Every Artist Since J. Cole to Go Platinum With No Features
Ever since J. Cole's 2014 Forest Hills Drive received platinum certification from the Recording Industry of America (RIAA) in October 2016, fans have touted the infamous phrase "platinum with no features" in various pockets of the internet. The North Carolina rapper's third and fourth studio albums -- including 2016's 4 Your Eyez Only, eventually certified Platinum as well -- saw him handling much of the work himself, even taking on much of the production.
Cole's next album KOD comes out Friday (April 20), and unlike his previous releases, one feature appears in the tracklist: an artist named Kill Edward -- although many speculate the artist is also Cole, under another pseudonym.
While the "no features" sentiment has become a meme in recent years, it is a major feat to accomplish -- and Cole isn't the only one to have done so. Not counting compilations or various artist sets, here are the 23 other performers who have gone Platinum without featuring credits with albums released since the December '14 drop of 2014 Forest Hills Drive.
Powerhouse singer Adele Adkins famously names her albums after years of significant moments in her life -- and as far as RIAA certifications go, she's had quite a few milestones. She released her third studio album 25 in 2015 and as of August 2017, 25 went 11x platinum. Additionally, all of Adele’s three studio albums have received RIAA multi-Platinum certifications with no features.
Cardi B may have shined on the remix of "Finesse," but for the original LP release of 24K Magic, Bruno Mars went double-Platinum all on his own. The artist’s third album -- which featured the Hot 100 No. 1 hit "That’s What I Like" -- also earned him album of the year at the 2018 Grammys.
Tiller’s 2015 debut album TRAPSOUL featured his viral hit "Don’t" and his '90s R&B-sampling radio hit "Exchange." The Louisville crooner also earned a double-Platinum certification for the album two years following its release.
American Idol winner Carrie Underwood is set to return with another album this year, but back in 2015, the singer released her confessional country album Storyteller. Almost a year to the day of its release, Storyteller earned platinum certification in October 2016.
The "Tennessee Whiskey" singer’s debut album Traveller garnered acclaim from many of music’s top organizations. Stapleton took home the Grammy for Best Country Album in 2016, as well the Billboard Music Award for Top Country Album in 2016 and 2017. In September 2016, Traveller went double-Platinum.
Following a four-year hiatus, metal band Disturbed returned with 2015’s Immortalized. The album featured a Hot 100-crashing cover of Simon and Garfunkel’s chart-topping "The Sound of Silence" -- and was certified platinum this January.
Drake & Future
What A Time To Be Alive is technically a collaborative album between two of rap’s biggest stars, but it doesn’t include any additional features -- making it eligible for this list. The release earned the all-star duo a Platinum certification nearly a year after its 2015 debut.
Sheeran's third studio album, ÷ , debuted in 2017 and features the Hot 100-conquering hit "Shape of You." Nearly a year after its release, Divide was certified multi-Platinum.
Fall Out Boy
Fall Out Boy’s sixth album American Beauty/American Psycho was their third release to go No. 1 on the Billboard 200 chart; they have since followed that up with another No.1 on the chart, 2018's Mania. The 2015 set earned a platinum certification for the quartet in 2016.
Future’s been a star on the rap scene for most of the decade, with a steady stream of mixtapes and albums. Although Drake, YG, and Kendrick Lamar show up on the deluxe edition of his eponymous fifth studio album, the rapper's 2017 release went Platinum without any assists.
Halsey’s much-anticipated first album, Badlands, debuted at No. 2 on the Billboard 200 chart in August 2015. The artist -- born Ashley Frangipane -- also earned a Platinum certification for the guest-less album a year after it was released.
Rock band Imagine Dragons’ second album, Smoke + Mirrors, debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 chart and a couple years later, the band followed that achievement up with another; the album went Platinum on July 10, 2017. Their third studio release, Evolve, was also certified platinum just two months after Smoke + Mirrors.
Since 2007, Kevin Gates has made a name for himself with numerous mixtapes, including the critically acclaimed The Luca Brasi Story. In January 2016, Gates premiered his debut studio album Islah, and by August of that year, it went Platinum.
2017 was a huge year for breakout star Khalid. Following the success of "Location," the singer debuted his first album American Teen, which was certified Platinum in October of that year. Despite having been featured himself on hits by artists like Calvin Harris, Logic and Lorde, Khalid's own debut album contained no such guest turns.
Martinez followed up her electro-pop EP Dollhouse with a full-length debut, Cry Baby, in 2015. The album -- which includes the singles "Pity Party" and "Soap" -- stuck around the Billboard 200 chart for over 100 weeks, and was certified Platinum almost two years after its release.
After a eight-year hiatus, heavy metal band Metallica returned with Hardwired...to Self Destruct in November 2016 -- which was their sixth studio album to debut at No.1 on the Billboard 200 chart. A few months later, the album earned the band a Platinum certification -- one of many in their illustrious 30-plus-year tenure.
Lambert’s The Weight of These Wings was a country standout that earned her a spot on Billboard’s 50 Best Albums of 2016 list. It was a two-parter with a total of 24 tracks -- and not a feature in sight.
Following the departure of founding member Zayn Malik, One Direction gave fans their first studio album as a foursome in 2015. Made in the A.M. debuted at No. 2 on the Billboard 200 chart and features the single "Drag Me Down." In July 2016, the album went Platinum without any featured artists.
Panic! at the Disco
Las Vegas band Panic! at the Disco has seen its share of lineup changes. For 2016’s Death of a Bachelor, frontman Brendan Urie handled much of the work on his own -- including vocals, guitar, bass, and keys. On January 4 2017, the album went Platinum.
Atlanta native Russ -- born Russell Vitale -- has made waves with his DIY production style. The hip-hop singer-songwriter engineered and mastered his own debut album There's Really A Wolf -- which premiered in May 2017. As of Wednesday (April 18), Russ joined the ranks of those who "went platinum with no features" with his high-selling debut.
19-year-old singer Shawn Mendes is known for his heart-wrenching pop/rock singles including 2016’s "Treat You Better." The track appeared on sophomore effort Illuminate, which was certified Platinum in August 2017. This year, Mendes will release his third studio album -- and while there's no tracklist yet, the first two advance tracks "In My Blood" and "Lost In Japan" have both been solo efforts.
The famously private Australian singer/songwriter's seventh album, This Is Acting, was released in January 2016 and included the pop hit "Cheap Thrills" -- and though the version that dominated radio that summer featured a memorable guest appearance from Sean Paul, neither he nor any other features were included on the original LP release. The release was certified Platinum not even a year after it debuted.
Twenty One Pilots
Ohio duo Twenty One Pilots premiered their fourth album Blurryface in the spring of 2015. While the album went triple Platinum in March of 2017, it achieved another RIAA feat just this year, when it became the first album in history to have all of its tracks receive at least a Gold certification.