December 2003 - Platinum Europe Awards
January 8, 2004
The busy month of December saw six albums achieve Platinum Europe Award status for the first time and a further five awarded double or multi Platinum.
The socially conscious Black Eyed Peas have steadily earned their fan base with their inventive approach to hip-hop and are acclaimed for their consistently high standards and positive lyrics. The Platinum Award winning Elephunk, the group's third album, welcomes a new member into the BEP fold, Fergie, who injects lush girlie vocals on the tracks. As the title of the album suggests, the mix of live instruments, traditional hip-hop samples and groove beats conjures up a deep funk sound. Naturally a little celebrity help is never a bad thing and the hugely successful single release from the album, Where is the Love features Justin Timberlake.
Busted achieved platinum status on their self-titled debut album, which was released just over a year ago. They now seal their permanent fixture on the UK pop map by achieving a Platinum Europe Award for their second album release, A Present for Everyone. The album, written by the boys themselves, sees Busted unleash another collection of their punk-flavoured, guitar-driven pop tunes upon the nation and the schoolgirl population.
French pop rock artist Florent Pagny is back with a new album entitled Ailleurs Land. The first single release of this album, Ma Liberte de Penser proves that Florent always surprises and is never where we expect him to be. Having moved from Tahiti to Patagonia, where the album was recorded at the end of 2002, this Platinum Award proves that he is still as popular as ever in France where it went three times platinum.
Despite recent controversy surrounding his personal life, Michael Jackson is rightly known as the King of Pop. The Number Ones greatest hits collection is a reminder of the multitude of groundbreaking hits that Jackson's phenomenal talent as a solo artist has produced.
Pink's third album Try This calls in the help of Rancid mainman Tim Armstrong, adding a further edge to her rock-chick status. The album, only released in November, has already achieved a Platinum Award proving that Pink, as a trailblazing pop visionary, also has the voice to ensure that she is here to stay.
Westlife prove once again that anything they produce is a guaranteed success. Turnaround is packed with top quality, straightforward pop songs, along with the usual obligatory cover versions: Barry Manilow's Mandy and Mr Big's To Be With You.
Stripped gains another million sales and a further Platinum Award for Christina Aguilera. True to its title the album is seen as a seemingly effortless move away from her previous teen idol persona into weightier adult territory. Aguilera co-wrote most of the songs on the album, which also includes an Alicia Keys penned track, and features guests such as Lil'Kim, Dave Navarro and Linda Perry.
Evanescence's debut album Fallen achieves double Platinum status in Europe. The album is an emotional, ethereal work of dark rock and includes the extremely successful single Bring Me To Life as prominently featured in the movie Daredevil.
How do you reflect 15 years of music? In the case of R.E.M., exceptionally well as In Time: The Best of R.E.M. 1988-2003 goes double Platinum Europe in December. R.E.M. mark the point when post-punk turned into alternative rock with the release of their first single in 1981. By the late '80s, the group's fan base had grown large enough to guarantee strong sales. Compiled from R.E.M.'s post-1988 phase of their music career this definitive album features no less than 18 classic tracks.
Robbie Williams also achieves a double Platinum Europe Award with Live at Knebworth. Robbie performed to thousands of fans over the course of three evenings at Knebworth, breaking all previously held UK concert attendance records in the process. The album captures Robbie at his absolute best - live on stage.
Dido's first album No Angel was officially the biggest-ever selling debut by a female artist in Europe. Fast forward to 2003 and Dido's
eagerly awaited new album, Life For Rent, picks right up where its multi-platinum predecessor left off as it achieves over four million sales
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