Martin’s rise elevates other Latin crooners

Spanish album certs are record for RIAA

By topping the 5-million-unit mark, Ricky Martin’s self-titled English-language bow becomes the industry’s bestselling album by a Latin artist, according to the July certifications released by the Recording Industry Assn. of America.

The success of Martin’s C2/Columbia album (which includes the bestselling singles hit “Livin’ la Vida Loca”) helped pave the way for five other Latin performers who received gold and platinum awards for their Spanish-lingo CDs. It’s the RIAA’s largest grouping of Latin disc certs ever.

Alejandro Fernandez’s Sony Discos album “Me Estoy Enamorando” and Elvis Crespo’s Sony Tropical “Suavemente” were certified platinum less than three months after they bowed.

Conjuncto Primavera’s recently released Fonovisa disc “Necesito Decirte” joined labelmates Los Tigres Del Norte’s “Herencia de Familia” and Marco Antonio Solis “Trozos de Mi Alma” in reaching gold status.

“Ricky Martin has certainly sparked interest and influence, but it’s refreshing to see more and more Latin artists with incredible sales potential making their mark,” said RIAA prexy/CEO Hilary Rosen.

The trade org, which tracks shipments of albums to retail outlets, but not yet sold through to consumers, certified 64 gold (500,000 units), 34 platinum (1 million units) and 30 multiplatinum albums during the month.

Elvis in the building

The unusually high number of discs earning certifications was partly due to multiple albums by Elvis Presley earning updated tallies by the trade org.

The launch of a tour and a reunion with the E Street Band helped four Bruce Springsteen albums nab additional multiplatinum sales levels.

The singer’s 1985 box set, “Bruce Springsteen & the E Street Band Live/1975-85,” jumped to 13 million units.

The Boss’ “Greatest Hits” topped 4 million units; “The Wild, the Innocent & the E Street Shuffle” topped 2 million; and “Darkness on the Edge of Town” topped 3 million.

RCA Records’ Presley garnered 40 album and single certs in July, strengthening his lead as the artist with the most gold and platinum albums as well as the most gold, platinum and multiplatinum singles.

Of his 12 multiplatinum albums, “Elvis’ Golden Records, Vol. I,” and “Elvis’ Christmas Album” both reached 6 million.

Twain meets 12

Shania Twain’s current Mercury Nashville album, “Come on Over” moved up a rung to 12 million, making it the third bestselling album ever released by a female solo artist.

It trails Alanis Morissette’s Maverick disc “Jagged Little Pill” (16 million) and Whitney Houston’s 1985 Arista debut, now certified at 13 million.

LaFace/Arista trio TLC’s “CrazySexyCool” hit the 11 million mark, lengthening its lead as the top-selling hip-hop album of all time.

Cher’s current album, “Believe,” hit the 3 million level, matching the sales pace of her 1989 album, “Hearts of Stone,” to become the entertainer’s all-time top album.

“Millennium,” the Jive Records bow from teen sensations the Backstreet Boys advanced to 6 million, while labelmate Britney Spears’ “… Baby One More Time” hit 5 million.

Motown’s 98 Degrees’ “98 Degrees & Rising” ascended to double-platinum.

Sarah McLachlan nabbed two certs during the month: Her Arista disc “Surfacing” ascended to 7 million units, while her current album, “Mirrorball,” topped 1 million.

Former Spice Girl Geri Halliwell, aka Ginger Spice, earned her first gold album as a solo act for her Capitol disc “Schizophonic,” while former New Kid on the Block Jordan Knight earned his first gold album as a solo artist with his self-titled Interscope bow.

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