From ‘Fortunate’ to ‘This Woman’s Work,’ ‘Pretty Wings,’ and more, Maxwell has gifted modern R&B music some of its most memorable hits.
Yet, despite his silky falsetto leading him to millions of albums sold worldwide, 3 GRAMMY wins (and multiple nominations), and consistent critical acclaim over his 25-year career, longtime fans of the crooner would be surprised to know he’s never seen a single certified Platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America.
That changed this week.
A month ahead of the 25th anniversary of the release of Maxwell’s debut album, ‘Maxwell’s Urban Hang Suite,’ the RIAA updated its logs to reveal the upgraded certification status of two of its singles – ‘Ascension (Don’t Ever Wonder)’ and ‘Sumthin Sumthin.’
While the latter met the organization’s threshold for Gold (meaning it’s sold the equivalence of 500,000 units in the United States), the former is now Platinum – meaning it’s sold the equivalence of 1 million copies in the same territory.
The new certification marks the first time Max has ever seen his name printed on a Platinum plaque for a single. A fitting trophy for the timeless tune (as it remains his signature), as of time reported his other biggest hits – ‘Fortunate’ and ‘Pretty Wings’ – have only soared to Gold status with the RIAA.
Beyond providing proof that sales don’t always equate to impact or quality, it also should be noted RIAA certifications do not necessarily reflect up-to-date sales performance of a project. As such, it is plausible that Max has had multiple songs over his career sell over 1 million copies in the United States, but his label never paid to have sales figures audited.