West received significant critical praise when he released his seventh studio record, The Life of Pablo, in February last year. In many ways, its release marked the rising of a new age of the album, continuously altering its contents months after it hit streaming platforms — Kanye himself describing it as “a living, breathing. changing, creative expression.”
Now, TLOP is once again setting the standard for the future of music releases by becoming the first streaming-only album to go platinum in history.
As first reported by Pitchfork, the record has accumulated over 3 billion streams worldwide, over half of which come from the U.S. The outlet also notes that TLOP was also the inaugural streaming-only release to top the Billboard 200.
While the standard for achieving this Recording Industry Association of America certification has long been selling 1 million copies of an album or song, the RIAA amended the rules in 2016 to accommodate for streams. Essentially, 15o streams of a track equal one download, and 10 song downloads equal an album download, so 1,500 streams equal one album sale. Therefore, 1.5 billion streams are needed to go platinum.
During the fall of 2016, West embarked on the Saint Pablo Tour, but canceled it before finishing all the dates and was soon after checked into a Los Angeles hospital in order to receive treatment for “exhaustion and sleep deprivation.”
Shortly after the record’s release, West controversially visited then President-elect Donald Trump at Trump Tower in New York City. However, after tweeting a photo of a signed copy of Trump’s TIME Magazine‘s “Person of the Year” cover, West deleted all tweets defending their meeting.
You can watch the music video for “Fade,” featured on TLOP, below.