With a large crowd of fans gathering to celebrate Elvis Presley’s birthday, RCA Records and BMG Strategic Marketing Group, both part of BMG, with the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) announced at a ceremony on the grounds of Graceland Mansion this morning that Elvis Presley now stands as the best selling solo artist in U.S. history.
"Elvis Presley, quite simply, is an American icon," said RIAA Chairman and CEO Mitch Bainwol. “As such an important musical, historical and cultural figure, we’re thrilled to be able to make this announcement. We will continue to work closely with BMG to make sure that there will be more exciting news about the Elvis Presley catalog in the near future," concluded Bainwol.
“It is incredibly gratifying to have the certifications to back up what many have long held as an article of faith, that Elvis is the best selling solo artist in U.S. history,” said Joe DiMuro, Executive Vice President, BMG Strategic Marketing Group. “I’d like to thank the RIAA and our team who worked tirelessly to complete this audit and help secure Elvis’ historic achievement.”
In August 2002, it was announced that the Presley catalog finally passed the previously elusive 100 million sales mark. And now during this recent audit, 15 titles were either being certified for the first time or upgraded from previously audited sales levels, his overall album sales total climbed to 117.5 million.
In all, seven new Gold records were added to his overall tally including “Almost In Love,” “C’mon Everybody,” “Double Dynamite,” “Elvis Sings Hits From His Movies, Vol. 1,” “Frankie & Johnny,” “I Got Lucky” and his 1956 release “Love Me Tender.” Four of these titles (“Almost In Love,” “Double Dynamite,” “Elvis Sings Hits From His Movies, Vol. 1” and “Frankie & Johnny”) were also certified Platinum for sales in excess of one million copies. There were four additional Platinum awards for “Flaming Star,” “From Nashville To Memphis,” “Let’s Be Friends,” and “Separate Ways.”
Additionally, four new multi-Platinum certifications included “Burning Love and Hits From His Movies, Vol. 2” (two million), “The Top Ten Hits” (four million), “You’ll Never Walk Alone” (three million) and "Elvis' Christmas Album" which remains the best selling title in the Elvis Presley catalog with certified sales of more than nine million copies.
Also, contributing to his overall sales total was the recently released “2nd TO NONE,” a collection of Elvis Presley singles that follows up 2002’s “ELV1S: 30 #1 HITS,” which was certified both Gold and Platinum in November 2003 for sales of more than one million copies.
In all, Elvis Presley has received 97 Gold Records, 55 of which have been certified Platinum, and 25 have gone on to multi-Platinum status. His highest certified album is "Elvis' Christmas Album" which has been certified for the sale of more than seven million copies.
He has also received more Gold and Platinum singles than any artist in history with 51 Gold singles, 27 of which have been certified Platinum with seven being certified multi-Platinum.
Gelfand, Rennert & Feldman audit all certification requests for the RIAA’s Gold and Platinum award program.