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Whitney Houston becomes first Black artist to have three diamond albums

The late star’s ‘Whitney’ makes history.

Whitney Houston Wireimage

Whitney Houston made history on Wednesday (Oct. 28) as the first Black artist to have three diamond-certified albums. The late star’s 1987 sophomore album Whitney reached the accolade, the Recording Industry Association of America announced, after selling 10 million copies.

Whitney housed hits like “I Wanna Dance with Somebody (Who Loves Me),” “Didn’t We Almost Have It All,” “So Emotional” and “Where Do Broken Hearts Go” — all four of which topped the Billboard Hot 100 chart. Fan favorite “Love Will Save The Day” peaked at No. 9.

The album’s diamond status follows similar accolades for Houston’s 1985 record Whitney Houston and her 1992 The Bodyguard soundtrack. In 1999, the singer’s self-titled debut was certified diamond by the RIAA selling 13 million units, followed by The Bodyguard soundtrack with 18 million — marking the best-selling soundtrack of all time. Houston also starred in the film, for which she was nominated for several awards.

Currently, country singer Garth Brooks holds the record for the most diamond-certified albums with nine. Other artists who have three or more diamond-certified records include The Beatles, Led Zeppelin, Shania Twain and the Eagles.

According to the RIAA, diamond status is awarded to an album or single that reaches 10 times platinum status. In 2016, the organization changed its rules when it began incorporating streams from YouTube, Spotify and other digital platforms.

The news arrives just a week before Houston will be posthumously inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. The virtual ceremony will air on Nov. 7 at 8 p.m. EST on HBO.

Back in August, Sony also bought the rights to Houston’s upcoming musical biopic, I Wanna Dance With Somebody. According to Hollywood Reporter, the company is aiming for a Thanksgiving 2020 release date to make sure viewers will be able to see it in theaters.

“Musically driven films have always held a special place in theaters and this remarkable story will help further our fierce commitment to the theatrical experience,” Josh Greenstein, president of Sony Motion Picture Group, told the outlet.

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