Jay-Z’s ‘Magna Carta’ Album Sold a Million Copies… Or Did It?

July 10, 2013  |  

Beyonce posted an old graduation photo of her beau, Jay-Z on Instagram; the words “bow down” were stamped in bold white letters on the picture. The “Single Ladies” singer wants us to curtsy for Jay-Z. After all, the  Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) hailed Magna Carta Holy Grail as a platinum album. However, Billboard refuses to “bow down” and will not accept Jay-Z’s one million digital sales as platinum, reports EOnline.com

Jay-Z teamed up with Samsung who agreed to purchase one million digital copies of Magna Carta for its Android customers. “While the album was free for the Samsung customers, the company paid Jay-Z and Roc Nation $5 for each copy,” says TheWrap.

In order to award Sean Carter with a platinum plaque, the RIAA had to change their rules. Originally, sales are only counted a month after the official release of the album. If the rules remained unadjusted, Jay would have to wait 30 days after July 9 to see if he had generated sufficient sales.  But earlier in July, “the certification company altered its rules to instantly qualify appropriate pre-sales towards gold and platinum status,” adds TheWrap.

Billboard, however, isn’t budging to appease Jay-Z. “[I]t wasn’t as simple as you might think to turn down Jay-Z when he requested that we count the million albums that Samsumg ‘bought’ as part of a much larger brand partner ship,” Bill Werde, editorial director of Billboard states, but “nothing was actually for sale.”

Werde explains that Samsung users downloaded a Jay-Z app for free and got the album for free as well, so the argument by Carter’s team that “something was for sale” isn’t valid.

Billboard only predicts Jay-Z to sell between 450,000 to 500,000 copies by Sunday, July 14. But they do expect the “99 problems” rapper to reach No. 1 on the Billboard 200 chart. He would be “extending his record as the solo act with the most No.1 albums in chart history,” said Billboard. Only The Beatles have surpassed Jay-Z with 19 chart-topping albums.

Billboard’s Top 200 chart will be released on Wednesday morning, July 17.

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