Just sixteen years ago, a rapper from St. Louis, Missouri named Nelly released his debut studio album, Country Grammar, on Universal Records. Country Grammar scored chart topping singles like “E.I.”, “Country Grammar (Hot Sh*t),” and “Ride wit Me.” With Country Grammar earning triple platinum status just three months after its release date and surpassing seven times platinum certification in 2002, this was just the beginning of Nelly’s mainstream success.
The rapper who is credited for putting Midwest Rap on the map and introducing the world to the St. Lunatics, was presented with a diamond plaque from the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) at the Musician On Call charity event. The event took place on Monday, July 25 in Philadelphia, PA where Nelly was the headline performer. Musicians on Call is a non-profit organization that presents live and recorded music to bedside patients in healthcare facilities. Nelly was just the right choice for the cause being that he lost his sister Jackie to Leukemia back in 2005.
Country Grammar has become the eighth studio rap album to reach 10,000,000 in sales. Asides from Nelly, the only rappers to reach diamond status in hip-hop history are:
- Tupac– All Eyez On Me (1996) and Greatest Hits (1998)
- Eminem– The Marshall Mathers LP (2000) and The Eminem Show (2002)
- The Notorious B.I.G.- Life After Death (1997)
- Outkast– Speakerboxxx/The Love Below (2003)
- MC Hammer– Please Hammer, Don’t Hurt ‘Em (1990)
— RIAA (@RIAA) July 26, 2016
With nineteen RIAA certified platinum and gold albums and singles (not including features), it is safe to say that being awarded the diamond plaque is one of Nelly’s greatest music achievements to date.
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