It turns out that streaming is good for the soul – Soul Music that is! Thanks to the power of streaming services, there have been quite a few acts who are benefiting from viral phenomenon’s, dance challenges and new generations that are brushing the dust off of classic tracks. Although they may have been in heavy rotation in our household and during our childhood, let’s celebrate the R&B joints that are finally certified by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA). Alexa, play “About Damn Time”!
Brandy – “I Wanna Be Down”
It’s unbelievable that Brandy’s I Wanna Be Down never reached platinum status until March 2023. Since it’s debut in 1994, it’s been a mainstay in the narrative of 90’s R&B as the introduction of THE VOCAL BIBLE. However, it never quite made the sales during its heyday to set them over the gold only peaking at #6 on the Billboard charts. Through the evolution of music from cassette to compact discs, it wasn’t until the support of streams nearly 30 years later that R&B’s sweetheart could join the Platnum club of her other hits ‘Baby’,’Sittin Up In My Room’ and ‘The Boy Is Mine’. Now, if we can only get that remix to reach the same status…
Rufus & Chaka Khan – “Ain’t Nobody”
If you thought “I Wanna Be Down” was a shocker, brace yourself. For the first time in their career, Rufus and Chaka Khan have gone platinum. 39 years after the 1983 release of “Ain’t Nobody” the infectious uptempo has reached over 1 million sales/streams marking the groups ONLY platinum record. They’ve only reached gold status for auntie-approved classics, “Sweet Thing” and “I Feel For You”. The song was only available on Rufus & Chaka Khan’s final LP, Stompin’ at the Savoy (Live) and only reached #50 on the Billboard 200 chart. In 1984, “Ain’t Nobody” won three Grammy Awards but awards don’t equal sales. What a time to be alive where we can revive such a classic!
Xscape – “Just Kickin It”/”Understanding”/”Who Can I Run To”/”My Little Secret”/”Do You Want To”
Perhaps all of the drama on Queens of R&B: SWV & Xscape is paying off, after all. So So Def’s premiere girl group received new certifications from the RIAA for FIVE of their hit singles. “Just Kickin’ It,” their 1993 debut single, has reached 2x platinum status and stands as their biggest-selling single to date. Fan favorite “Understanding” also went Platinum in March 2023. From their sophomore album, Off The Hook, the quartet’s flawless cover of The Jones Girls’ “Who Can I Run To” also just hit platinum status. Viewers of the Bravo reality show have also garnered gold status for “My Little Secret” and “Do You Want To”.
Whitney Houston – “I’m Your Baby Tonight”
Although the namesake LP has been certified quadruple platinum since its 1990 release the L.A. Reid & Babyface-produced single is new to the platinum party. Finally surpassing 1 million sales in January 2023, the late Whitney Houston took a brave departure from her ballads to deliver a tough new jack swing triumph. Also reaching platinum status are “So Emotional” and swan song “I Look To You”. With her self-titled debut surpassing 14x Platinum, we can only assume that new music lovers are introduced to the greatest voice of all time and continue to keep her spirit alive.