Shaggy’s MCA album “Hotshot” was certified six times platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) for U.S. sales of six million copies, five and-a-half million of those in 2001 alone, and has been designated the best selling album of the year by the trade organization.
The reggae artist didn’t tip the scales in his favor by much, as both Irish artist Enya’s “A Day Without Rain” (Reprise) and boy band ‘N Sync’s “Celebrity” (Jive) were each certified five times platinum in 2002, teaming the titles in a tie for the No. 2 position for the year.
“When the industry has a year when you can mention Shaggy, Enya, and ‘N Sync in the same breath, there is a clear indication that Americans are not turning to any one genre of music,” RIAA president/CEO Hilary Rosen said in a statement.
In total, the RIAA certified 327 gold (500,000 copies), 227 platinum (the most in the organization’s history), and 243 multi-platinum albums in 2001.
With certification for sales of 3 million copies, the Mercury Nashville soundtrack to the Coen Brothers’ “O Brother, Where Art Thou?” was the best-selling soundtrack of the year according to the RIAA.
Garth Brooks’ “Scarecrow” (Capitol Nashville) was the RIAA’s best-selling country album of the year, with a triple-platinum certification. By adding in the accounting for all of Brooks albums, including another 1 million in 2001 for his now 14-times platinum concert set “Double Live,” he extends his total cumulative sales to 104 million copies, and he remains the highest certified solo artist in history.
The RIAA results differ somewhat from Billboard’s year-end charts. Shaggy’s set pulled in at No. 2 on the year-end wrap up of The Billboard 200, behind the Beatles’ Apple/Capitol compilation “1.” Enya’s “A Day Without Rain” finished at No. 8 on the tally, followed by “Celebrity” at No. 9.
The difference in the charts comes because Billboard uses counts of retail sales to consumers compiled by SoundScan to determine its rankings, while the RIAA calculates sales to retailers at the request of record labels. For information on the RIAA certification process, visit the organization’s official Web site.