "the best songs of all-time" lists, and the group's #1 hit "Owner of a Lonely Heart" are sure to be featured for an evening of music not to be missed.

One of the most popular concert attractions of all-time YES's remarkable career has served to re-define the boundaries of rock. As a dominant force for more than four decades, YES has sold more than 30 million albums worldwide. Their symphonic use of sound and innovative musical styles has made each of the group's players virtuosos in their own right.

Frampton remains one of the most celebrated artists and guitarists in rock history. Raised in London, Frampton taught himself to play guitar while still in single digits. He studied at the Bromley Technical School with classmate David Bowie (with whom he later recorded and toured). At 16, he was lead singer and guitarist for British teen band, the Herd. At 18, he co-founded one of the first super groups, seminal rock act Humble Pie. His fifth solo album, the electrifying Frampton Comes Alive!, is one of the top selling live records of all time. Frampton is so identified as the quintessential rocker, that he served as a consultant on Cameron Crowe's Almost Famous, Crowe's semi-autobiographical film about a teenage journalist covering the fictional rock band Stillwater.


June 16 Mohegan Sun, Uncasville, CT
June 18 Bethel Woods Center for the Arts, Bethel, NY
June 19 Tower Theater, Upper Darby, PA
June 20 Meadows Racetrack and Casino, Meadow Lands, PA
June 23 Wolf Trap Foundation for Performing Arts, Vienna, VA
July 4 Lake Forest Venue, Blue Ash, OH
July 7 Sandia Casino, Albuquerque, NM
July 9 Greek Theatre, Los Angeles, CA
July 10 Harrah's Rincon-Open Sky Theater, Valley Center, CA

This Date In Music History-March 6


Sylvia Robinson - Mickey & Sylvia (1936)

David Gilmour - Pink Floyd (1944)

Mary Wilson - Supremes (1944)

Hugh Grundy - Zombies (1945)

Murray Head (1946)

Kiki Dee (1947)

Stephen Bier (Wayne Gacy) - Marilyn Manson (1964)

Dwight Grant (Beanie Sigel) (1974)

They Are Missed:

Welsh composer, singer and actor Ivor Novello died in 1951 (age 58). He first became known for the song ‘Keep the Home Fires Burning,’ which he composed during World War I. The annual British songwriter award is named after him.

George Formby died in 1961 (age 57). UK singing comedian and ukulele player. Made over 20 films, best known song 'Leaning On A Lamp Post.' Made an OBE in 1946. Influenced George Harrison.

Born today in 1893, Memphis blues artist Walter “Furry” Lewis. He was the first guitarist to play with a bottleneck. He lost a leg in a railroad accident and once supported The Rolling Stones. Joni Mitchell wrote the song "Furry Sings The Blues" after him. Lewis died on September 14, 1981 (age 88).

Paul Revere and the Raiders’ drummer, Mike Smith, died in 2001 at age 58.

King Floyd ("Groove Me") died in 2006 of complications from a stroke and diabetes.


The Everly Brothers recorded "All I Have To Do Is Dream" in 1958.

The Drifters record one of their classics "There Goes My Baby" in 1959.

Frank Sinatra recorded his final session for Capitol Records in Hollywood in 1962.

The Temptations went to #1 on the US singles chart in 1965 with the Smokey Robinson penned song "My Girl," making the group the first male act to have a #1 hit for Motown.

In 1966, the Rolling Stones started recording sessions for their tenth UK single "Paint It Black" at RCA studios in Hollywood.

The Beatles recorded sound effects onto the song "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band" at Abbey Road studios in London in 1967. The beginning audience murmurs and sounds of a band preparing for a performance are added, along with screams from a tape of the Beatles in concert at the Hollywood Bowl.

In 1970, Awareness records released the Charles Manson album 'Lie' in the US. Manson was unable to promote the LP due to the fact he was serving a life sentence for the Sharon Tate murders.

An attempt to bring Elvis Presley to the UK for shows at London's Earl's Court failed in 1973. Promoters had hoped that Elvis would be available during the summer but were told that Elvis now had US tour and filming commitments.

John Lennon's visa extension was canceled by the New York Office of the Immigration Department in 1973. It had been granted only five days before.

Led Zeppelin’s “Physical Graffiti” gets a gold record award in 1975.

Fleetwood Mac's "Rhiannon" was released in 1976.

In 1976, EMI Records re-released all 22 British Beatles singles. In addition "Yesterday" was released for the first time on 45 rpm in the UK.

The Go-Go's started a six-week run at #1 on the US album chart in 1982 with 'Beauty And The Beast.'

Dick Clark’s American Bandstand podium was given to the Smithsonian in 1982.

Peabo Bryson and Regina Belle went to #1 on the US singles chart in 1993 with "A Whole New World'(Aladdin's Theme)". The single ended Whitney Houston's 14-week run at the top of the charts.

In 1999, Monica had the US #1 single with "Angel Of Mine."

In 2001, a man who hid for 24 hours in the rafters of a Cathedral and secretly filmed the Christening of Madonna's baby appeared in court. Security staff discovered the man after the ceremony when he made a noise as he climbed down from the rafters.

In 2004, David Crosby was arrested and charged with criminal possession of a weapon and marijuana after leaving his bag in a New York hotel. The luggage was found by a hotel employee looking for identification, finding instead a handgun and marijuana. The employee called authorities, and Crosby, discovering the missing luggage himself, telephoned to say he would return for it. He was met by New York police, who arrested him.

Yet another Jimi Hendrix related law suit in 2007. Experience Hendrix, the business entity that oversees Hendrix's estate files in a Washington court against a company that allegedly is using the guitar icon's name and image for a brand of vodka without authorization. They accuse Electric Hendrix, the makers of Electric Hendrix Vodka, of trademark infringement and false advertising. Electric Hendrix's owners include Jimi's brother, the disenfranchised Leon Hendrix, and the guitar-great's one-time drummer Buddy Miles. Leon says he's "shocked and saddened" by the lawsuit.

A two-hour film culled from rare footage of John Lennon that was to premiere at a free screening at Berwick Academy in South Berwick, MA in 2007, gets cancelled after the legal team representing Lennon’s widow, Yoko Ono, orders the school not to screen the movie. Ono claims she owns the rights to 3 Days In The Life, though its director, Ono's first husband, Tony Cox, sold the film to three fans in ‘00. The footage was shot in February '70 for a never-completed documentary project.

The Rolling Stones' "(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction" was chosen by the Librarian of Congress to enter the '06 National Recording Registry in 2007. The selection is for recordings deemed "significant."

In 2009, Phil Collins participated in a San Antonio ceremony commemorating the historic 1836 battle at the Alamo between Mexican soldiers and Texan defenders. The Genesis frontman is an Alamo aficionado, and collects artifacts and memorabilia. He’s also made an honorary member of the Sons of the Republic of Texas. "Basically, now I've stopped being Phil Collins the singer. This has become what I do," says Collins of his avocation. Isn't he British?