Whitney Houston Becomes the First Black Artist With Three Diamond Albums

We will always love Whitney Houston. And now we know how much. According to Sony Music, as of Wednesday (Oct. 28), Houston is officially the first Black recording artist to put up three RIAA Diamond-certified albums now that her second studio effort, 1987’s Whitney, has been certified 10x Platinum.

The album produced five Billboard Top 10 singles, with the first four — “I Wanna Dance With Somebody (Who Loves Me),” “Didn’t We Almost Have It All,” “So Emotional” and “Where Do Broken Hearts Go”– going No. 1, making her the first female recording artist ever with four consecutive Hot 100 No. 1s.

When added to the three straight No. 1s from her debut, Whitney Houston — “Saving All My Love for You,” “How Will I Know,” “Greatest Love of All” — Houston had an unprecedented run of seven No. 1 singles in a row.

With Whitney joining the singer’s 1985 self-titled debut and the 1992 soundtrack to The Bodyguard in the Diamond column, the singer becomes the first Black artist (male, female, solo or group) to earn that three-peat designation. Whitney has sold more than 20 million copies worldwide, while her debut has gone 13x Platinum and The Bodyguard soundtrack has been certified 18x Platinum. Her video for “I Will Always Love You” also recently reached its own lofty perch — one billion YouTube views.

To date, three Black artists have had two Diamond Albums — Michael Jackson, 2Pac and Mariah Carey. Ten more have had one. They are Prince & the Revolution, Boyz II Men, TLC, The Notorious B.I.G., OutKast, Hammer, Lionel Richie, Nelly, Stevie Wonder and Usher.

Houston will be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame during the 35th annual induction ceremony, which will air on HBO and HBO Max on Nov. 7 at 8 p.m. ET. The Houston estate also announced that it has teamed with Clive Davis, Pat Houston, Larry Mestel of Primary Wave Music, Dennis O’ Sullivan and Jeff Kalligheri to produce I Wanna Dance With Somebody, on the official  Houston biopic.

The film will be directed by Stella Meghie (The Photograph) from a script by Anthony McCarten (Bohemian Rhapsody), with casting and production slated for 2021 and a Thanksgiving 2022 open in theaters.

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