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Story of Gold & Platinum

When an artist earns a Gold & Platinum Award, they join the ranks of an elite group of beloved musicians. The list of Gold & Platinum Award recipients shows a rich history of recorded music during the last six decades, and we’re proud to be a part of it. Check out our interactive timeline to learn about the program’s storied history.

The very first Gold Award was earned on March 14, 1958 to Perry Como for his hit single, “Catch A Falling Star” and followed four months later by the first Gold Album Award, the cast album to “Oklahoma!,” sung by Gordon Macrae.

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

When the popularity of disco music led to a huge boom in music sales in the seventies, RIAA created the Platinum Award to celebrate more than one million sales of a single or album—and the first Platinum Single Award was earned by Johnnie Taylor’s “Disco Lady.”

In the eighties, the development of CDs increased music sales once again and popular music went Platinum more than once. So we developed the multi-Platinum Award.

The nineties led to even greater heights for music sales, and so we released the Diamond Award to celebrate the sale of 10 million copies or more of a single or album.

And in the early 2000s, the rise of the Internet led to a boom in digital music sales. So we developed the Digital Single Award, and added digital sales to the Album Award, to recognize the rise of online formats.  A decade later we added on-demand music streams to awards.

RIAA is committed to celebrating the pinnacle of musical success, and we’ll continue to evolve the Gold & Platinum Program to showcase the best in the business.