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January 29, 2013 | Gold & Platinum

RIAA Tallies 2012's Top Gold & Platinum Achievements

Adele, Taylor Swift, Cary Rae Jepsen, Gotye & More End Year with Major Metal***Digital Certifications Rise 70 Percent Since 2010***Catalog Albums Take Top Annual Awards

WASHINGTON – The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) today released its year-end tally of 2012 Gold & Platinum (G&P) Program awards.

In 2012, digital continued to dominate. The RIAA awarded more song download honors than any other year in program history, including a 70 percent increase during the past two years, a 25 percent increase year-over-year, and a record breaking 139 digital songs certified Platinum in 2012! In total, 524 digital songs certifications were awarded in 2012, vs. 409 in 2011, and 313 in 2010.

The RIAA also awarded a number of esteemed album certifications, including a prestigious Diamond award for Adele, whose “21” (XL Recordings/Columbia, 2011) became the first album in a decade to sell more than 10 million units in less than two years!


Taylor Swift earned 2012’s highest G&P album. Her October and fourth record release “Red” (Big Machine Records, Inc.) sold more than three million U.S. copies in just one month to become the RIAA’s top certified annual album at 3x multi-Platinum. Taylor’s terrific news comes on the heels of December G&P song awards for the songstress including a 3x multi-Platinum for “We Are Never Getting Back Together” and Platinums for “Red,” “I Knew You Were Trouble,” “Begin Again,” and “Eyes Open.” Taylor’s career digital RIAA song certifications now surpass 37 million sold since her career launch in 2006.

Call them 2012’s top-song-certified! Two songs tied for the top release of 2012 at 6x multi-Platinum: Canadian starlet Carly Rae Jepsen’s widely parodied Interscope/Geffen/A&M debut “Call Me Maybe” and Universal Republic soloist Gotye’s “Somebody That I Used to Know.” Gotye also earned his very first Gold album award in 2012 for “Making Mirrors,” which includes his hit song.

Four enormously acclaimed acts – Justin Bieber, Maroon 5, Nicki Minaj, and One Direction – tied for the second highest song honor of the year: triple-Platinums for their respective 2012 releases “Boyfriend” (Island/Def Jam), “Payphone” (A&M/Octone), “Starships” (Universal Republic), and “What Makes You Beautiful” (Syco Music/Columbia Records). Added congrats to One D, whose triple-Platinum is the British band’s very first multi-Platinum nod!

Continuing their successful trend, many of music’s most popular artists earned Platinum album awards for their 2012 releases: Jason Aldean’s “Night Train” (Broken Bow, his fifth Platinum album), Justin Bieber’s “Believe” (Island, his fifth), Nicki Minaj’s “Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded” (Universal Republic, her second), Mumford & Sons’ “Babel” (Glassnote Records, their second), One Direction’s “Up All Night” (Syco Music/Columbia Records, their second), P!nk’s “Truth About Love” (RCA Records, her seventh), Lionel Richie’s “Tuskegee” (Mercury, his sixth), Rod Stewart’s “Merry Christmas, Baby” (Verve, his 19th), and Carrie Underwood’s “Blown Away” (19 Recordings Limited/Arista Nashville, her fourth).

Five golden musicians had huge 2012 debuts as their first albums each sold more than 500,000 copies to certify RIAA Gold: Georgia rapper 2 Chainz’ “Based on a T.R.U. Story” (Def Jam), NYC pop band Fun.’s “Some Nights” (Fueled By Ramen), Icelandic folk band Of Monsters and Men’s “My Head Is An Animal” (Republic Records), folk-rick trio The Lumineers’ “The Lumineers” (Dualtone Music Group, Inc.), and rapper Abel Tesfaye’s, a.k.a.The Weeknd’s, “Trilogy” (Republic Records).

RIAA awarded three breakout stars first time double-Platinum song awards in 2012: American Idol season eleven winner Phillip Phillips for “Home” (Interscope/Geffen/A&M), South Korean YouTube sensation PSY for “Gangnam Style” (Universal Republic), and Cali rapper Tyga for “Rack City” (Universal Republic).

Eight spectacular musical acts earned their very first Gold AND Platinum digital song awards for selling more than one million downloads of their respective 2012 songs: country music duo Florida Georgia Line’s “Cruise” (Republic Nashville), Las Vegas alt-rockers Imagine Dragon’s “It’s Time” (Kidinakorner/Interscope), Pop pair Karmin’s “Brokenhearted” (Epic), English singer-rapper Cher Lloyd’s “Want U Back” (Epic), five-person ensemble Of Monsters And Men’s “Little Talks” (Universal Republic), and Denver rockers The Lumineers’ “Ho Hey” (Dualtone Music Group, Inc.).

Pre-2012 Releases:

In addition to Adele’s amazing “21” Diamond accolade, the RIAA awarded one additional Diamond honor in 2012 to the Smashing Pumpkins’ “Mellon Collie And The Infinite Sadness” (Virgin, 1995) for selling more than 10 million units in the United States.

Other catalogue albums rising to the top of 2012’s G&P count include Bob Seger and the Silver Bullet Band’s 1994 “Greatest Hits” album soaring to 9x multi-Platinum, the beloved Whitney Houston’s 2000 record “Whitney: The Greatest Hits” reaching 5x multi-Platinum, Taylor Swift’s 2010 release “Speak Now” certifying 4x multi-Platinum, Zac Brown Band’s first and 2008 album “The Foundation” certifying 3x multi-Platinum, and The Beach Boys 2003 release “Sounds Of Summer: The Very Best Of The Beach Boys” earning 3x multi-Platinum.

It was a solid year for G&P award regulars Kenny Chesney and Tim McGraw who earned their respective eleventh and tenth career Platinum album awards for their popular releases “Greatest Hits II” and “Number One Hits!”

In first-class country music company, the RIAA awarded crooners Luke Bryan, Eric Church, and Scotty McCreery their very first Platinum album awards for their respective 2011 releases “Tailgates & Taglines” (Capitol Nashville), “Chief” (EMI Records Nashville), and “Clear As Day” (Mercury Nashville).

First-time Gold album accolades were earned by certifiably popular musicians Hunter Hayes for “Hunter Hayes” (Atlantic), Kendrick Lamar for “Good Kid, M.A.A.D. City” (Top Dog/Aftermath/Interscope Records), LMFAO for “Sorry For Party Rocking” (Interscope), and The Civil Wars for “Barton Hollow” (Sensibility Music, LLC).

Celebrations were in order in 2012 when The Black Eyed Peas earned the G&P Program’s highest digital single award in history upon certifying Interscope song “I Gotta Feeling” 8x multi-Platinum. As a group, The Peas currently have more digital singles certified than any other band: 22 million.

Two stellar acts came close to The Peas’ feat by earning 7x multi-Platinum digital song certifications: Adele with her top selling track to-date “Rolling In The Deep” and LMFAO’s club hit “Party Rock Anthem.” Adele, LMFAO, and The Peas are the only three acts in G&P history to earn prestigious 7x multi-Platinum awards.

It was a strong year for English acts Ellie Goulding and Alex Clare. Both artists earned their very first multi-Platinum plaques, with Ellie earning a 3x multi-Platinum for “Lights” (Interscope/Geffen/A&M) and Alex a 2x multi-Platinum for “Too Close” (Universal Republic).

While a record breaking 139 digital songs certified Platinum in 2012, notable first-time Platinum plaques were awarded to Eric Church’s “Springsteen” (EMI Records Nashville), Gavin DeGraw’s “Not Over You” (RCA Records), Dev’s “In The Dark” (Universal Records), Calvin Harris’ “Feel So Close” (Ultra Music), J. Cole’s “Work Out” (Roc Nation/Columbia), Little Big Town’s “Pontoon” (Capitol Records Nashville), Kip Moore’s “Somethin’ ‘Bout A Truck” (MCA Nashville), Jerrod Niemann’s “Lover, Lover” (Sea Gayle Records/Arista Nashville), Outasight’s “Tonight Is The Night” (Warner Bros. Records), Skillet’s “Monster” (Atlantic Records), and Skrillex’s “Scary Monsters And Nice Sprites” (Big Beat).

Of the 253 Gold single certifications awarded by the RIAA in 2012, numerous first ever Golds were earned by talented acts including Pistol Annies’ for “Hell On Heels” (RCA Records), Avicii’s “Levels” (Interscope/Geffen/A&M), Steven Curtis Chapman’s “Cinderella” (Sparrow), Jana Kramer’s “Why Ya Wanna” (Elektra Nashville), Kreayshawn’s “Gucci Gucci,” (Columbia), Frank Ocean’s “Thinkin Bout You” (Island/Def Jam), Sixx:A.M.’s “Life Is Beautiful” (Eleven Seven Music),Tenth Avenue North’s “By Your Side” (Reunion Records), The Airborne Toxic Event’s “Sometime Around Midnight” (Mercury), The Naked And Famous’ “Young Blood” (Universal Republic), and TobyMac’s “City On Our Knees” (Forefront Records).

In 2012 the RIAA awarded a total of 155 album and 524 digital single certifications.  All certifications are calculated by Gelfand, Rennert & Feldman.  Complete lists of all album, single, mastertone and video awards can also be accessed at