Career High...

JUST WHITNEY... Wins Career-High 1st Week Sales and Top 10 Album Chart Debut, as Arista Nets 2 of Year's Top 10 Soundscan Albums !!

NEW YORK--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Dec. 19, 2002-- Phenomenal Sales and Airplay Performances By P!nk, Avril Lavigne, Santana, Kenny G, OutKast, Usher, Clipse, Toni Braxton, TLC, and Barry Manilow

Arista climaxes an amazing year with the career-high album sales debut of Whitney Houston's JUST WHITNEY... and two of Soundscan's top 10 best-selling albums of the year, Avril Lavigne's nearly 5x-platinum debut LET GO (at #3) and P!nk's 4x-platinum second album MISSUNDAZTOOD (at #6), it was announced today by Antonio "L.A." Reid, President and CEO, Arista Records.

The news caps an unforgettable year of record-setting performances at retail, radio, on the road, and in the media by the Arista family of artists including Santana (whose SHAMAN album is double-platinum with worldwide sales near 5 million); Kenny G (back-to-back gold for WISHES and PARADISE); Clipse (their gold-selling debut, LORD WILLIN', produced by the Neptunes); Usher (4x-platinum album sales for 8701); OutKast (a double-Grammy win followed by a platinum plaque for BIG BOI

DRE PRESENT... OutKast); and the RIAA platinum collection, ULTIMATE MANILOW. Just released and fast on their way to RIAA platinum eligibility in the days and weeks ahead are Whitney Houston's JUST WHITNEY..., TLC's 3D and Toni Braxton's MORE THAN A WOMAN.

In addition to Soundscan, Billboard Monitor year-end results indicate Arista as the only label with two Top 40 Artists in the top 5 (P!nk at #1 and Avril at #5), and the only label with four Top 40 Songs in the top 10, "Complicated" by Avril at #2, Get the Party Started" and "Don't Let Me Get Me" both by P!nk at #6 and #7 respectively, and Usher's "U Got It Bad" at #9. Arista also ranks as the #2 Top 40 Label (with 17 titles) and #2 Top Rhythm Label (with 23 titles).

"Arista's extraordinary success in 2002 is credited to the most dedicated roster of artists in the entire industry, and a label staff whose teamwork and effort is second to none," said Mr. Reid. "We expanded our focus as never before, seeking opportunities past the conventional boundaries of pop, rock, R&B, hip-hop and instrumental music. Bridging gaps and generations of listeners and consumers has challenged every one of us this past year and we've met that challenge."

JUST WHITNEY... is accompanied by the most extensive marketing and promotion campaign of Whitney Houston's career. The album won her highest sales debut ever, scanning over 205, 000 units this week and entering the Billboard 200 album chart at #9 and Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart at #3. Its December 10th in-store date followed a one-hour interview on ABC's "Primetime Live" with Diane Sawyer on December 4th, the highest-rated show of the evening. There was also a live street-date performance broadcast on "Good Morning America" (featuring the current hit single, "One Of Those Days"), from New York's Lincoln Center. JUST WHITNEY..., which shipped gold in France, Italy, Switzerland, and Brazil and has sold over a million units internationally, is the much-anticipated follow-up to her worldwide 10 million-selling album of 1998, My Love Is Your Love.

With worldwide sales of more than 8 million units and gold, platinum and multi-platinum certifications in more than 20 territories, MISSUNDAZTOOD has surpassed the double-platinum success of P!nk's debut, Can't Take Me Home, released in April 2000. At 56 consecutive weeks, MISSUNDAZTOOD is not only the longest-running title inside the top 40 on the Billboard 200 album chart, but the album has never been outside the top 40 in all that time. This past spring, P!nk also had the distinction of being the only solo female artist with two songs inside the top 50 on the Hot 100, "Get the Party Started" and "Don't Let Me Get Me." A music channel favorite, P!nk's videos with director Dave Meyers (also including "Just Like a Pill") have all been hits at VH1 and MTV. P!nk won MTV VMAs in 2001 (when she shared in the Video Of The Year and Best Video From A Film awards for "Lady Marmalade" from Moulin Rouge) and 2002 (when "Get the Party Started" won Best Female Video and Best Dance Video).

Named Best New Artist at the 2002 MTV VMAs and Best New Artist International at the first annual MTV VMA Latin America awards, Avril Lavigne has won hearts around the world. As the best selling new artist of 2002, Avril has sold over 8 million copies of LET GO, earning gold, platinum and multi-platinum certifications in more than 25 territories, including a whopping 6x-platinum in her native Canada. Consecutive hits with "Complicated," "Sk8er Boi" and "I'm With You" have kept her album inside the top 10 on the album chart for 26 of its 28 weeks, underscored by 100,000-plus sales for 22 of those 28 weeks. Celebrated everywhere from the covers of Rolling Stone and Entertainment Weekly to MTV's "Live From the Rock and Roll Hall Of Fame" concert series, 18 year-old Avril starts her first major headlining tour next year.

Arista core artist Kenny G, the biggest-selling instrumental musician of the modern era - and one of the top 10 best-selling artists of the entire Soundscan era (which began in 1991), continues his streak with WISHES, his long-awaited third holiday album. It follows 1999's Faith - A Holiday Album (which added a third layer of RIAA platinum last month) and 1994's Miracles - The Holiday Album - the biggest-selling seasonal album in history with worldwide sales of 13 million units (8-times platinum in the U.S.) and counting. WISHES and PARADISE are both inside this week's top 5 - as well as top 5 for the entire year-to-date - on both the Contemporary Jazz and Current Jazz charts. Meanwhile, "Auld Lang Syne (Freedom Mix)" (the single from WISHES) hangs in at #5 on the Hot 100.

Since its October 22nd release date and #1 album chart debut, SHAMAN has reinforced the worldwide appeal of Carlos Santana with gold and platinum awards registered in more than 20 territories accounting for nearly 2.5 million copies sold outside the U.S. The album not only gave Carlos Santana his highest career debut but is also on its way to matching - or surpassing - the success of 1999's worldwide 25 million-selling Supernatural, which generated an all-time record-breaking nine Grammy awards. SHAMAN is powered by its first single pick, "The Game Of Love," featuring multi-platinum singer Michelle Branch, a top 10 airplay hit in over 25 countries, and #1 in 12 countries. The live version of the song was recently tapped by the NBA to herald its "Love It Live" tv promotion campaign. SHAMAN also features collaborations with Dido, Citizen Cope, Placido Domingo, Macy Gray, Chad Kroeger, Alejandro Lerner, Musiq, Ozomatli, P.O.D., and Seal.

When LORD WILLIN' hit the streets in August with #1 spots on the Billboard Top R&B/Hip-Hop and Top Rap Albums charts, it had the benefit of back-to-back 12-inch singles - "Grindin'" and "When the Last Time" - both inside the top 10 on Billboard's Hot R&B/Hip-Hop, Hot Rap, and Hot Extended Singles charts. Clipse, the duo of brothers Malice (Gene Thornton) and Pusha T (Terence Thornton) were discovered and produced by the Neptunes and are the inaugural act on the Virginia Beach hitmakers' new Star Trak/Arista label. They claim their place as "Best New Hip-Hop Group" of 2002.

TLC's legions of loyal fans insured that the new album, 3D, enjoyed a top 10 debut on the pop and R&B charts, sending it past 500,000 scans within days of its November 12th in-store date. 3D is the follow-up to 1999's 6x-platinum Fanmail, which spent 5 weeks at #1. The quintessential new TLC track, "Girl Talk," and a marathon of tv appearances by surviving TLC members Chilli and T-Boz are keeping the heat up on this campaign.

Toni Braxton stepped out from her roles as mother, wife, recording superstar, and pop diva to personally lend her presence to a broad-based marketing and promotion campaign in support of her fifth album, MORE THAN A WOMAN. It follows two best-sellers by the 6-time Grammy winner: In 2000, she released the worldwide 4 million-selling album The Heat (featuring the RIAA gold single "He Wasn't Man Enough," which won two American Music Awards and the Grammy for Best Female R&B Vocal); and last year marked the release of her first Christmas album, Snowflakes.

OutKast notched up their fifth consecutive RIAA platinum album when BIG BOI & DRE PRESENT...OutKast (released December 2001) was certified for 1 million sales on March 6th. A week earlier, the Atlanta-based group were double Grammy winners for Best Rap Album (their triple-platinum Stankonia) and Best Rap Performance by a Duo or Group ("Ms. Jackson"). The BB&DP... album also included the crossover hit" The Whole World," which broke the top 10 on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Singles & Tracks chart, and top 20 on the Hot 100.

Another familiar Atlanta face, Usher also took a Grammy at the February ceremonies when "U Remind Me" won for Best Male R&B Vocal Performance. The #1 pop and #1 R&B crossover smash from his fourth album, 8701 (released August 2001) "U Remind Me" was followed by "U Got It Bad," also #1 pop and #1 R&B. A third crossover hit, "U Don't Have To Call," eventually powered 8701 from triple to quadruple platinum in July.

Finally, ULTIMATE MANILOW, the most comprehensive single-CD collection by the charter founding member of the Arista roster, was also the fastest-selling album in Barry Manilow's storied career. His highest charting debut ever (at #1 on Soundscan's Internet Albums chart and #3 on the Billboard 200 Album chart), it went on to spend 10 weeks inside the top 40 and hit RIAA platinum in less than 12 weeks. Its 20 tracks include every Manilow hit to reach #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 and Adult Contemporary charts, from 1974's "Mandy" to 1981's "Somewhere Down the Road," plus nine more signature songs.



Arista Records, New York

Laura Swanson, 212/830-2317


SOURCE: Arista Records

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