The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) this week kicks off the 60th anniversary celebration of its prestigious Gold & Platinum Program, the industry’s premier award for recognizing artistic achievement in the music marketplace.
On this week (March 14th) in 1958, Perry Como’s song “Catch A Falling Star” (RCA Records) achieved the first official industry Gold Award. Months later, on July 8th, the soundtrack to “Oklahoma!” (Capitol Records) sung by Gordon MacRae became the first Gold album. More than 17,000 separate titles have achieved RIAA certification during the past 60 years.
The RIAA’s anniversary celebration includes a variety of initiatives, including a new riaa.com/GoldandPlatinum60 website featuring a timeline of recorded music history and significant program achievements by music’s most accomplished artists and iconic record labels. The site features nearly 200 artist photos, plus new videos of artists celebrating Gold & Platinum’s 60th and sharing RIAA Award memories. Participating artists so far include Andra Day, Brett Eldredge, Camila Cabello, Charlie Puth, Chris Janson, Cole Swindell, Dierks Bentley, DJ Khaled, Dustin Lynch, Ed Sheeran, Fall Out Boy, Fat Joe, Florida Georgia Line, French Montana, Halsey, Imagine Dragons, Jay-Z, Julia Michaels, Kane Brown, Kelsea Ballerini, Lady Antebellum, Lee Brice, Maren Morris, Rascal Flatts, Reba McEntire, Remy Ma, Sean Paul, Travis Scott, Shawn Mendes and Zedd.
The Gold & Platinum Program uniquely catalogues the top artists and albums of all time. Both of those “top tallies” lists on riaa.com are frequent and essential destinations for fans and music business observers alike. Throughout 2018, the RIAA will spotlight the important moments behind the top 60 albums of all time and partner with music labels to announce new certifications for music’s most iconic albums.
“This week we begin celebrating 60 years of awards and some of music’s most special moments,” said Cary Sherman, Chairman and CEO, RIAA. “We’re incredibly proud that the Gold & Platinum Program has not only stood the test of time, but also that it is more relevant than ever. Whether it is that first Gold record or achieving rare Diamond status, these awards mean an artist has made it. As recorded music has evolved, so has our program, recognizing elite marketplace success in whatever format fans choose to listen to their favorite songs and albums.”
The Gold & Platinum Awards Program was created by the RIAA in 1958 to honor artists and create a standard to measure the commercial success of a sound recording. The program trademarked the Gold record (500,000 units) and formalized the industry practice of presenting awards to artists for music sales achievements. Later came the Platinum Award (1,000,000), Multi-Platinum Award (2,000,000 plus) and the Diamond Award (10,000,000 plus). In 2000, the RIAA created its Premios de Oro y Platino Award to celebrate Latin music, specifically albums and songs that are more than 50 percent Spanish language. The RIAA has counted digital sales since 2004 and on-demand streams since 2013. Today there are more than 9,000 certified albums, nearly 6,000 awarded songs, 1,300 certified videos and almost 1,000 Latin awards.