Tyler Childers Album “Purgatory” Makes History by Going Gold

The accolades keep pouring in for Tyler Childers and his 2017 album Purgatory. The latest distinction is the album itself officially being Certified Gold by the RIAA for selling 500,000 copies in physical sales and streaming equivalents. It is the first independently-released title to achieve this distinction without any significant radio play in over 18 years. The last record to do so was Nickel Creek’s sophomore effort This Side released in 2002 on Sugar Hill. Purgatory was released on Tyler’s own Hickman Holler Records distributed by Thirty Tigers.

The distinction officially came on December 8th—eight days after Childers announced a limited-edition Gold vinyl release of the album to commemorate the achievement. It sold out within an hour. Along with the album itself, the song “Feathered Indians” from Purgatory was the first independently-released single in country music to be Certified Gold in the modern era for hitting 500,000 in sales and streaming equivalents when it broke the mark in February.

Then in September, “Feathered Indians” was Certified Platinum for sales of over 1 million. And then on November 10th, the Tyler Childers singles “Lady May” and “Whitehouse Road” were also Certified Gold. That means Tyler Childers has a total of three Gold certs and one Platinum cert, where before 2020, many though RIAA certifications were out of the question for independent country artists.

The 3 1/2-year-old Purgatory also came in at #19 on Billboard’s year-end 2020 chart, beating out albums such as Luke Bryan’s new album released in 2020, Born Here Live Here Die Here, which came in at #39. Florida Georgia Line’s latest album, 2019’s Can’t Say I Ain’t Country ended up at #43. No longer is the excitement for independent releases relegated to the debut week. Tyler Childers and Purgatory have proved to have staying power.

In total, Purgatory has sold 638,178 total albums with both physical sales and streaming equivalents, with the songs from the album regularly receiving between 7 and 8 millions streams per week. Tyler’s more recent album, 2019’s Country Squier, is about half way to Gold status, with 263,752 albums sold so far.

Along with Tyler Childers being the first to break the barrier, Cody Jinks now has Gold records for his single “Hippies & Cowboys” off his 2010 album Less Wise, and Cody’s song “Loud and Heavy” now has a Platinum certification. Southern rock band Whiskey Myers also received Gold certifications for their songs “Ballad of a Southern Man” and “Stone” in 2020.

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