Hip-hop group Outkast have become the first act to be awarded a multi-platinum award from the American record industry for paid-for music downloads.

ANDRE 3000 and Big Boi have been honoured for selling more than 400,000 downloads of HEY YA!, while THE WAY YOU MOVE and ROSES got standard platinum awards for 200,000 sales.

Eminem's rap collective D12, MAROON 5 and Hoobastank also received platinum accolades.

The gongs were given out by the RECORDING INDUSTRY OF AMERICA, which represents the major record companies, and it also named Beyonce Knowles and Usher gold winners for shifting over 100,000 downloads.

In the past, music fans were only able to download music illegally through online file-sharing, as recording companies were slow to react to the internet phenomenon.

Now Apple, VIRGIN and MICROSOFT offer services, and analysts expect the commercial online music market in the US to grow to about $1.7 billion (GBP930 million) in 2009 from $100 million (GBP54 million) last year.

28/10/2004 14:10