Beyonce tops decade's RIAA certifications

Her 64 include albums, digital songs, ringtones, videos

Put a championship ring on it: Beyonce was far and away the queen of gold and platinum sales milestones during the past decade.

The RIAA on Wednesday released a compilation of its awards for 2000-09, and the heavily Grammy-ed songstress leads the field with 64 certifications, including albums, digital songs, master ringtones and music videos. The one-time Destiny's Child singer also led the league in ringtone certifications with 19.

Meanwhile, a generation after their creative peak -- and breakup -- the Eagles continue to wing past sales milestones, topping all other groups in total gold and platinum awards with 48. Fellow '70s breakout act Michael Jackson led male solo artists with 44.

The list only covers music released during the decade.

Three albums from disparate genres tied for highest certification at 11 times platinum: 'N Sync's "No Strings Attached" (2000), Shania Twain's "Up!" (2002) and Outkast's "Speakerboxxx/The Love Below" (2003).

A pair of 2008 smashes led the digital categories: Flo Rida's "Low" was the decade's highest-certified digital song at quintuple platinum, and Lil Wayne's "Lollipop" led phone tones at five times platinum. Both, of course, also are the all-time record holders.

A gold award is presented for sales of 500,000 albums, digital songs or ringtones, and platinum is recognized at the 1 million mark. Each multiplatinum award is counted as a separate certification. A music video goes gold at 25,000 units, platinum at 50,000 and multiplatinum for every 50,000 units after that; the milestones for longform videos are 50,000, 100,000 and 200,000-plus.

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

A few highlights from the decade:

-- The digital single award was introduced in October 2004. Nearly a year later, Gwen Stefani's "Hollaback Girl" becomes the first platinum download.

-- The master ringtone award debuted in June 2006. The Black Eyed Peas, Chamillionaire, D4L and T-Pain earned the RIAA's first multiplatinum ringtone certifications.

-- On Jan. 10, 2007, Daniel Powter's "Bad Day" goes double-platinum to become the first multiplatinum digital download.

The RIAA's certification program launched in 1958, when Perry Como's single "Catch a Falling Star" became the first-ever gold record; the "Oklahoma!" soundtrack was certified as the first gold album four months later. The platinum award debuted in 1976, with Johnnie Taylor's "Disco Lady" being the first single to snag the award and the Eagles' "Their Greatest Hits (1971-1975)" the first album. The latter is tied with Michael Jackson's "Thriller" as the best-selling album of all time in the U.S., at 29 times platinum.

Fueled by then-nascent MTV, the music video certifications were established in 1981.

A complete list of RIAA certification leaders from 2000-09 can be found on the next page.


Most album certifications
Male solo artist: George Strait, 29
Group: Nickelback, 25
Female solo artist: Britney Spears, 23

Most digital song certifications
Female solo artist: Taylor Swift, 25
Male solo artist: Kanye West, 19
Group: Linkin Park, 13

Highest-certified album

Group: 'N Sync, "No Strings Attached"; Outkast, "Speakerboxxx/The Love Below"; 11 times platinum
Female solo artist: "Up!" Shania Twain (UMG/Mercury Nashville); 11 times platinum
Male solo artist: "Confessions," Usher (LaFace/Jive); 10 times platinum

Highest-certified digital song
Male solo artist: "Low," Flo Rida, five times platinum
Female solo artist: "Just Dance," Lady Gaga; "Love Story," Taylor Swift; four times platinum
Group: "Viva La Vida," Coldplay (EMI/Capitol), and "How to Save a Life," the Fray (Sony/Epic); three times platinum

Highest-certified master ringtone
Male solo artist: "Lollipop," Lil Wayne; five times multiplatinum
Female solo artist: "Irreplaceable," Beyonce; three times multiplatinum
Group: "Laffy Taffy," DL4; "Lips of an Angel," Hinder; and "Party Like a Rockstar," Shop Boyz; three times multiplatinum

Most digital song certifications
Female solo artist: Taylor Swift, 25
Male solo artist: Kanye Westm, 19
Group: Linkin Park, 13

Most master ringtone certifications
Female solo artist: Beyonce, 19
Male solo artist: T.I., 15