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Backstreets, Britney Get Diamonds

Both the Backstreet Boys and Britney Spears have landed Diamond Awards, meaning their albums have been certified 10-times platinum.

Backstreet Boys' Millennium and Spears' … Baby One More Time were both given the diamond nod on Dec. 9, as both have seen impressive sales boosts as the holiday season approaches. The two albums are, at this point, a sure lock at being the best-selling albums in the U.S. in 1999, with Millennium coming out on top. The album marks the second Diamond for Backstreet Boys — their self-titled debut album has also crossed the 10-million mark.

In terms of metallurgy, a platinum record represents one million copies sold, while a gold record is equal to half of that. The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), which doles out gold and platinum records, bases its certifications on units shipped to retail outlets, rather than those actually purchased by consumers. At press time, more than 8.2 million copies of Millennium had actually been purchased, while … Baby One More Time had actually sold just under 7.3 million copies.

Other certifications handed out this month include Metallica's 1991 self-titled album, which was declared 12-times platinum, as well as the band's 1988 And Justice for All, which hits the seven-times platinum mark. Life After Death, the first posthumous release from the Notorious B.I.G., released in 1997, went nine-times platinum, and TLC's Fan Mail, which came out earlier this year, hit the five million mark. LFO's self-titled album, also released this year, crossed the platinum threshold.

Three albums have been certified gold to date in December: Twista's 1997 Adrenaline Rush, and two albums released earlier this year, Ol' Dirty Bastard's N***a Please and the Light It Up

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