As 2021 comes to an end, the Recording Industry Association of America is looking back at some of the most impactful new music of the year. Several acts scored Gold or Platinum plaques over the last twelve months.
Sixteen albums and ninety-eight songs released in 2021 achieved RIAA certification. The organization named Morgan Wallen’s Dangerous: The Double Album (2x-Platinum) and Olivia Rodrigo’s Sour (2x-Platinum) as the Top Albums.
Olivia Rodrigo also earned the RIAA’s Top Digital Single honor for “Drivers License” (4x-Platinum). Karol G’s KG0516 secured the award for Top Latin Album. Her song “El Makinon” with Mariah Angeliq is the Top Latin Single.
Moneybagg Yo Had The Top-Certified Rap Album Of The Year
While Country, Pop, and Reggaeton captured the leading #RIAATopCertified recognition, Hip Hop did very well too. The chart-topping A Gangsta’s Pain by Moneybagg Yo is one of only four 2021 albums to go Platinum.
A Gangsta’s Pain joined Dangerous: The Double Album, Sour, and Justin Bieber’s Justice on the list of Platinum-certified albums. Twelve music projects reached Gold status this year. Eight of those twelve albums were released by a Hip Hop artist.
24kGoldn’s El Dorado, DJ Khaled’s Khaled Khaled, Kanye West’s Donda, Lil Baby & Lil Durk’s The Voice of the Heroes, Lil Tjay’s Destined 2 Win, Polo G’s Hall of Fame, Pooh Shiesty’s Shiesty Season, and Rod Wave’s SoulFly each crossed the 500,000-unit mark.
Hip Hop Also Went Diamond More Than Once
A handful of Hip Hop stars received their first Diamond Awards (10 million units) this year as well. In addition, Cardi B made history by becoming the first female rapper to have three Diamond-certified songs (“Bodak Yellow,” Maroon 5’s “Girls Like You,” and “I Like It” with J Balvin and Bad Bunny).
“In a landmark year for our nearly sixty-five-year-old Gold & Platinum Program, RIAA awarded more than 100 titles released in 2021 across many genres and styles of music,” states Liz Kennedy, Senior Vice President, Gold & Platinum Program Awards, RIAA.
Kennedy continues, “These awards mark the pinnacle of creative and commercial success in our business and celebrate artists and their label partners who connected so powerfully with their fans and the broader culture this past year. Congratulations to RIAA’s 2021 honorees!”