HITS Daily Double
"Elvis Presley, quite simply, is an American icon."
——Mitch Bainwol, RIAA Chairman/CEO


RCA, BMG Marketing, RIAA Declare Presley the Best-Selling Solo Artist in U.S. History
Elvis is King. But you already knew that.

RCA Records, BMG Strategic Marketing Group and the good old RIAA confirmed the fact yesterday with a ceremony on the grounds of Graceland marking what would have been Elvis Presley’s 69th birthday, declaring him the "best-selling solo artist in U.S. history."

And you thought he only held the record for most consumed fried peanut-butter-and-banana sandwiches at a single sitting.

"Elvis Presley, quite simply, is an American icon," said RIAA Chairman/CEO Mitch Bainwol taking a break from busting a bunch of guys at a flea market in suburban Memphis selling bootlegged black velvet paintings of the King. "As such an important musical, historical and cultural figure, we're thrilled to be able to make this announcement. Sorry to be in a rush, but I must get back to acquiring subpoenas to send to KaZaa users."

"It is incredibly gratifying to have the certifications to back up what many have long held as an article of faith, that Elvis is the best selling solo artist in U.S. history," said BMG Strategic Marketing Group Exec. VP Joe DiMuro. "I'd like to thank the RIAA and our team who worked tirelessly to complete this audit and help secure Elvis' historic achievement and continue to allow us to sell Elvis compilations until our children's children's college tuition is paid off."

The Presley catalog passed the elusive 100 million sales mark in August 2002, with overall album sales now at 117.5 million.

Contributing to his overall total was the recently released 2nd To None, a collection of singles that follows up 2002's Elvis: 30 #1 Hits, which was certified both gold and platinum in Nov. 2003 for sales of more than one million copies.

In all, Presley has received 97 Gold Records, 55 of which have been certified platinum, and 25 have gone on to multi-platinum status. His highest certified album is Elvis' Christmas Album, which has been certified for sales of more than 9 million copies.

He has also received more gold and platinum singles than any artist in history with 51 gold singles, 27 of which have been certified platinum with seven being certified multi-platinum.