Nearly a year after releasing his eighth studio album The Life of Pablo, Kanye West has reason to celebrate. On Tuesday (April 4), Pablo achieved platinum status, according to a press release from the rapper’s label Def Jam. A rep for the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) confirmed the certification to Billboard.
While the label says that the project is the first streaming-only album to go platinum, Billboard reported last April that TLOP was briefly available for sale on West’s official site upon its release in February. TLOP — which arrived as a Tidal exclusive — managed to hit No. 1 on the Billboard 200 after 70 percent of the album’s debut earnings — 94,000 equivalent album units — were due to streaming. (TLOP was streamed over three billion times worldwide, per the release.) Additionally, West’s site is currently selling digital downloads for $20.
— RIAA (@RIAA) April 4, 2017
While it was unclear as of press time if the platinum status included the album’s sales in addition to streams, a source says the RIAA does not break out the components of any certification. The platinum certification reflects a million equivalent album units, which blends traditional album sales, tracks sold from an album and on-demand audio and video streams. Billboard has reached out to West’s rep for additional comment.
Because of creative setbacks and various album title changes, Pablo also went through numerous facelifts upon its release. After making alterations to the track list, West elected to release the album in February 2016. The album, led by the controversial single “Famous,” served as his seventh No. 1 album.
The star-studded album featured marquee artists including Chance the Rapper, The Weeknd, Rihanna, Chris Brown, Frank Ocean and more. After the release of Pablo, West embarked on his nationwide Saint Pablo tour, which was later canceled due to health issues.
–Additional reporting by Adelle Platon