HOLLYWOOD—If you want to make it in the music industry, you need to know a few things in order to be successful. Think of a record company as a bank that lends money to people or small businesses. They make most of their decisions about whom they will work with and what the terms will be in much the same way that a bank will determine whom they will loan money to and what the terms of the loan will be.
Record companies need to know how much value you bring to the deal. How much risk do you bring? How much potential value and risk might bring to them in the future after they invest in you. Record companies want to know about your music, your talent and your band. They don’t want to hear you sounding like this artist or that artist. Getting your name out there. That doesn’t mean changing your name every few years. One year you are Kathy Jean, than the next year, you are Kathy Kutie. You need to invest time into building your career. Most importantly, it takes money to build a music career.
Sadly, many musicians miss opportunities because they can’t afford to take advantage of them. In addition to a decent income, you also need the flexibility of being able to take time away from that income source to go into the studio, go on tour, etc. There’s an old expression, “It’s not what you know, it’s who you know.” In the music industry, “It’s not who you know, it’s who knows you.”
Which brings me to the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) , which every month they release a lengthy list of albums and singles that have earned new certifications, meaning that those pieces of music have “gone” gold, platinum or perhaps even multi-platinum or diamond, though such success doesn’t happen very often. Yes, diamond is very impressive, it means that your work has shifted at least 10 million copies between pure sales and streaming. In other words, the artist is truly a legend.
Meghan Trainor’s “All About That Bass,” two months ago has been certified diamond by the RIAA for shifting 10 million units in the U.S. alone. Diamond is the highest, however, if it shifts 20 million or above it goes multi-diamond. Yes, Meghan Trainor is a household name. Her upbeat tune which is all about self-acceptance and loving the body you have now joins a very small group of singles that have been certified diamond, including Justin Bieber’s “Baby,” Lady Gaga’s “Bad Romance,” and “Poker Face,” Mark Ronson and Bruno Mars “Uptown Funk” and several others.
After the incredible success of “Bass,” people couldn’t get enough of Meghan Trainor, and her debut album (which featured the song) debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200, and several other singles wound up performing well after her first cut started to drift down the ranking. “Bass” earned her a pair of Grammy nominations, for both Record and Song of the Year, and though she didn’t win either, she went on to collect the Best New Artist trophy at the following ceremony. Trainor is proving she’s a global phenomenon.
Let’s look at the some of the artists that have moved at least 10 million copies. Michael Jackson, whose album “Bad” has just earned its diamond certification after just under 30 years. The late, great icons “Thriller,” was certified 33-times platinum, pushing the bar even higher when it comes to the bestselling and most popular album of all time. Only a few names are added to this exclusive list, as albums released these days don’t sell like they used to, and streaming hasn’t quite caught up enough to completely fill the gap where millions of sales used to.
Adele is the youngest member of this group, as both her albums “21” and “25” have been certified diamond in the U.S. As streaming continues to explode year after year, there will one day be a diamond album based primarily on billions of streams across platforms. We have Garth Brooks, The Beatles, Led Zeppelin, Eaagles, N’Sync, 2 Pac, Shania Twain, Backstreet Boys, Billy Joel, Britney Spears, Bruce Springsteen, Celine Dion, Def Leppard, Dixie Chicks, Eminem, Madonna, Mariah Carey, Pink Floyd, Whitney Houston and Van Halen are some of them that have truly made it in the recording industry.
Rose’s Scoop: Kendall Jenner almost didn’t make it to the 2018 Vanity Fair Oscar Party. The 22-year-old supermodel had a bad reaction to VitaSquad, according to published reports. According to Shape magazine, celebrities including Rihanna, Madonna and Simon Cowell are just a few who have been rolling up their sleeves.