Lauryn Hill’s 1998 debut The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill has sold over 10,000,000 units; making her the first female rapper to have a diamond album. The Recording Industry Association of America announced the impressive feat on Tuesday evening (Feb. 16) and officially welcomed Hill to the elite standing.
“Welcome to the RIAA Diamond Club [Ms. Lauryn Hill]!” the organization wrote on Twitter. “The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill is now a [diamond] (10X) certified album!”
With the certification, Hill joins the likes of Eminem, Tupac, The Notorious B.I.G., OutKast and Beastie Boys whose albums have also achieved diamond status. Other artists’ diamond albums include Michael Jackson’s Thriller, Adele’s 21, Britney Spears’ …Baby One More Time and more.
This isn’t the first time Hill’s debut — and only — solo album has made history. Propelled by hits “Doo Wop (That Thing),” “Everything Is Everything” and “Ex-Factor,” Miseducation shot Hill on the trajectory toward superstardom. The album debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 and sold 422,624 copies within its first week, breaking the previous record for first-week sales by a female artist.
Hill made history again at the 41st Annual Grammy Awards, where her album was nominated for 10 awards and earned her five trophies, including Album of the Year, Best R&B Album and Best Female R&B Vocal Performance for “Doo Wop (That Thing).” At the time, no other female artist had ever received that many nominations and awards in a single night. In 2015, Miseducation was also added to the Library of Congress’ National Recording Registry, cementing its status as a cultural icon.
After the record’s staggering success, many expected Hill to follow-up with another solo album. Speaking with Rolling Stone’s “500 Greatest Albums” podcast by email last month, she explained why that never happened.
“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!” Hill revealed. “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.”
However, Hill said she achieved what she set out to do with Miseducation.
“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,” she told Rolling Stone. “At that time, I felt like it was a duty or responsibility to do so… I challenged the norm and introduced a new standard. I believe The Miseducation did that and I believe I still do this — defy convention when the convention is questionable.”
See the RIAA’s announcement below.