Last night in New York, The Robert F. Kennedy Center for Justice and Human Rights honored 6-time Grammy winner Taylor Swift with their Ripple of Hope Award. The annual award lauds leaders of the international business, entertainment, and activist communities who demonstrate commitment to social change and reflect Robert Kennedy's passion for equality, justice, basic human rights, and his belief that we all must strive to "make gentle the life of this world." 22 year-old Taylor is the youngest-ever winner of the prestigious award, named for Kennedy's famed speech about the power of young people, delivered in Cape Town in 1966. Previous honorees include former President Bill Clinton, former Vice President Al Gore, Bono and George Clooney.
"Taylor is just the kind of woman we want our daughters to be: authentic and mighty. Willing to take a risk and strong enough to walk away," RFK Center President Kerry Kennedy said when presenting Taylor with her award. "Whether the tyrant they're standing up to is a high school bully or a powerful dictator, all of the conflicts we've heard about tonight can only be stopped by courageous people who speak up and speak out when they see injustice."
Released just over a month ago, Taylor's fourth studio album, RED, has now been officially certified Triple Platinum (for 3 Million copies sold in the US alone) by the RIAA. After debuting in October with music's highest first-week album sales in over a decade, RED has spent every week since in the #1 or #2 position at the top of Billboard's 200 top albums chart, and is officially 2012's fastest-selling album. RED, released on Big Machine Records, has topped the sales charts in 42 countries worldwide, with international sales now topping 1 Million albums thus far. Taylor now has worldwide career record sales in excess of 26 million albums and 75 million song downloads.
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