Once again the sales record for one of country music’s critically-acclaimed artists is being minted in precious metal due to robust sales and attention from the public, even while country radio struggles to recognize its significant cultural impact. Officially verified on Friday (7-7), Miranda Lambert’s double album The Weight of These Wings has been certified Platinum by the RIAA for shipments of 1 million units. Copies of The Weight of These Wings count double due to the fact that it’s a double album—a format that often concerns industry types when it comes to the sales figures they may accrue due to the bigger commitment from consumers, but appears to have not held Miranda Lambert back in this case.
This is Miranda Lambert’s sixth Platinum album; all of her releases on major labels have resulted in Platinum sales. “The Weight of These Wings” also reached #1 on the Country Albums charts upon its release on November 18th, 2016, as well as #3 on the all genre Billboard 200. Miranda shares the Platinum distinction with a host of highly-regarded songwriters who contributed to the project, including Brent Cobb, Waylon Payne, Adam Hood, Shake Russell (Ricky Skaggs’ “You Got a Lover” and Clint Black’s “Put Yourself in My Shoes”), current Miranda boyfriend Anderson East, Jack Ingram, Ashley Monroe, Mando Saenz, and Jon Randall. The album was primarily produced by Frank Liddell.
Older country artists, more traditional country artists, and independent artists continue to perform well in album sales from the greater likelihood of their fans to purchase physical copies or download records in full to support their favorite performers as opposed to only streaming the latest single. Nonetheless, the RIAA has begun to factor in streaming data into their certifications, evening the playing field for single-based superstars. In February of 2016, the RIAA announced that 1,500 on-demand audio and/or video song streams = 10 track sales = 1 album sale, and still artists such as Miranda Lambert tend to outperform the field.
In mid June, Chris Stapleton’s From A Room: Vol. 1 became the first country album released in 2017 to achieve Gold status for shipping 500,000 units. Yet both Lambert and Stapleton have been struggling with a curious lack of support from country radio. Stapleton’s lead single “Either Way” was pulled from radio after stalling in the 30’s in the radio charts, and Miranda Lambert’s current single “Tin Man” is currently meandering at #36 and struggling to gain traction, despite Miranda performing the song on the ACM Awards where The Weight of These Wings won Album of the Year.