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Lauryn Hill Becomes First Female Rapper To Go Certified Diamond

by : Hannah Smith on : 18 Feb 2021 12:44
Lauryn Hill Becomes First Female Rapper To Go Certified DiamondLauryn Hill/YouTube/Columbia

Lauryn Hill’s iconic album The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill has officially reached 10 million sales, making her the first female rapper ever to land a diamond record.

The Record Industry Association of America announced the news on Wednesday, February 17, in a tweet congratulating the artists on the achievement and welcoming her to the ‘Diamond Club’.

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The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill broke records for first-week album sales by a female artist when it was released in 1998, racking up more than 422,000 sales to send the record to number one. It also launched the number one single Doo Wop (That Thing), and in 2015 officially won its place in US history when it was added to the Library of Congress’s National Registry, which preserves art that is deemed ‘culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant’.

Hill’s debut is widely regarded as one of the best rap records of all time, and became the first hip-hop album to win Album of the Year at the Grammy Awards in 1999. At the time, Hill’s 10 nominations and five wins at the Grammys was the most achieved by a female artist at the awards in a single night.

While the album has gone on to be included in many All Time… lists and has provided inspiration for a generation of female rappers and artists, Hill revealed that at the time she felt she wasn’t given the credit she deserved for the boundary-pushing nature of her work.

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PA Images

She said:

I was called crazy… Now, over a decade later, we hear this as part of the mainstream chorus.

Ok, so chalk some of it up to leadership and how that works. I was clearly ahead, but you also have to acknowledge the blatant denial that went down with that. The public abuse and ostracising while suppressing and copying what I had done, with still no real acknowledgment that all of that even happened, is a lot.

Despite many in the industry expected the rapper to follow up her smash hit record, a second album has never arrived. Hill recently explained why in an email sent to Rolling Stone’s 500 Greatest Albums podcast, saying, ‘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!’ but added that she was also satisfied that she’d achieved what she’d set out to do with her iconic debut.

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‘I challenged the norm and introduced a new standard,’ she said. ‘I believe The Miseducation did that and I believe I still do this — defy convention when the convention is questionable.’

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    Lauryn Hill becomes first female rapper to have a diamond album