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Bolton, R.E.M. multiplatinum

Michael Bolton’s collection of classic songs, “Timeless,” has been certified for sales of 3 million copies since its September release, according to the December sales roundup issued Wednesday by the Recording Industry Assn. of America.

Bolton’s “Timeless” hit the multiplatinum mark early in December, then surged an additional million copies later in the month, according to the RIAA. Joining the Columbia recording star among new artists in the multiplatinum arena were Arista’s Brooks & Dunn, whose “Brand New Man” hit the 2 million mark, and R.E.M. , whose “Automatic for the People” is the group’s second multiplatinum certification. Eric Clapton’s “Unplugged” also scored another mark, hitting the 3 million mark.

As usual, catalog certifications dominated the multiplatinum marks. Boston’s debut album and sophomore effort were certified for sales of 11 million and 6 million, respectively. Epic also checked off another multiplatinum milestone for Meat Loaf, whose “Bat Out of Hell” has now moved 7 million units, per RIAA.

Journey’s “Greatest Hits” album was notched for 4 million, while Metallica’s self-titled Elektra album hit 6 million units.

The soundtrack to “Boomerang” has now rung up sales of 2 million Arista units , while Garth Brooks’ “Ropin’ the Wind” is at 9 million Liberty units. Crosby, Stills Nash & Young’s “Four Way Street” sold 4 million units, while “So Far” is at 6 million.

Rounding out the multiplatinum marks was Led Zeppelin, now certified for 11 million copies of “Led Zeppelin IV” on Swan Song.

Several artists hit the platinum mark in December for the first time. Among the novices at ringing up sales of 1 million units were Roxy Music, “Avalon” on Warner Bros.; John Anderson, “Seminole Wind” on BNA Entertainment; Alice in Chains’ “Dirt” on Columbia; House of Pain’s self-titled album on Tommy Boy; and Jon Secada’s self-titled album on SBK Records.

Whitney Houston’s “I Will Always Love You,” the first single from her album “The Bodyguard,” was certified for sales of 3 million units. Shai’s “If I Ever Fall In Love” was certified for sales of 1 million units, the first platinum single for Gasoline Alley/MCA.

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