Lauryn Hill, welcome to the diamond club.
Twenty years after the hip-hop artist released her best-selling album, The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill, the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) officially certified it diamond.
In a Feb. 16, 2021 post on social media, the RIAA shared the message, “Welcome to the RIAA Diamond Club @MsLaurynHill! #TheMiseducationofLaurynHill is now a (10X) certified album! @ColumbiaRecords #BlackHistoryMonth #RIAATopCertified.”
An album must sell over 10,000,000 units to be declared diamond.
Hill joins elite artists in the diamond club including Michael Jackson, Nelly, the Notorious B.I.G and Whitney Houston.
The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 chart in August 1998 and sold more than 422,000 copies in its first week. Guest collaborators included D’Angelo, Mary J. Blige, and Carlos Santana.
The album earned Hill ten Grammy Award nominations. At the 41st Annual Grammy Awards she won the illustrious Album of the Year, Best R&B Album, and Best Female R&B Vocal Performance for “Doo Wop (That Thing).”
Hill walked away with five trophies and set a record, becoming the first woman to receive that many nominations and awards in a single night.
In 2015, the song was included in the U.S. Library of Congress’s National Recording Registry due to its cultural, historical, or aesthetical significance.
Despite the success of the album, the question remains – why was this her only album?
Hill answered that question during a podcast interview last year.
“The wild thing is no one from my label has ever called me and asked how can we help you make another album, EVER…EVER. Did I say ever? Ever!”
“With The Miseducation, there was no precedent. I was, for the most part, free to explore, experiment, and express,” she said.
“After The Miseducation, there were scores of tentacled obstructionists, politics, repressing agendas, unrealistic expectations, and saboteurs EVERYWHERE. People had included me in their own narratives of their successes as it pertained to my album, and if this contradicted my experience, I was considered an enemy.”
Hill believes she accomplished exactly what she set out to do with Miseducation.
“I’ve always been pretty critical of myself artistically, so of course there are things I hear that could have been done differently but the LOVE in the album, the passion, its intention is to me, undeniable.”
“I think my intention was simply to make something that made my foremothers and forefathers in music and social and political struggle know that someone received what they’d sacrificed to give us, and to let my peers know that we could walk in that truth, proudly and confidently.”
Hill first gained recognition as a member of the Fugees in 1992. The group achieved success with their album The Score, but creative and personal differences caused the group to go their separate ways.
SOURCES: ATLANTABLACKSTAR.COM, GRAMMY.COM, HIPHOPDX.COM, LOC.GOV, URBANISLANDZ.COM