January 26, 2006 Garth Brooks' Double Live album, released in 1998, becomes the first live album certified Double Diamond by the RIAA for sales of over 20 million in America.
January 9, 2006 The Phantom of the Opera becomes the longest-running Broadway show when it marks its 7,486th performance at the Majestic theater, breaking the record held by Cats, another Andrew Lloyd Webber musical.
January 24, 2005 The second Britney Spears album, Oops!... I Did It Again, is certified Diamond for sales of over 10 million in America, making her the only female artist to reach this milestone with her first two albums.
March 23, 2004 With Confessions, Usher becomes the first R&B artist to have an album sell 1.1 million copies in its first week.
February 8, 2004 Justin Timberlake wins the Grammy Award for Best Male Pop Vocal Performance for "Cry Me A River" (inspired by his breakup with Britney Spears) and takes Best Pop Vocal Album for Justified. The prizes are the first Grammy wins for the former *NSYNC singer.
December 16, 2003 Shania Twain becomes the first woman with three Diamond albums when the RIAA certifies her fourth album, Up!, with 10 million in sales. Her second and third albums, The Woman in Me (1995) and Come On Over (1997) also went Diamond.
June 28, 2003 After Ruben Studdard beats Clay Aiken to win Season 2 of American Idol, their first singles debut at the top of the Hot 100. Aiken takes the top spot, becoming the first new artist to go straight to #1 on the chart.More
April 23, 2002 Kenny Chesney releases his sixth studio album, No Shoes, No Shirt, No Problems. Featuring five Top 10 country singles, including the hit title track, it's his first album to top both the Country and Billboard 200 charts.More
June 2, 2001 A cover of the chart-topping 1974 Labelle hit "Lady Marmalade" by Christina Aguilera, Missy Elliott, Pink, Mya and Lil' Kim takes the song back to the top spot, making Lil' Kim the first female rapper to appear on a Hot 100 #1 hit.
June 17, 2000 Eighteen months after Billboard starts factoring airplay into their Hot 100 chart, "Try Again" by Aaliyah becomes the first song to hit the top spot based on airplay alone, as the song is not available for purchase as a single.
January 17, 2000 Garth Brooks is named the 1990s' Artist of the Decade at the American Music Awards, having sold more than 95 million albums, more than any other American recording artist.
November 9, 1999 The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) announces the biggest-selling artists of the century in the United States: The Beatles have sold the most albums (106 million), Garth Brooks is the best-selling male solo act, and Barbra Streisand the best-selling female. Elton John's 1997 "Candle In The Wind" is the best-selling single of the century, and the best-selling album is the Eagles' Greatest Hits 1971-1975.
March 13, 1999 Using the pitch correction software Auto-Tune to distort her vocals, Cher goes to #1 in America with "Believe," opening the floodgates for many more Auto-Tuned hits.More
September 13, 1997 Elton John's rewritten version of "Candle In The Wind" that he played at Princess Diana's funeral a week earlier is released as a single. It sells a record 600,000 copies the first day in Britain alone, where it becomes the best selling single of all time. Worldwide, it sells over 30 million copies, second only to "White Christmas."More
May 24, 1997 The Spice Girls album Spice hits #1 in the US, making them the first British act to reach #1 in the US with their debut album.
February 26, 1997 At 14, LeAnn Rimes becomes the youngest person to win a Grammy Award when she takes the trophies for Best New Artist and Best Female Country Vocal Performance for her debut single, "Blue."
June 8, 1996 Jars of Clay hit #37 with "Flood" - the first Top 40 hit for a Contemporary Christian band in the Alternative Rock era. Over the next few years, a steady stream of Christian Rock bands cross over, led by Creed.
December 11, 1995 Atlantic Records posts "Caught A Lite Sneeze," the first single from Tori Amos' album Boys For Pele, on their website in RealAudio format, marking the first time a full track by a major artist has been made available for download before its official release.
October 17, 1995 Rhino releases all 58 episodes of the The Monkees in a deluxe VHS box set. It's a big box: 21 tapes, making it the largest video release of all time.More
June 1, 1993 10,000 Maniacs become the first act to appear twice on MTV Unplugged. The network has a policy against return engagements, but when they learn that Natalie Merchant will be leaving the band, they book them.More
October 24, 1992 "End Of The Road" by Boyz II Men ties Elvis Presley's "Don't Be Cruel"/"Hound Dog" as the longest-running #1 single when it reaches its 11th week at the top. It spends two more weeks at #1, but loses the record three months later when Whitney Houston's "I Will Always Love You" stays for 14 weeks.More
October 12, 1991 Mariah Carey hits #1 in America with "Emotions," the title track to her second album. Her first four singles also hit the top spot, making Carey the first artist to hit #1 with their first five singles (overtaking The Jackson 5).
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