Arista Record Profits...

NEW YORK--(ENTERTAINMENT WIRE)--Jan. 17, 1997-- Arista Records Attains Sales of Over $210 Million for First 6 Months of Fiscal 1996.

Arista Records continued its explosive streak for the calendar year of 1996, the company announced today.

In addition to 8.4% of the music market share for current albums according to SoundScan, Arista's sales reached almost $400 million, topping the calendar year 1995. The label also posted sales of over $210 million for the first 6 months of its fiscal year period, July 1, 1996 - Dec. 30, 1996.

Leading the way for the label as the year came to a close were no less than 3 entries in the Top 10 of the album chart: these included Whitney Houston's The Preacher's Wife Soundtrack (2X platinum in 5 weeks), Toni Braxton's Secrets (4X platinum), and Kenny G's The Moment (3X platinum). The year was highlighted by the spectacular success of the Waiting to Exhale Soundtrack (12 Grammy nominations) which went more than 7X platinum and featured performances by Whitney Houston, Brandy, Mary J. Blige, Toni Braxton, Aretha Franklin, Monica, and more. Also in the Top 200 are Alan Jackson's Everything I Love (2X platinum), Brooks & Dunn Borderline (2X platinum), Alan Jackson's Greatest Hits (3X platinum), Outkast (platinum), Az Yet (self-titled), No Mercy (self-titled), 112 (self-titled), and The Ultimate Dance Party (gold in 1997 in 8 weeks).

Billboard, R&R and The Hollywood Reporter all proclaimed Arista No. 1. Arista also came in No. 1 in no less than 13 categories in Billboard's year end issue, including Hot 100 Singles Label, Top Pop Marketing Label, Hot 100 Singles Promotion Label, Ho t Dance Music Label, Hot R&B Album Distributing Label, Top Contemporary Jazz Label, and Top Soundtrack Albums R&R (Radio & Records) deemed Arista the No. 1 label in 1996 based on airplay. Arista came in No. 1 in four radio airplay formats including C HR/Rhythmic, Urban, Urban AC and AC. Hollywood Reporter touted the SoundScan year-end market share figures naming Arista No. 1.

In the upcoming American Music Awards ceremony, a barometer of the most popular and top selling artists, Arista leads the label nominations with 10 total. For the 1997 Grammy Awards, Arista tallied an unsurpassed 30 Grammy acknowledgements, including Album of the Year ("Waiting to Exhale"), Song of the Year ("Exhale (Shoop Shoop)"), Best Female R&B Vocal Performance - with 4 out of 5 of the category's nominations - ("Exhale (Shoop Shoop)"), Whitney Houston; Not Gon' Cry, Mary J. Blige; Sittin' Up in My Room, Brandy; You're Makin' Me High, Toni Braxton, Best New Artist (The Tony Rich Project), Best Pop Album (Secrets, Toni Braxton), and Best Country Album (Borderline, Brooks & Dunn).

Whitney Houston received powerful reviews for both her performance on the soundtrack and in the film to The Preacher's Wife. Kenny G's combined sales of his new album, The Moment ,and his Christmas album, Miracles, made him the No. 1 artist in the industry for the month of December. Barry Manilow released Summer of '78, his homage to songs of the '70s, which is climbing up the album charts.

Deborah Cox saw her self-titled debut album certified gold during this period and has been nominated "Favorite New Artist for Soul/Rhythm & Blues" by the American Music Awards. No Mercy hit the Top 5 for 3 weeks with their gold single "Where Do You Go" : and released their debut self-titled album. Two Grateful Dead releases met with much acclaim: a 2 CD set "The Arista Years" and a live 3 CD set, "Dozin' at the Knick". LaFace releases continued to make significant strides at radio and with fans. Toni Braxton's album "Secrets" has spawned two hit singles, "You're Makin' Me High" and "Unbreak My Heart," both went to No. 1 with the latter holding at No. 1 for six weeks and counting. Toni will open up the American Music Awards show on 1/29. Tony Rich's debut album, "Words" attained platinum status. Outkast exploded beyond Platinum with "ATliens" and the single of the same name. Az Yet's single "Last Night" went Top 10 and helped send their self-titled album and single to gold. 112 reached gold status with their self-titled album and current single "Come See Me."

Arista Records is a division of the Bertelsmann Music Group Inc.



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