Visionary and multi-disciplinary artist Kanye West – who has won 22 Grammy Awards®, has sold over 30 million albums worldwide, and has twice been named to TIME magazine’s list of “100 Most Influential People In The World” – today becomes the first artist to scale this era’s highest musical plateau, as his universally acclaimed masterwork THE LIFE OF PABLO becomes the first streaming-only album ever to achieve RIAA platinum certification for consumption of over 1 million equivalent units. The album has been streamed over 3 billion times worldwide.
THE LIFE OF PABLO - released February 2016 - originally made history when it became the first streaming-only album to reach #1 on the US album chart, and the seventh #1 album of Kanye’s illustrious career.
With nearly a year of releasing, Kanye's Life of Pablo has reached platinum status (April 4), according from a press release from Kanye's label Def Jam and a rep from the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) confirmed the certification.
Grammy-nominated for Best Rap Album, THE LIFE OF PABLO was greeted with overwhelming praise on its way to topping critic and tastemaker polls worldwide:
“WITH FLUX EMBEDDED IN ITS DNA, ‘PABLO’ IS CRISPLY ALIVE, LIKE WATER THAT’S STILL BOILING EVEN THOUGH THE FLAME IS OFF. PAY CLOSE ATTENTION TO THE MULTIPLE ITERATIONS AND YOU HEAR AN ARTIST AT WORK…IT’S EVERYTHING BARED — PROCESS AS ART.” (NEW YORK TIMES)
“… A COMPLEX, CONFLICTED MASTERPIECE” (ROLLING STONE)
“HIS DEVOTION TO THE CRAFT OF ALBUM-MAKING REMAINS HIS GREATEST TALENT … ALBUMS ARE HIS LEGACY…HIS ABILITY TO PACKAGE HUNDREDS OF STRAY THREADS INTO A WHOLE THAT FEELS NOT JUST THRILLING, BUT INEVITABLE - AT THIS, HE IS BETTER THAN EVERYONE.” (PITCHFORK)
“IS KANYE WEST THE GREATEST ARTIST OF THE 21ST CENTURY?” (USA TODAY)
Platinum traditionally means that the album sold a million records; but for streaming-only like Pablo- which debuted on Tidal, and is still available only on digital platforms-it takes 1,500 streams to equal one "sale". But Pablo just passed the 1.5 billion stream mark in the U.S.
THE LIFE OF PABLO saw virtually every one of its 20 tracks hit singles charts in the U.S. and/or UK over the course of 2016, including “Famous,” "Ultralight Beam," "Pt. 2," "Feedback," "Low Lights," "Highlights," "Freestyle 4," "I Love Kanye," "Waves," "FML," "Real Friends," "Wolves," "Frank's Track," "30 Hours," "No More Parties in LA," "Facts (Charlie Heat Version),” and “Fade."
Presented as a “living album” by Kanye, THE LIFE OF PABLO took on a life of its own as an evolving art project, with new updates, new versions, and new iterations of the album popping up for months after its release.