Diamond Life: Whitney Houston Reaches Historic RIAA Milestone

Diamond Life: Whitney Houston Reaches Historic RIAA Milestone


Whitney Houston is the titleholder of many firsts. 

The unparalleled vocalist is the first female solo artist to produce three consecutive number-one singles on the Billboard Hot 100 off the strength of their debut album. 

Following the release of her 1987 album, Houston inked a page in the history books as the very first female artist to have an album opened at number one on the Billboard 200. She was the biggest winner at the 21st annual American Music Awards in 1994, winning a stellar seven awards. It earned her the crown as the first female artist to take home that many trophies in one night. And the list of impressive milestones goes on and on. 

This year, eight years after her earthly transition, The Voice continues to extend her record of firsts. Houston is now the first Black artist in the history of the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) to reach diamond status for three studio albums.


Whitney, her sophomore album, recently surpassed U.S. sales of more than ten million records. It follows the diamond certifications of her 1985 self-titled debut album and the soundtrack to the 1992 film The Bodyguard. 

In the U.S. alone, the former release sold more than 13 million albums, while the timeless soundtrack has racked up over 18 million albums in sales. 

On November 7, Houston’s legacy will be celebrated when she is inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame class of 2020. The ceremony airs on HBO at 8:00 p.m. ET/PT. 

A special commemoratory video, curated by industry peers, executives, and fans, was uploaded to her official YouTube in honor of her tireless and selfless contributions to the world. Watch the eight-minute video below.