Album sales are down 13% so far this year, but for a select few, there's gold at the end of the tunnel.
The Recording Industry Association of America just released its latest list of album and single certifications. Justin Bieber tops the sales heap, moving more than 2 million copies of My World, good for a double-platinum plaque. Also passing the platinum mark: the Glee Volume 1 soundtrack.
On the gold side, Phoenix's fourth and breakout album, 2009's Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix, was certified gold for sales of more than 500,000. Same for Ke$ha, whose debut, Animal, spawned no fewer than four hit singles, including "Tik-Tok," which was certified as a five-times-platinum digital single, the double-platinum "Your Love Is My Drug" and "Blah Blah Blah" and "Take It Off," both of which were certified gold.
Other noteworthy benchmarks include the Black Eyed Peas' hit "I Gotta Feeling," which is now six times platinum for digital sales, the highest digital song certification the RIAA has issued yet. Summer smashes like Katy Perry's "California Gurls," "Airplanes" by B.o.B featuring Paramore's Haley Williams and Taio Cruz's "Break Your Heart" also reached gold status.
Overall, in August, September and October combined, the RIAA awarded 91 digital singles and 28 albums.