Recording Industry Association of America

The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) is a trade organization that represents the recording industry in the United States. Its members consist of record labels and distributors, which the RIAA says "create, manufacture and/or distribute approximately 85% of all legally sold recorded music in the United States."[1] The RIAA headquarters is in Washington, D.C.[2][3]

The RIAA was formed in 1952.[4] Its original mission was to administer recording copyright fees and problems, work with trade unions, and do research relating to the record industry and government regulations.[5] Early RIAA standards included the RIAA equalization curve,[6] the format of the stereophonic record groove and the dimensions of 33 1/3 rpm, 45 rpm, and 78 rpm records.[7]

The RIAA says its current mission includes:[1]

  1. to protect intellectual property rights and the First Amendment rights of artists;
  2. to perform research about the music industry;
  3. to monitor and review relevant laws, regulations and policies.

Since 2001, the RIAA has spent upwards of six million dollars annually on lobbying in the United States.[8] The RIAA also participates in the collective rights management of sound recordings, and it is responsible for certifying Gold and Platinum albums and singles in the United States.

Recording Industry Association of America
RIAA logo colored
Motto"Representing Music"
TypeLicensing and royalties, technical standards
HeadquartersWashington, D.C., U.S.
  • United States
Chairman and CEO
Cary Sherman

Company structure and sales

Cary Sherman has been the RIAA's chairman and CEO since 2011. Sherman joined the RIAA as its general counsel in 1997 and became president of the board of directors in 2001, serving in that position until being made chairman and CEO.

Mitch Glazier has been the RIAA's senior executive vice president since 2011. He served as executive vice president for public policy and industry relations from 2000 to 2011.

Mitch Bainwol served as CEO from 2003 to 2011. He left in 2011 to become president and CEO of the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers.

The 20-member board of directors is composed of the following record executives:[9]

The RIAA represents over 1,600 member labels, which are private corporate entities such as record labels and distributors, and collectively create and distribute about 90% of recorded music sold in the United States. The largest and most influential of the members are the "Big Three":

The RIAA also represents other major record labels such as Atlantic, Capitol, RCA, Warner Bros., Columbia, and Motown.[10]

The RIAA reports that total retail value of recordings sold by their members was $10.4 billion[11] at the end of 2007, a decline from $14.6 billion in 1999. Estimated retail revenues from recorded music in the United States grew 11.4% in 2016 to $7.7 billion.[12]

Sales certification

The RIAA operates an award program for albums that sell a large number of copies.[13] The program originally began in 1958, with a Gold Award for singles and albums that reach $1,000,000 in sales. The criterion was changed in 1975 to the number of copies sold, with albums selling 500,000 copies awarded the Gold Award. In 1976, a Platinum Award was added for one million sales. In 1989 new criteria were introduced, with a "Gold Award" for singles that reach 500,000 in sales and a "Platinum Award" for singles that reach 1,000,000 in sales; and in 1999 a Diamond Award for ten million sales was introduced.[14] The awards are open to both RIAA members and non-members.[15]

Since 2000,[16] the RIAA also operates a similar program for Latin music sales, called Los Premios de Oro y De Platino. Currently, a Disco De Oro (Gold) is awarded for 30,000 units and a Disco De Platino is awarded for 60,000 units, with Album Multi-Platino at 120,000 and "Diamante" for 10x platino.[17] The RIAA defines "Latin music" as a type of release with 51% or more of its content recorded in Spanish.

"Digital" single certification

In 2004, the RIAA added a branch of certification for what it calls "digital" recordings, meaning roughly "recordings transferred to the recipient over a network" (such as those sold via the iTunes Store), and excluding other obviously digital media such as those on CD, DAT, or MiniDisc. In 2006, "digital ringtones" were added to this branch of certification. Starting in 2013, streaming from audio and video streaming services such as Spotify and YouTube also began to be counted towards the certification using the formula of 100 streams being the equivalent of one download, RIAA certification for singles therefore no longer represents true sales.[18][19] In the same year, the RIAA introduced the Latin Digital Award for digital recordings in Spanish.[17] As of 2016, the certification criteria for these recordings are as follows:[20]

Digital awards:

  • Gold: 500,000 units
  • Platinum: 1,000,000 units
  • Multi-Platinum: 2,000,000 units (increments of 1,000,000 thereafter)
  • Diamond: 10,000,000 units

The units are defined as follows:

  1. A permanent digital download counts as 1 Unit
  2. 150 on-demand audio and/or video streams count as 1 Unit

Latin digital awards:

  • Disco de Oro (Gold): 30,000 copies
  • Disco de Platino (Platinum): 60,000 copies
  • Disco de Multi-Platino (Multi-Platinum): 120,000 copies

Album certification

In February 2016, RIAA updated its certification criteria for album to include streaming and track sales using the formula for album-equivalent unit.[21]

  • Gold: 500,000 units
  • Platinum: 1,000,000 units
  • Multi-Platinum: 2,000,000 units (increments of 1,000,000 thereafter)
  • Diamond: 10,000,000 units

For certification purposes, each unit may be one the following:[22]

  1. sale of a digital album or physical album
  2. 10 track downloads from the album
  3. 1,500 on-demand audio and/or video streams from the album

Video Longform certification

Along with albums, digital albums, and singles there is another classification of music release called "Video Longform." This release format includes DVD and VHS releases, and certain live albums and compilation albums. The certification criteria is slightly different from other styles.[23]

  • Gold: 50,000 copies
  • Platinum: 100,000 copies
  • Multi-Platinum: 200,000 copies

Efforts against infringement of members' copyrights

Efforts against file sharing

The RIAA opposes unauthorized sharing of its music. Studies conducted since the association began its campaign against peer-to-peer file-sharing have concluded that losses incurred per download range from negligible[24][25] to moderate.[26]

The association has commenced high-profile lawsuits against file sharing service providers. It has also commenced a series of lawsuits against individuals suspected of file sharing, notably college students and parents of file sharing children. It is accused of employing techniques such as peer-to-peer "decoying" and "spoofing" to combat file sharing.[27][28]

In late 2008 they announced they would stop their lawsuits,[29] and instead attempt to work with ISPs to persuade them to use a three-strike system for file sharing involving issuing two warnings and then cutting off Internet service after the third strike.[30]

Selection of defendants

The RIAA names defendants based on ISP identification of the subscriber associated with an IP address,[31] and as such do not know any additional information about a person before they sue. After an Internet subscriber's identity is discovered, but before an individual lawsuit is filed, the subscriber is typically offered an opportunity to settle. The standard settlement is a payment to the RIAA and an agreement not to engage in file-sharing of music and is usually on par with statutory damages of $750 per work, with the RIAA choosing the number of works it deems "reasonable." For cases that do not settle at this amount, the RIAA has gone to trial, seeking statutory damages from the jury, written into The Digital Theft Deterrence and Copyright Damages Improvement Act of 1999 as between $750 and $30,000 per work or $750 and $150,000 per work if "willful."

The Electronic Frontier Foundation and Public Citizen oppose the ability of the RIAA and other companies to "strip Internet users of anonymity without allowing them to challenge the order in court."[32][33]

The RIAA's methods of identifying individual users had, in some rare cases, led to the issuing of subpoena to a recently deceased 83-year-old woman,[34] an elderly computer novice,[35] and a family reportedly without any computer at all.[36]

Settlement programs

In February 2007, the RIAA began sending letters accusing Internet users of sharing files and directing them to web site P2PLAWSUITS.COM, where they can make "discount" settlements payable by credit card.[37] The letters go on to say that anyone not settling will have lawsuits brought against them. Typical settlements are between $3,000 and $12,000. This new strategy was formed because the RIAA's legal fees were cutting into the income from settlements.[38] In 2008, RIAA sued 19-year-old Ciara Sauro for allegedly sharing ten songs online.[39]

The RIAA also launched an "early settlement program" directed to ISPs and to colleges and universities, urging them to pass along letters to subscribers and students offering early settlements, prior to the disclosure of their identities. The settlement letters urged ISPs to preserve evidence for the benefit of the RIAA and invited the students and subscribers to visit an RIAA website for the purpose of entering into a "discount settlement" payable by credit card.[40] By March 2007, the focus had shifted from ISPs to colleges and universities.[38][41][42]

In October 1998, the Recording Industry Association of America filed a lawsuit in the Ninth U.S. Court of Appeals in San Francisco claiming the Diamond Multimedia Rio PMP300 player violated the 1992 Audio Home Recording Act. The Rio PMP300 was significant because it was the second portable consumer MP3 digital audio player released on the market. The three judge panel ruled in favor of Diamond, paving the way for the development of the portable digital player market.[43]

In 2003, the RIAA sued college student developers of LAN search engines Phynd and Flatlan, describing them as "a sophisticated network designed to enable widespread music thievery."[44][45][46]

In September 2003, the RIAA filed suit in civil court against several private individuals who had shared large numbers of files with Kazaa. Most of these suits were settled with monetary payments averaging $3,000. Kazaa publisher Sharman Networks responded with a lawsuit against the RIAA, alleging that the terms of use of the network were violated and that unauthorized client software was used in the investigation to track down the individual file sharers (such as Kazaa Lite). An effort to throw out this suit was denied in January 2004, however, that suit was settled in 2006. Sharman Networks agreed to a global settlement of litigation brought against it by the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA), the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI), and the RIAA. The creators of the popular Kazaa file-sharing network will pay $115 million to the RIAA, unspecified future amounts to the MPAA and the software industry, and install filters on its networks to prevent users from sharing copyrighted works on its network.[47]

RIAA has also filed suit in 2006 to enjoin digital XM Satellite Radio from enabling its subscribers from playing songs it has recorded from its satellite broadcasts.[48] It is also suing several Internet radio stations.[49]

On October 12, 2007, the RIAA sued seeking a permanent injunction to prevent the company from "aiding, encouraging, enabling, inducing, causing, materially contributing to, or otherwise facilitating" copyright infringement. This suit, the first that the RIAA has filed against a Usenet provider, has added another branch to the RIAA's rapidly expanding fight to curb the unauthorized distribution of copyrighted materials. Unlike many of the RIAA's previous lawsuits, this suit is filed against the provider of a service who has no direct means of removing infringing content. The RIAA's argument relies heavily on the fact the, the only defendant that has been named currently, promoted their service with slogans and phrases that strongly suggested that the service could be used to obtain free music.

On April 28, 2008, RIAA member labels sued Project Playlist, a web music search site, claiming that the majority of the sound recordings in the site's index of links are infringing. Project Playlist's website denies that any of the music is hosted on Project Playlist's own servers.[50]

On June 30, 2009, The Recording Industry Association of America prevailed in its fight against, in a decision, that the U.S. District Judge Harold Baer of the Southern District of New York ruled in favor of the music industry on all its main arguments: that is guilty of direct, contributory, and vicarious infringement. In addition, and perhaps most importantly for future cases, Baer said that can't claim protection under the Sony Betamax decision. That ruling states that companies can't be held liable for contributory infringement if the device they create is "capable of significant non-infringing uses."[51] Furthermore, the parties are now headed to federal court for damage assessments and awards, which could amount to several millions of dollars for the music industry.[52]

On October 26, 2010, RIAA members won a case against LimeWire, a P2P file sharing network, for illegal distribution of copyrighted works.[53] On October 29, in retaliation, was taken offline via denial-of-service attacks executed by members of Operation Payback and Anonymous.[54]

The "work made for hire" controversy

In 1999, Mitch Glazier, a Congressional staff attorney, inserted, without public notice or comment, substantive language into the final markup of a "technical corrections" section of copyright legislation, classifying many music recordings as "works made for hire", thereby stripping artists of their copyright interests and transferring those interests to their record labels.[55][56] Shortly afterwards, Glazier was hired as Senior Vice President of Government Relations and Legislative Counsel for the RIAA, which vigorously defended the change when it came to light.[57] The battle over the disputed provision led to the formation of the Recording Artists' Coalition, which successfully lobbied for repeal of the change.[58][59]

Executive leadership of RIAA

See also


  1. ^ a b "Who We Are". RIAA.
  2. ^ "Privacy Policy." Recording Industry Association of America. Retrieved on September 13, 2011. "RIAA, 1025 F Street NW, 10th Floor, Washington, D.C. 20004."
  3. ^ "RIAA." Recording Industry Association of America. Retrieved on September 13, 2011. "We are located at 1025 F ST N.W., 10th Floor, Washington, D.C. 20004."
  4. ^ "RIAA News Room - RIAA Celebrates 50 Years Of Gold Records - Aug 11, 2008". August 11, 2008. Archived from the original on August 18, 2008. Retrieved July 17, 2010.CS1 maint: unfit url (link)
  5. ^ "New Disk Trade Org To Swing Into Action", Billboard Magazine, September 22, 1951, pages 13 and 20
  6. ^ "RIAA phono equalization article by Don Hoglund".
  7. ^ "RIAA Standards For Stereophonic Disc Records".
  8. ^ "Recording Industry Assn of America: Summary". Lobbying Spending Database. Center for Responsive Politics. Retrieved February 23, 2014.
  9. ^ "Board & Executives - RIAA". RIAA. Retrieved February 9, 2018.
  10. ^ [1], What We Do, The Recording Industry Association of America® (RIAA)
  11. ^ "RIAA - About". November 2, 2015.
  12. ^ "2016 RIAA Shipment and Revenue Statistics | RIAA - RIAA". RIAA. Retrieved September 28, 2017.
  13. ^ RIAA Website. "Gold and Platinum (Index)". Archived from the original on March 8, 2007.
  14. ^ "Recording Industry Association of America". RIAA. Archived from the original on July 1, 2007. Retrieved March 25, 2012.
  15. ^ RIAA Website. "Gold and Platinum Certification".
  16. ^ "RIAA News Room – RIAA Launches "Los Premios de Oro y De Platino" to Recognize Top Latin Artists". January 25, 2000. Archived from the original on July 15, 2011. Retrieved February 15, 2011.
  17. ^ a b "RIAA Updates Latin Gold & Platinum Program". RIAA. December 20, 2013. Retrieved March 10, 2014.
  18. ^ "RIAA Adds Digital Streams To Historic Gold & Platinum Awards". RIAA.
  19. ^ Alex Pham (May 9, 2013). "Exclusive: On-Demand Streams Now Count Toward RIAA Gold & Platinum". Billboard.
  20. ^ "RIAA AND GR&F Certification Audit Requirements: RIAA Digital Single Award" (PDF). RIAA.
  21. ^ "RIAA Debuts Album Award with Streams". RIAA. February 1, 2016.
  22. ^ "RIAA AND GR&F Certification Audit Requirements" (PDF). RIAA.
  23. ^ " Latest Video Longform Certifications". Archived from the original on May 19, 2008. Retrieved May 14, 2008.CS1 maint: BOT: original-url status unknown (link) Retrieved on May 14, 2008
  24. ^ "Microsoft Word - FileSharing_March2004.doc" (PDF). Retrieved July 17, 2010.
  25. ^ A Heretical View of File Sharing, by John Schwartz, The New York Times, April 5, 2004
  26. ^ Siwek, Stephen E. The True Cost of Sound Recording Piracy to the U.S. Economy (2007) IPI Policy Report 188, 2007, 6–10.
  27. ^ The Register (January 17, 2003). ""I poisoned P2P networks for the RIAA" – whistleblower". Retrieved April 23, 2009.
  28. ^ The Register (March 18, 2003). "RIAA chief invokes Martin Luther King in pigopoly defense: P2P poisoning, ISP clampdown justified". Retrieved April 23, 2009.
  29. ^ Slattery, Brennon (December 19, 2008). "RIAA Stops Suing Individuals: Are We Home Free?". PCWorld. Retrieved January 27, 2012.
  30. ^ "UNLIMITED | CMU | Verizon backtrack on three-strike disconnect claim". Archived from the original on May 21, 2010. Retrieved July 17, 2010.
  31. ^ CBS News (December 27, 2005). "Mom Fights Recording Industry". Retrieved April 2, 2007.
  32. ^ "Citing Right to Anonymity Online, ACLU Asks Boston Court to Block Recording Industry Subpoena" (Press release). American Civil Liberties Union. September 29, 2003. Retrieved April 2, 2007.
  33. ^ "Record Industry Cuts Corners in Crusade Against File-Sharers" (Press release). Public Citizen. February 2, 2004. Retrieved April 3, 2007.
  34. ^ I sue dead people, Ars Technica, February 4, 2005.
  35. ^ "Grandmother piracy lawsuit dropped". BBC News. September 25, 2003. Retrieved April 3, 2007.
  36. ^ RIAA sues computer-less family, by Anders Bylund, Ars Technica, April 24, 2006.
  37. ^ Meg Marco (March 2007). "RIAA Bullies College Students With".
  38. ^ a b Read, Brock (March 16, 2007). "Record Companies to Accused Pirates: Deal or No Deal?". The Chronicle of Higher Education. p. A31. Retrieved April 2, 2007.
  39. ^ "Teen Transplant Candidate Sued Over Music Downloads". December 9, 2008.
  40. ^ "RIAA Adopts New Policy, offers Pre-Doe settlement option if ISP Holds Logs Longer, Asks ISP's to Correct Identification Mistakes" Recording Industry vs. The People, February 13, 2007.
  41. ^ "RIAA targets university students" (
  42. ^ "Recording industry battles piracy" by Elizabeth Lauten, The East Carolinian (East Carolina University), April 4, 2007
  43. ^ Court OKs Diamond Rio MP3 Player, by Elizabeth Clampet, InternetNews.Com, June 16, 1999
  44. ^ Borland, John. "RIAA sues campus file-swappers – CNET News". Retrieved July 17, 2010.
  45. ^ "The Heights – Record industry sues Flatlan operators". Retrieved July 17, 2010.
  46. ^ [2] Archived March 10, 2007, at the Wayback Machine
  47. ^ "Sharman Networks settles Kazaa file-sharing lawsuits". Ars Technica. July 27, 2006. Retrieved July 23, 2013.
  48. ^ XM Faces The Music In RIAA Copyright Suit Archived June 13, 2006, at the Wayback Machine, by Joseph Palenchar, TWICE, May 22, 2006
  49. ^ RIAA sues Internet radio stations,, July 2001
  50. ^ Sandoval, Greg (April 28, 2008). "RIAA files copyright suit against Project Playlist". Retrieved December 5, 2010.
  51. ^ Sandoval, Greg (December 17, 2011). "RIAA triumphs in Usenet copyright case".
  52. ^ Jennings, Richi (July 2, 2009). " loses MP3 copyright lawsuit vs. RIAA". Computerworld. Retrieved December 26, 2017.
  53. ^ "RIAA Wins: LimeWire Shut Down By Court Order". October 27, 2010.
  54. ^ Thomas Mennecke (October 29, 2010). "RIAA and LimeWire Both are Offline".
  55. ^ Wired (August 10, 2000). "Rule Reversal: Blame It on RIAA". Retrieved April 9, 2007.
  56. ^ "RIAA Accounting: Why Even Major Label Musicians Rarely Make Money From Album Sales".
  57. ^ Eric Boehlert (August 28, 2000). "Four Little Words". Salon. Archived from the original on January 23, 2009. Retrieved October 9, 2009.
  58. ^ Barry Willis (October 29, 2000). "Clinton Signs Repeal of "Works for Hire" Law". Stereophile. Retrieved October 9, 2009.
  59. ^ Pub.L. 106–379
  60. ^ "Goddard Lieberson Named Head of Record Association". The New York Times. January 22, 1964. Retrieved August 25, 2012. Goddard Lieberson, head of Columbia Records, was elected president of the Record Industry Association of America yesterday. ...
  61. ^ "Cary Sherman Bio". RIAA. Retrieved March 3, 2014.

External links

Aftermath Entertainment

Aftermath Entertainment is an American record label founded by hip hop producer and rapper Dr. Dre. It operates as a subsidiary of, and is distributed through, Universal Music Group's Interscope Records. Current acts include Dr. Dre himself, Eminem, Kendrick Lamar, Anderson Paak, Jon Connor and Justus with former acts including 50 Cent, Busta Rhymes, The Game, Raekwon, Eve, Rakim and many others. The label's acts over the years have earned RIAA certifications of platinum or higher on 20 of its 28 released albums.

Billboard Top Latin Albums

Top Latin Albums is a record chart published by Billboard magazine and is labeled as the most important music chart for Spanish language, full-length albums in the American music market. Like all Billboard album charts, the chart is based on sales. Nielsen SoundScan compiles the sales data from merchants representing more than 90 percent of the U.S. music retail market. The sample includes sales at music stores, the music departments of electronics and department stores, direct-to-consumer transactions, and Internet sales of physical albums or digital downloads. A limited array of verifiable sales from concert venues is also tabulated. To rank on this chart, an album must have 51% or more of its content recorded in Spanish. Listings of Top Latin Albums are also shown on Telemundo's music page through a partnership between the two companies. Before this, the first chart regarding Latin music albums in the magazine (Billboard Hot Latin Albums in Texas) was published on the issue dated December 30, 1972. Then, all Latin music information was featured on the Latin Pop Albums chart, which began on June 29, 1985, and is still running along with the Regional Mexican Albums and Tropical Albums chart. The Latin Pop Albums chart features music only from the pop genre, while the Regional Mexican Albums chart includes information from different genres like duranguense, norteño, banda and mariachi, and the Tropical Albums includes different genres particularly salsa, merengue, bachata, and cumbia. In 2005, another chart; Latin Rhythm Albums was introduced in response to growing number of airplays from reggaeton. On the week ending January 31, 2017, Billboard updated the methodology to compile the Top Latin Albums chart into a multi-metric methodology to include track equivalent album units and streaming equivalent albums units.The first album to appear at number-one on this chart was Mi Tierra by Gloria Estefan on July 10, 1993. This album spent 58 non-consecutive weeks at the top of this chart, a record that stands to date. Mexican singers Marco Antonio Solís holds the record for the most number-one albums by an artist overall with 12. Fellow Mexican performers Los Temerarios is the group with the most chart-toppers, eight.

Jenni Rivera and Selena are the female artists with the most number-one albums with 7 each. Selena's album Dreaming of You is the only album to peak at number one during three different calendar years (1995–97).

Brad Paisley discography

The discography of Brad Paisley, an American country music singer, consists of 12 studio albums, three compilation albums, and 43 singles. All but two of Paisley's singles have hit the Top 20 of the Billboard Hot Country Songs charts, with all but six reaching the Top Ten. He has 18 Number Ones, including a streak of ten consecutive, starting with the 2005–06 Dolly Parton duet "When I Get Where I'm Going". When "Waitin' on a Woman", reached number 1 in late 2008, Paisley set a new record for the most consecutive Number Ones (10) by any country artist since the inception of Nielsen SoundScan in 1990. This streak lasted until mid-2009's number 2 single "Welcome to the Future".

Eagles discography

The Eagles are an American rock band, who since their debut in 1972, have released seven studio albums, two live albums, 10 compilation albums, as well as three video albums and 30 singles. Of those singles, five topped the Billboard Hot 100. The Eagles have a total of 18 Top 40 hits on the pop charts, as well as several hits on the adult contemporary chart. They are one of the best-selling popular music artists in history.

Their highest-selling studio album is 1976's Hotel California, which was certified 16× Platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America. The album's title track was their fourth Number One single on the pop charts, as well as their highest certified single, being certified Platinum. The Eagles also hold the distinction of releasing the highest-selling album of the 20th century in the United States. The band's compilation album Their Greatest Hits (1971–1975) sold more than 26 million copies domestically from its release until the end of 1999.In 2007, the Eagles issued a full album of new material for the first time in nearly 30 years with Long Road Out of Eden. The album debuted at #1 on several charts around the world; including Norway and the United Kingdom. The album featured five consecutive Top 40 singles on the adult contemporary charts, and was certified 7× Platinum in the US.


Emo is a rock music genre characterized by an emphasis on emotional expression, sometimes through confessional lyrics. It emerged as a style of post-hardcore from the mid-1980s hardcore punk movement in Washington, D.C., where it was known as emotional hardcore or emocore and pioneered by bands such as Rites of Spring and Embrace. In the early–mid 1990s, emo was adopted and reinvented by alternative rock, indie rock and pop punk bands such as Sunny Day Real Estate, Jawbreaker, Weezer and Jimmy Eat World, with Weezer breaking into the mainstream during this time. By the mid-1990s, bands such as Braid, the Promise Ring and the Get Up Kids emerged from the burgeoning Midwest emo scene, and several independent record labels began to specialize in the genre. Meanwhile, screamo, a more aggressive style of emo using screamed vocals, also emerged, pioneered by the San Diego bands Heroin and Antioch Arrow.

Often seen as a subculture, emo also signifies a specific relationship between fans and artists and certain aspects of fashion, culture and behavior. Emo fashion has been associated with skinny jeans; tight t-shirts with band names; studded belts; and flat, straight, jet-black hair with long bangs. Fans of emo music who dress like this are referred to as "emo kids" or "emos". Emos are known for listening to emo bands like My Chemical Romance, Hawthorne Heights, The Used, and AFI. The emo subculture is stereotypically associated with emotion, sensitivity, misanthropy, shyness, introversion and angst, as well as depression, self-harm and suicide. Its quick rise in popularity in the early 2000s inspired a backlash, with bands such as My Chemical Romance and Panic! at the Disco rejecting the emo label because of the social stigma and controversy surrounding it.

Emo entered mainstream culture in the early 2000s with the success of Jimmy Eat World and Dashboard Confessional and many artists signed to major record labels. Bands such as My Chemical Romance, AFI, Fall Out Boy and the Red Jumpsuit Apparatus continued the genre's popularity during the rest of the decade. By the mid 2010s, emo's popularity waned, with some groups changing their sound and others disbanding. Meanwhile, however, a mainly underground emo revival emerged, with bands such as The World Is a Beautiful Place & I Am No Longer Afraid to Die and Modern Baseball drawing on the sound and aesthetic of 1990s emo.

Industrial music

Industrial music is a genre of music which draws on harsh, transgressive or provocative sounds and themes. AllMusic defines industrial music as the "most abrasive and aggressive fusion of rock and electronic music" that was "initially a blend of avant-garde electronics experiments (tape music, musique concrète, white noise, synthesizers, sequencers, etc.) and punk provocation". The term was coined in the mid-1970s with the founding of Industrial Records by members of Throbbing Gristle and Monte Cazazza. While the genre name originated with Throbbing Gristle's emergence in the United Kingdom, concentrations of artists and labels vital to the genre also emerged in America, namely in Chicago.

The first industrial artists experimented with noise and aesthetically controversial topics, musically and visually, such as fascism, sexual perversion, and the occult. Prominent industrial musicians include Throbbing Gristle, Monte Cazazza, SPK, Boyd Rice, Cabaret Voltaire, and Z'EV. On Throbbing Gristle's 1977 debut album The Second Annual Report, they coined the slogan "industrial music for industrial people". Chicago-based independent label Wax Trax Records featured a heavy roster of industrial music acts. The precursors that influenced the development of the genre included acts such as electronic music group Kraftwerk, experimental rock acts such as Pink Floyd and Frank Zappa, psychedelic rock artists such as Jimi Hendrix, and composers such as John Cage. Musicians also cite writers such as William S. Burroughs, and philosophers such as Friedrich Nietzsche as influences.

While the term was self-applied by a small coterie of groups and individuals associated with Industrial Records in the late 1970s, it was broadened to include artists influenced by the original movement or using an "industrial" aesthetic. Over time, the genre's influence spread into and blended with styles including ambient, synth music and rock such as Front 242, Front Line Assembly, and Sister Machine Gun from the Chicago-based Wax Trax Records. Electro-industrial music is a primary subgenre that developed in the 1980s. The two other most notable hybrid genres are industrial rock and industrial metal, which include bands such as Nine Inch Nails, Skinny Puppy, Ministry and KMFDM, both of which released platinum-selling albums in the 1990s.

Industrial rock

Industrial rock is an alternative rock genre that fuses industrial music and rock music.

James Taylor discography

The discography of James Taylor, an American singer-songwriter, consists of seventeen studio albums, six compilation albums, at least five live albums, one tribute album, nine video albums, one extended play, and forty singles.

Taylor signed his first recording contract with Apple Records, where he released his self-titled debut album in 1969. Prior to signing with Apple, Taylor released the single "Night Owl" with the group The Flying Machine. An album of their recordings, James Taylor and the Original Flying Machine was released in 1971 and reached #74 on the U. S. pop charts. Taylor released his second studio album Sweet Baby James on Warner Bros. Records in 1970. Its lead single "Fire and Rain" became a significant international hit and gained Taylor his first major exposure as an artist. In April 1971, Taylor released his third studio album Mud Slide Slim and the Blue Horizon, which became his second album to certify multi-platinum in sales by the Recording Industry Association of America and featured his first number one single "You've Got a Friend". In 1972 and 1973, he released his fourth studio album, One Man Dog and his fifth, Walking Man; both peaked within the Top 20 on the Billboard 200 albums list.After releasing more albums between 1974 and 1976, Taylor signed with Columbia Records and issued JT in 1977, which peaked in the Top 5 and sold over two million copies in the United States, certifying two times multi-platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America. In 1979 and 1981, Taylor respectively released Flag and Dad Loves His Work, which both certified platinum in the United States and produced Top 40 singles. Nearly four years later, Taylor's next studio album That's Why I'm Here was released and spawned a cover of Buddy Holly's "Everyday", which only became a minor hit in the United States. This was followed by Never Die Young three years later and then by New Moon Shine in 1991, both of which sold over one million copies. After recording a two-disc live album in 1993, Taylor returned in 1997 with a fourteenth studio album entitled Hourglass. The album not only peaked at #9 on the Billboard 200, but also received a Grammy Award for Best Pop Album the following year. His fifteenth studio release October Road was issued on August 13, 2002 on Sony BMG and certified platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America. After recording a limited release holiday album in 2004, Taylor released his first major-release holiday album, James Taylor at Christmas on October 10, 2006.One Man Band was released in 2007 and certified gold in the United States. This was followed by Taylor's first cover album in 2008 on the Hear Music label. There was also an extended play sequel entitled Other Covers in 2009. In 2015, Taylor released another live album, Georgia On My Mind: Live in Atlanta, 1981, and another studio album, Before This World.

Kenny Chesney discography

American country music singer and songwriter Kenny Chesney has released eighteen studio albums (including a Christmas album), two live albums, two greatest hits albums, and sixty-six singles (counting "The Tin Man", which was released twice). Ten of his albums consecutively reached number one on the US Billboard Top Country Albums chart. Fourteen of them have been certified gold or higher by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA). His highest-certified albums are No Shoes, No Shirt, No Problems (2002), When the Sun Goes Down (2004), and his first Greatest Hits compilation, each certified 4× Platinum for shipping four million copies in the US. Excluding his 1994 debut In My Wildest Dreams on Capricorn Records, all of his albums have been issued by BNA Records.

Of Chesney's sixty-three singles, all but four have charted in the Top 40 on the US Billboard Hot Country Songs and Country Airplay chart. Thirty of his singles have reached number one, beginning with "She's Got It All" in 1997. "The Good Stuff" (2002) and "There Goes My Life" (2003–04) are his longest-lasting number ones on the charts at seven weeks each. The former was also the number one Hot Country Song of 2002 according to the Billboard Year-End charts. All but two of his singles from the mid-1998 "That's Why I'm Here" onwards have charted on the Billboard Hot 100 as well, with twenty-six of his singles peaking inside the Top 40. "Out Last Night" (2009) is his highest peak on that chart at number 16.

Chesney also charted in the Top 10 in mid-2004 as a guest artist on the collaboration "Hey, Good Lookin'". He has also reached the lower regions of the Hot Country Songs with multiple album cuts, including two charity singles in 1998 and seven cuts from his Christmas album All I Want for Christmas Is a Real Good Tan (including the number 30 title track).

List of highest-certified music artists in the United States

This is the list of the highest-certified music artists in the United States based on certifications by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA). RIAA certifications are based on wholesale shipments rather than retail sales. Since 2016, the RIAA album certification has also included on-demand audio/video streams (1,500 streams = 1 album unit) and track sale equivalent (10 track sales = 1 album unit). Additionally, awards are only presented if and when a record company applies for certification. Therefore, the total certified units for a given artist may be incomplete or out of date.

The RIAA began its certifications in 1958, therefore, popular artists from earlier eras are generally not represented on this list. The Beatles are the act with highest-certified albums, while Drake is the act with the highest-certified digital singles. Michael Jackson is the only act in the Top 20 of both lists, placing 7th with albums and 17th with singles.

Nicki Minaj discography

Trinidadian-born American rapper and singer Nicki Minaj has released four studio albums, three compilation albums, three mixtapes, one-hundred and five singles (including seventy-one as a featured artist), and fifteen promotional singles.

After becoming involved with music and acting in high school in New York City, Minaj eventually picked up rapping. She was discovered by American rapper Lil Wayne and signed to Young Money Entertainment—a subdivision of Cash Money Records with distribution through Republic Records—in 2009. Minaj's first solo single, "Your Love", peaked at number 14 on the US Billboard Hot 100 and topped the Billboard Hot Rap Songs chart, an achievement that made Minaj the first female artist to top the chart as a solo artist since 2002. Her next three singles, "Check It Out", "Right Thru Me" and "Moment 4 Life", all peaked within the top 40 on the Billboard Hot 100. Minaj's debut studio album, Pink Friday, was released in November 2010, topping the US Billboard 200 and has since been certified triple platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA). The album's fifth single, "Super Bass", peaked at number three on the Billboard Hot 100 and reached the top ten in multiple other countries.

Minaj's second studio album, Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded (2012), debuted at number one on the Billboard 200. The album also entered the UK Albums Chart at number one, making Minaj the highest-charting female rapper in the chart's history. The album's lead single, "Starships", peaked at number five on the Billboard Hot 100 and reached the top 10 in multiple other countries. An expanded version of Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded subtitled, The Re-Up, was released in November 2012. Minaj's third studio album, The Pinkprint (2014), debuted at number two on the Billboard 200. The album's second single, "Anaconda", peaked at number two on the Billboard Hot 100 and is her highest charting single in the United States to date. Further singles, "Only" and "Truffle Butter", peaked within the top 20 on the Billboard Hot 100. In 2014, Minaj shared lead credit on the single "Bang Bang" with Jessie J and Ariana Grande. The song scored Minaj her first number one in the UK and peaked at number three in the US. Minaj's fourth studio album, Queen (2018), debuted at number two on the Billboard 200 and was certified platinum by the RIAA.

Since 2010, Minaj has accumulated 105 chart entries on the Billboard Hot 100 (including featured credits), giving her the most entries among women of all genres, while being fourth overall. Additionally, she has earned seventeen top ten singles in her career, also giving her the most among female rappers.

Parental Advisory

The Parental Advisory label (abbreviated PAL) is a warning label introduced by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) in 1985 and adopted by the British Phonographic Industry (BPI) in 2011. It is placed on audio recordings in recognition of profanity or inappropriate references, with the intention of alerting parents of material potentially unsuitable for children. The label was first affixed on physical 33 1/3 rpm records, compact discs and cassette tapes, and it has been included on digital listings offered by online music stores.

Recordings with the Parental Advisory label are often released alongside a censored version that reduces or eliminates the questionable material. Several retailers will distribute both versions of the product, occasionally with an increased price for the censored version, while some sellers offer the amended pressing as their main options and choose not to distribute the explicit counterpart. However, the label has been described as ineffective in limiting the inappropriate material to which young audiences are exposed.

Pop punk

Pop punk (also known as punk-pop or pop-punk) is a genre of rock music that combines influences of pop music with punk rock. Fast tempos, prominent electric guitars with distortion, and power chord changes are typically played under pop-influenced melodies and vocal styles with lighthearted lyrical themes including boredom, rebellion and teenage romance.

Early punk rock bands such as Ramones, Buzzcocks, the Dickies, Stiff Little Fingers, Generation X, the Adicts, and the Undertones all had strong sense of melody, taking some cues from pop rock and power pop. In the early–mid 1980s, punk rock bands such as the Descendents combined punk rock and hardcore punk with pop-influenced melodies and lyrical themes involving humor, girls, and teenage confusion. 1980s punk bands like Husker Du and Bad Religion influenced later pop punk music. Pop punk in the United States began to grow in popularity in the mid-to-late 1980s and early 1990s, especially in California where independent record labels (most notably Lookout! Records) adopted a do it yourself (DIY) approach to releasing music. Lookout! Records signed punk rock and pop punk bands like Green Day, Screeching Weasel, The Queers, Rancid, and The Mr. T Experience.

In the mid-1990s, punk rock broke into the mainstream with the success of Green Day, Rancid, and the Offspring. During this time, these bands sold millions of records and received extensive radio and television airplay. In the late 1990s, bands such as Lit, Eve 6, and Blink-182 became mainstream, with the latter considered a key group in its development, providing a massive influential appeal to countless bands for years to come. In 2011, The New York Times asserted, "no punk band of the 1990s has been more influential than Blink-182". In the early–mid 2000s, pop punk bands like Sum 41, Good Charlotte, New Found Glory, Simple Plan and Yellowcard also achieved mainstream success. In the 2000s, emo pop, a genre that combines emo with pop punk, became one of the most mainstream genres of rock with the mainstream success of emo pop bands like Fall Out Boy, Panic! at the Disco, My Chemical Romance, The All-American Rejects, and Paramore. Although pop punk's mainstream popularity declined in the 2010s, the genre still has had some success with bands like The Story So Far, Real Friends, The Wonder Years, Modern Baseball, Waterparks and Neck Deep.


Post-grunge is a rock music subgenre that emerged in the 1990s. Originally, the term was used almost pejoratively to label bands such as Bush, Candlebox and Collective Soul that emulated the original sound of grunge.

In the late 1990s, post-grunge morphed into a more clearly defined style that married the sound and aesthetic of grunge with a less intense and abrasive tone, rising to prominence that lasted in the 2000s. Bands such as Foo Fighters, Live, Bush, Puddle of Mudd, Staind, Nickelback, Default, Creed and Matchbox Twenty all achieved mainstream success.

RIAA certification

In the United States, the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) awards certification based on the number of albums and singles sold through retail and other ancillary markets. Other countries have similar awards (see music recording sales certification). Certification is not automatic; for an award to be made, the record label must request certification. The audit is conducted against net shipments after returns (most often an artist's royalty statement is used), which includes albums sold directly to retailers and one-stops, direct-to-consumer sales (music clubs and mail order) and other outlets.

Ska punk

Ska punk (also spelled ska-punk) is a fusion genre that mixes ska music and punk rock music together. Ska-core (sometimes spelled skacore) is a subgenre of ska punk that mixes ska with hardcore punk. Early ska punk mixed both 2 Tone and ska with hardcore punk. Ska punk tends to feature brass instruments, especially horns such as saxophones, trombones and trumpets, making the genre distinct from other forms of punk rock. It is closely tied to third wave ska which reached its zenith in the mid 1990s.

Before ska punk began, many ska bands and punk rock bands performed on the same bills together and performed to the same audiences. Some music groups from the late 1970s and early 1980s, such as the Clash, the Deadbeats, the Specials, the Beat, and Madness fused characteristics of punk rock and ska, but many of these were either punk bands playing an occasional ska-flavored song, or are usually considered 2-Tone ska bands who played faster songs with a punk attitude. During the late 1980s and early 1990s, ska-punk enjoyed its greatest success, heralded by bands such as Fishbone, Dance Hall Crashers, the Mighty Mighty Bosstones, Citizen Fish, Sublime, the Porkers, Mad Caddies, Culture Shock, Operation Ivy, Reel Big Fish, and Mr. Bungle.

Ska punk had significant mainstream success in the middle-to-late 1990s, with many bands topping pop and rock music charts. The best selling ska punk record of the era was No Doubt's Tragic Kingdom, which was certified diamond by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) in 1999 and was certified diamond by Music Canada in 1997. By the early 2000s, many of the bands in ska punk had broken up, and the genre lost mainstream appeal, though it continued to have underground popularity and featured a revival in the late 2010s with bands like The Interrupters returning to chart success, when their song "She's Kerosene" reached the top-5 on alternative and rock music charts in Canada and the U.S.

Songs of the Century

The "Songs of the Century" list is part of an education project by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), the National Endowment for the Arts, and Scholastic Inc. that aims to "promote a better understanding of America's musical and cultural heritage" in American schools. Hundreds of voters, who included elected officials, people from the music industry and from the media, teachers, and students, were asked in 2001 by the NEA (National Endowment for the Arts) and the RIAA (Recording Industry Association of America) to choose the top 365 songs (not necessarily by Americans) of the 20th century with historical significance in mind. RIAA selected the voters, and about 15% (200) of the 1,300 selected voters responded.

Toby Keith discography

American country music singer Toby Keith has released seventeen studio albums, two Christmas albums, four Greatest Hits packages and six compilation albums. He has charted 64 singles on the Billboard country charts, of which all but seven reached top 40 or higher. 20 of his singles have reached number one in the United States, and 21 more have reached the Top 10.

As of December 2013, Toby Keith has sold over 30 million albums in the US, which made him the fifth best-selling country artist in the US since 1991 when Nielsen SoundScan started tracking music sales.

WOW series

"WOW" is a series of annual compilation albums featuring contemporary Christian music dating from 1995. Comprising songs submitted by each partner label, the annual WOW Hits releases are usually double CD sets.


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