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Business News (more headlines) 01-25-2014

2013 'Landmark Year' For RIAA's Gold & Platinum Program

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The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) added song streams to its Gold & Platinum (G&P) Program in 2013 which helped fuel a record-breaking 663 Digital Single Awards - a 25 percent increase in Digital Single Awards year-over-year and the most in G&P history, according to RIAA's year-end certifications tally [attached].

"In a landmark year for our half-a-century-old Gold & Platinum Program, RIAA added music streams to awards to better recognize artists' commercial success in a transformative marketplace," said Cary Sherman, Chairman & CEO, RIAA. "We're proud that G&P 2.0 has enabled more musicians than ever to earn their first and highest digital awards."

In addition to adding streams in 2013, RIAA modernized other program parts to ensure that G&P awards reflect a changing music market. This included aligning digital single and album requirements so that sales can be counted from the day of a title's release, plus modifying Latin Program thresholds and creating a new Latin Digital Single Award to reflect developments in the Latin marketplace.

2013 G&P Awards:

Call it friendly competition! Coming off their successful joint Legends of the Summer tour, Jay Z and Justin Timberlake tied for the RIAA's annual top certified album at 2x multi-Platinum. Jay Z earned the accolade for his 12th solo album "Magna Carta...Holy Grail" (Roc Nation; see presentation photo here), while JT's plaque commemorated his "The 20/20 Experience" (RCA Records). Timberlake also took a Platinum album award home in 2013 for "The 20/20 Experience 2 of 2." G&P legends indeed!

Hey, hey, hey! Robin Thicke's "Blurred Lines" earned the smooth singer 2013's top-certified Digital Single Award! Released in March on Star Trak/Interscope, by September the dance floor favorite certified 6x multi-Platinum counting download sales and on-demand audio and/or video song streams.

Two terrifically talented singers - Lorde and Katy Perry - tied for the RIAA's second highest 2013 song honor: 4x multi-Platinums. New Zealand songstress Lorde earned hers for "Royals" (Universal Republic) and Katy Perry for "Roar" (Capitol Records). Lorde quickly rose through album ranks too, certifying her debut "Pure Heroine" Gold in just three months in 2013.

RIAA awarded two certifiably popular 2013 song releases triple-Platinum too: house duo Daft Punk's "Get Lucky" (Columbia) and Fall Out Boy's "My Songs Know What You Did In The Dark (Light Em Up)" (Island).

Seven musical acts earned their very first Gold AND Platinum Digital Song Awards for their respective 2013 songs: rapper Ace Hood's "Bugatti" (Cash Money/Republic Records), Nashville musician Tyler Farr's "Redneck Crazy" (Columbia Nashville), solo starlet Selena Gomez' "Come & Get It" (Hollywood), pop songstress Ariana Grande's "The Way" (Republic Records), country singer Randy Houser's "Runnin' Outta Moonlight" (Stoney Creek Records), Georgia singer-songwriter Thomas Rhett's "It Goes Like This" (The Valory Music Co) and music legend George Strait's "Give It All We Got" (MCA).

Continuing their successful trend, several of country music's most popular crooners earned Platinum album awards for their 2013 releases selling more than one million copies: Luke Bryan for "Crash My Party" (Capitol Records), Hunter Hayes for "Hunter Hayes" (Atlantic Records) and Blake Shelton for "Based on a True Story..." (Warner Music Group).

In 2013, three top achieving artists earned prestigious RIAA Diamond Awards counting song sales and streams to surpass the 10 million threshold: Justin Bieber, Eminem and Lady Gaga. Bieber's "Baby" (Island/Def Jam) earned 12x multi-Platinum status to become the RIAA's highest song certification ever (see presentation photo here), while Eminem's "Love The Way You Lie" (Interscope/Geffen/A&M) certified 11x multi-Platinum and Lady Gaga's "Bad Romance" (Interscope/Geffen/A&M) rose to 10x multi-Platinum!

RIAA proudly presented first-time Platinums to the following groups in 2013 for their respective 2012 albums: Fun.'s "Some Nights" (Fueled By Ramen), Kendrick Lamar's "good kid, m.A.A.d city" (Top Dawg, Aftermath), The Lumineers' "The Lumineers" (Dualtone Music Group, Inc.) and The Weeknd's "Trilogy" (Republic Records).

Catalogue records rising to the top of 2013's G&P count include Michael Jackson's "Bad" (Legacy, 1987) certifying 9x multi-Platinum, Green Day's "American Idiot" (Reprise, 2004) reaching 6x multi-Platinum, Lady Antebellum's 2010 release "Need You Know" certifying 4x multi-Platinum, Taylor Swift's 2012 album "Red" (Big Machine, Inc.) reaching 4x multi-Platinum, Mumford & Son's 2010 debut "Sigh No More" (Glassnote Records) earning 3x multi-Platinum, Jason Aldean's "My Kind of Party" (Broken Bow, 2010) becoming 3x multi-Platinum and The Roots' "Things Fall Apart" earning the band their first Platinum (Ume, 1999; see presentation photo here)!

Of the record breaking 167 digital songs certified Platinum in 2013, notable first-time Platinum song plaques were awarded to Pistol Annies' "Hell on Heels" (RCA Records Nashville), Breathe Carolina's "Blackout" (Columbia), Ca$h Out's "Cashin' Out" (Epic), Gloriana 's "(Kissed You) Good Night" (Emblem, Warner Bros. Records), Mac Miller's "Donald Trump" (Rostrom Records), Bridgit Mender's "Ready Or Not" (Hollywood Records), Frank Ocean's "Thinkin Bout You" (Island Def Jam), Olly Murs' "Troublemaker" (Columbia), Passenger's "Let Her Go" (Nettwerk), Emeli Sande's "Next To Me" (Capitol Records), The Naked and Famous' "Young Blood" (Republic Records), The Neighbourhood's "Sweater Weather" (Columbia) and Zedd's "Clarity" (Interscope/Geffen/A&M)!

RIAA enthusiastically awarded a massive 258 Gold song certifications in 2013, including numerous first-ever Golds to talented musicians including A Great Big World's (with Christina Aguilera) "Say Something" (Epic/Black Magnetic, see presentation photo here) , Big Sean's "Beware" (G.O.O.D. Music/Def Jam), Epic Rap Battles of History's (3) "Barack Obama vs Mitt Romney," "Darth Vader vs Adolf Hitler" and "Albert Einstein vs Stephen Hawking" (Maker), Juanes' "La Camisa Negra" (Universal Music Latino), Krewella's "Alive" (Columbia), Laura Story's "Blessings" (Fair Trade Services), Kasey Musgrave's "Merry Go 'Round" (Mercury Nashville), Cassadee Pope's "Wasting All These Tears" (Republic Nashville) and Matt Redman's "10,000 Reason (Bless The Lord)" (Sparrow/SixStepsRecords).

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