With U.S. shipments of 10 million copies certified in April by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) for the Beatles’ “1,” the group has become the first act to earn six of the organization’s diamond awards. Released in 2000, the Apple/Capitol single-disc set collects 27 of the Fab Four’s U.S. and U.K. No. 1 hits.
The group’s biggest U.S. release remains 1968’s “The Beatles,” which was last certified by the RIAA in February 2001 for U.S. shipments of 19 million copies. It is followed by the 1973 compilations “The Beatles 1967-1970” (16 million) and “The Beatles 1962-1966” (15 million), 1969’s “Abbey Road” (12 million) and 1967’s “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band” (11 million).
The only act close to matching the Beatles’ feat is Led Zeppelin, which has five diamond-level titles, while Garth Brooks has four. The Eagles have three diamond titles, including “Their Greatest Hit 1971-1975,” which remains the best-selling album of all time, certified at 28 million copies. Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” is in second place, having last month been certified for 27 million copies shipped.
Several albums reached multi-platinum plateaus in April, led by Alan Jackson’s “Greatest Hits, Vol. II” (Arista Nashville) and Nickelback’s “Silver Side Up” (Roadrunner), which are now certified at six times platinum for shipments of 6 million copies.
In an impressive display of popularity, 50 Cent’s chart-topping sophomore album “The Massacre” reached quadruple-platinum in its first RIAA accounting, conducted just one month after its release. The Aftermath/Interscope album debuted at No. 1 on The Billboard 200 in March and held the post for six consecutive weeks. 50’s 2003 debut, “Get Rich or Die Tryin’,” is six times platinum.
R&B artist Ciara and rock act the Killers earned their first multi-platinum designations. Her “Goodies” (LaFace) and their “Hot Fuss” (Island) were both certified double-platinum.