News Charts / Awards 16/12/2004

Music Industry announces 5th IFPI Platinum Awards to honour Europe's top-selling artists in Brussels

BRUSSELS, Belgium (IFPI) - The 5th IFPI Platinum Europe Awards, honouring artists who have sold in excess of one million albums in Europe, will take place in Brussels on 12th July, 2005. Administered by IFPI, the organisation representing the recording industry worldwide, Platinum Europe celebrates the breadth and diversity of music in the European Union. Any artist who has sold one million albums in Europe is eligible to receive the Award.

The IFPI Platinum Europe Award has become a hallmark of success for recording artists in Europe. Just this week, superstar Robbie Williams was presented with a special triple Platinum Award for achieving sales of 3 million for his "Greatest Hits" album. Jean-Franois Cecillon, Chairman and CEO of EMI Music Continental Europe and chairman of IFPI's Platinum Committee, made the presentation to Robbie Williams. Cecillon said: "I couldn't be more pleased to see a sixth album from my friend Robbie going triple platinum. He is a European artist whose music has succeeded in winning audiences around the world, with his greatest hits making number one in no less than 19 countries.

"The Platinum Awards are a unique forum, demonstrating at the highest level the creativity, diversity and depth of European artists and music. Those artists help make Europe what it is to the rest of the world."

To date, a total of 736 albums have qualified for Platinum Awards since certifications began in 1996. Award winners come from a range of musical genres, from rock, pop and R&B to rap, numetal and classical. John Kennedy, who will succeed Jay Berman as IFPI Chairman and CEO on 1st January, 2005, said: "It is a remarkable achievement for an artist to sell over a million albums in a region with as many cultural and linguistic differences as Europe. Platinum Europe also reflects the huge investment made by record companies in developing local artists and producing great music. "

IFPI represents 1,450 major and independent record companies in 75 countries and has affiliated industry associations in 48 countries. For the first time, IFPI has opened up its Platinum Europe Award certifications to non-members so any record company can apply on behalf of their millionselling artists. Award-winning artists from around Europe will attend the 2005 Awards ceremony at Hotel Le Plaza in Brussels on 12th July. Several of the artists will perform live in front of a specially invited audience of European Commissioners, Members of the European Parliament and senior record company executives. The Platinum Europe Awards organising committee includes Maarten Steinkamp (Sony/BMG), John Reid (Warner Music) Max Hole (Universal Music), producer Lisa Anderson and IFPI senior executives.

The previous event which took place in Brussels in July 2002 was compered by the innovative French musician Jean Michel Jarre. Former European Commission Senior Vice President, Neil Kinnock, presented special Awards to Italian tenor Luciano Pavarotti and to Irish musician and campaigner, Sir Bob Geldof.
Among the artists present to receive Platinum Europe Awards were the UK pop group Blue, German rock star Westernhagen, French jazz singer Henri Salvador and Belgian singer Axelle Red.

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