Greatness is achieved in due time, and more than 20 years after its release, Lauryn Hill’s debut solo album “The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill” has reached diamond status, the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) recently revealed.
In a tweet posted on Tuesday, February 16, the organization announced that the singer had officially sold ten million copies of her album in the US. “Welcome to the RIAA Diamond Club @MsLaurynHill!” they wrote. “#TheMiseducationofLaurynHill is now a 💎 (10X) certified album! @ColumbiaRecords#BlackHistoryMonth #RIAATopCertified.”
Hill first gained recognition as being 1/3 of the rap group Fugees in 1992. In 1998, she released her solo project, which ultimately achieved both critical and commercial success. Tracks included “Doo Wop (That Thing)” and “Nothing Even Matters.” The guest collaborators included D’Angelo, Mary J. Blige, and Carlos Santana.
The album debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 chart with more than 422,00 copies sold in its first week. It earned the now 45-year-old a total of 10 Grammy nominations and five wins, including hip-hop’s first Grammy award for Album of the Year. It is also the 154th-ranked record on critics’ all-time lists, according to Acclaimed Music. However, despite all of its accolades, it was Hill’s only studio album.
During a rare appearance on Rolling Stone’s “500 Greatest Albums” podcast last month, the songstress revealed why there was no sophomore album, perhaps to counter the notion that the pressure to top her first effort was just too great.
Citing lack of support from her label — the album was released by Ruffhouse Records in collaboration with Columbia — Hill said, “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!”
She continued, “With ‘The Miseducation,’ there was no precedent. I was, for the most part, free to explore, experiment and express. 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 said her 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. She added, “And to let my peers know that we could walk in that truth, proudly and confidently.”
The mother of seven now joins a group of less than a dozen other hip-hop acts with projects to reach this particular milestone, including Nelly, the Notorious B.I.G., Eminem, 2Pac, OutKast and Whitney Houston who’s self-titled album “Whitney” went diamond in October 2020 making it her the first artist to have three albums reach diamond status.