Hill, Jay-Z go quadruple platinum

With her “# 1′s” disc topping the 3 million-unit plateau, Mariah Carey is the first female artist to have eight consecutive albums reach that threshold as the Recording Industry Assn. of America released the February gold and platinum certifications Monday.

The trade org also certified a number of discs that had their sales tallies boosted with Grammy Award nominations and wins.

The quick rise of Carey’s Columbia Records disc surprised some industry insiders considering it was a best-of set and released during last year’s highly competitive holiday period — on so-called “Super Tuesday” when an unusually large number of new, high-profile releases hit store shelves.

Five albums that nabbed Grammys on Feb. 24, including Lauryn Hill’s Ruffhouse/Columbia Records disc “The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill,” advanced in status during the survey period.

The RIAA certified 28 gold (500,000 units), 11 platinum (1 million units) and 23 multiplatinum albums during February.

Hill’s disc, which won album of the year among its five Grammys, and Jay-Z’s Def Jam Records “Hard Knock Life … Vol. II,” which won a Grammy for best rap album, were both certified quadruple platinum by the trade org.

Other Grammy winners earning certifications included Will Smith’s Columbia Records offering, “Big Willie Style,” which boasts single “Gettin’ Jiggy Wit It” (which nabbed the best rap solo perf Grammy) and topped the 5 million mark.

It joined the Warner-Sunset/Reprise “City of Angels” soundtrack, which contains Alanis Morissette’s double Grammy-winning single, in topping the 5 million-unit threshold.

Several discs topped the 10 million-unit sales plateau during the certification period, which tracked records shipped to retailers but not yet sold through to consumers.

The eponymous debut from Jive Records’ teen ensemble the Backstreet Boys, eclipsed the 10 million mark in just 18 months after its release.

By contrast, Van Halen’s Warner Bros. disc “1984″ topped the 10 million level during the month, but took 15 years to do so. It’s the second Van Halen disc to top that level. The band’s 1978 self-titled debut hit the mark in 1997.

Also at 10 million is Green Day’s Reprise disc “Dookie,” and by doing so tied Pearl Jam’s Epic album “Ten” as the industry’s top-selling alternative rock album of the 1990′s.

No Doubt’s “Tragic Kingdom” becomes the top seller for the Trauma Records imprint at 10 million units; while Journey’s “Greatest Hits” reaches the mark and becomes the band’s all-time top seller. It eclipsed “Escape,” which holds at 9 million units.

The Beatles increased to 39 their collection of gold awards with the certification of “Multiselection,” a 16-disc boxed set.

The Beatles have more gold awards than any group. The Rolling Stones have 37 gold albums; while Kiss has 23, Rush owns 22 and Aerosmith has 21.

With its certification at 4 million units, the Beatles’ “Hey Jude” becomes one of RIAA’s top-certified singles of all time. The track joins Whitney Houston’s “I Will Always Love You,” USA for Africa’s “We Are the World,” Tag Team’s “Whoomp! (There It Is)” and Los Del Rio’s “Macarena” which are also at the 4 million level.

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