Stevie Wonder has joined an elite list of artists who have earned a diamond award from the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA).
Stevie Wonder has joined an elite list of artists who have earned a diamond award from the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA). The legendary artist's 1976 Motown two-disc album "Songs in the Key of Life" was certified in March for shipments of 10 million copies to U.S. retailers. (Note: According to RIAA rules, each disc of a multi-disc release is counted as one unit.)
Among the most iconic in Wonder's catalog, the album found the artist addressing social issues ("Village Ghetto Land," "Black Man") and personal vignettes ("Isn't She Lovely," "I Wish") issues, as well as paying tribute to the then recently deceased Duke Ellington (the No. 1 Billboard pop singles chart hit "Sir Duke").
According to the RIAA, the title was never before audited by the organization, therefore it had not been accorded the gold (500,000) or platinum (1 million) designations for which it would have qualified along the way. (Record labels or artists must request and pay for the RIAA's independent audit of shipments, which are the basis of its certification awards.)
In fact, Wonder has just one other multi-platinum title: his 1985 set "In Square Circle" (Motown), which featured the hit "Part-Time Lover," is listed as double-platinum in the RIAA's database. He has four other albums that have reached the platinum level.
As previously reported, Wonder will release "A Time 2 Love," his first album of new studio material in nearly a decade, May 3 through Motown.
Reaching the RIAA's double-platinum level in March were Kelly Clarkson's "Breakaway" (RCA) and the Game's "The Documentary" (Aftermath/Interscope). Newly minted platinum discs were country newcomer Dierks Bentley's self-titled debut Capitol album, teen star Jesse McCartney's "Beautiful Soul" (Hollywood), rapper T.I.'s "Urban Legend" (Grand Hustle/Atlantic) and country superstar Kenny Chesney's "Be As You Are" (BNA).