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Story of Gold® & Platinum®

A Gold & Platinum certification is a pinnacle moment celebrating singles and albums from an elite group of beloved musicians. The list of artists receiving Gold & Platinum awards emphasizes the rich history of recorded music throughout the last six decades, and RIAA is proud to be a part of it. Check out our interactive timeline to learn about the program’s highlights.

The very first Gold Single was earned on March 14, 1958 with Perry Como’s “Catch A Falling Star” and four months later the cast album for Oklahoma!, sung by Gordon Macrae, became the first Gold Album.

But with time, music changes—and as technology advances, more and more people are exposed to music.

When the popularity of Disco led to a huge boom in music sales in the ‘70s, RIAA created a Platinum level to recognize more than one million sales of a single or album—and Johnnie Taylor’s “Disco Lady” aptly became the first Platinum Single.

With CDs introduced during the ‘80s, music sales once again soared and titles began surpassing the million mark.

The ‘90s led to even greater heights, and the creation of a Diamond Award to commemorate the sale of 10 million copies of a single or album.

With the rise of the internet in the early ‘00s ushering in a new wave of music sales across online formats, RIAA developed the Digital Single Award and added digital sales to the Album Award. A decade later with the onset of streaming, on-demand equivalents were added as a component of official certifications.

RIAA is committed to embracing and awarding musical success. Reflecting each evolution in the industry, the Gold & Platinum Program showcases the best in the business.