- Publish Date
- Friday, 19 February 2021, 11:14AM
More than two decades after its release, The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill has reached diamond status. The debut album by Lauryn Hill is now certified 10x platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) for selling more than 10,000,000 copies since its release in 1998.
The diamond status marks a rare milestone in RIAA history, by becoming the first female Hip Hop album to earn a Diamond certification. Hill now joins an exclusive list of artists who have earned a Diamond record such as, Eminem’s The Marshall Mathers LP, 2Pac’s All Eyez On Me, Michael Jackson’s Thriller, Prince and the Revolution's Purple Rain, TLC's CrazySexyCool, and Notorious B.I.G.'s Life After Death.
The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 chart with over 422,624 units sold in its first week, breaking the record for first-week sales by a female artist. Spawning hit singles such as 'Doo Wop (That Thing)', 'Ex-Factor', and 'Everything Is Everything', and collaborations with the likes of Mary J. Blige, D’Angelo, and Carlos Santana, the debut album marked the beginning of a prolific solo career for Hill.
It went on to earn her 10 Grammy nominations of which she won five, including Album of the Year, Best R&B Album, and Best Female R&B Vocal Performance for 'Doo Wop (That Thing).' Despite the commercial and critical success of the album, Hill never released a follow-up. In a recent interview on Rolling Stone’s 500 Greatest Albums podcast, Hill explained why she never released a sophomore album, revealing that no one from her record label reached out to help make it happen.
“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!” Hill said. “With The Miseducation, there was no precedent. I was, for the most part, free to explore, experiment, and express. After The Miseducation, there were scores of tentacled obstructionists, politics, repressing agendas, unrealistic expectations, and saboteurs EVERYWHERE. People had included me in their own narratives of their successes as it pertained to my album, and if this contradicted my experience, I was considered an enemy.”
“I think my intention was simply to make something that made my foremothers and forefathers in music and social and political struggle know that someone received what they’d sacrificed to give us, and to let my peers know that we could walk in that truth, proudly and confidently. At that time, I felt like it was a duty or responsibility to do so. … I challenged the norm and introduced a new standard. I believe The Miseducation did that and I believe I still do this—defy convention when the convention is questionable.”