Via tennessean.com...A handful of artists started off 2011 with shiny new gold or platinum sales plaques, and Nashville connections figure prominently on the list.
Among the acts grabbing those sales certifications in early 2011, highlighted by the Recording Industry Association of America Friday: double-platinum sellers Carrie Underwood (for her Play On album) and Kings of Leon (Only By The Night); platinum sellers Jason Aldean (My Kinda Party) and Sugarland (The Incredible Machine); and Gold sellers Tim McGraw (Number One Hits) and Keith Urban (Get Closer). New Nashvillians and multiple Grammy nominees the Black Keys also earned a gold certification for their Brothers album.
Platinum plaques come for a million albums shipped, gold plaques for 500,000.
A cache of country artists also earned big digital single sales. Underwood, Taylor Swift, Lady Antebellum and Miranda Lambert earned platinum digital certification for their tracks "Undo It," "Mine," "American Honey" and "The House That Built Me," respectively. Kenny Chesney and Aldean got gold for "Somewhere with You" and "My Kinda Party."
The artist who so far has the early-2011 digital crown — pop voice Katy Perry, with certifications touting eight million plus in digital downloads — also has Nashville career roots: She tried to launch a contemporary Christian music career in Music City early on.