The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) has recognized Katy Perry—the 29-year-old singer who has kissed a girl, set off some multi-platinum fireworks, and shared part of herself on movie screens in 3D—as the most awarded digital act in the history of Gold and Platinum awards. Not only is Perry the first artist to surpass 70 million Digital Single certifications (that is, downloads and on-demand streams), but her cumulative count of 72 million certifications from 18 Katy Perry songs—like recent hits “Dark Horse” and “Birthday”—put her 20 million ahead of the next most-awarded artist, Rihanna.
“Katy Perry is a force to be reckoned with in music,” RIAA Chairman and CEO Cary Sherman said in a statement. “She embodies all that makes a true global superstar: the musical talent, the extraordinary drive and genuine charisma, and an intrinsic connection with her fans.”
Perry’s lifetime haul includes 18 gold, 16 platinum, and 56 multi-platinum Digital Single Awards, in addition to her double-multi-platinum album Teenage Dream and platinum album One of the Boys.
RIAA expanded its system in 2004 to recognize the emerging trend toward digital-music markets ushered in by services like iTunes. Last year, on-demand and video streaming sites like Beats Music Rhapsody, Spotify, Xbox Music, MTV.com, VEVO, Yahoo! Music, and YouTube were also included in the count.
Perry, it’s worth noting, is still just the top certified digital artist ever. The Beatles still have more albums that went gold or platinum.