Eminem’s “The Marshall Mathers LP” and OutKast’s “Speakerboxx/The Love Below” were each certified in February by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) for U.S. shipments of 9 million copies. The sets are fast approaching elite diamond status, which the RIAA bestows on releases that have shipped 10 million copies.
It took Eminem’s sophomore Web/Aftermath/Interscope less than three years to reach the nine-times platinum mark, while the OutKast set did it in about six months. While it may seem that the Atlanta hip-hop duo is lapping the Detroit rapper at a rapid pace, it should be noted that the RIAA counts each disc of a multi-disc title towards its awards. While by no means shabby, it means that only 4.5 million two-disc “Speakerboxx/The Love Below” packages have actually reached the shelves of U.S. retailers.
The month of February was also kind to newcomers. Arista’s Kelis shook her way to gold status in February, as her third album “Tasty” was certified for shipments of more than 500,000 units by the RIAA. The artist, who previously recorded for Virgin, scored a hit with the Neptunes-produced single “Milkshake.”
Australian rockers Jet also struck gold with their Elektra debut, “Get Born,” while “Permission to Land” (Atlantic) from U.K. rockers the Darkness and the self-titled Columbia debut from “Nashville Star” winner Buddy Jewell were both honored with gold awards.
Former Doobie Brother Michael McDonald received the first platinum award of his solo career with his covers album “Motown,” as did original Wu-Tang Clan member Ghostface Killah with “Ironman” (Epic).
Adding another million units to their tallies in February, Josh Groban went quadruple platinum with the Reprise/Warner Bros. set “Closer,” while Capitol rapper Chingy hit double platinum with “Jackpot.”
MTV’s reality star Jessica Simpson earned the second platinum album of her career with her latest, “In This Skin” (Columbia), while Jay-Z garnered his sixth multi-platinum award, for the “Black Album” (Roc-A-Fella/Def Jam). Jay-Z has now shipped more than 20 million units in his career.