Tyler Childers, Jason Isbell Earn New Gold & Platinum Singles

Artists that sit decidedly outside of the mainstream country fold and enjoy little to no attention from commercial radio continue to rack up precious metal, speaking to the gobbling up of market share by independent artists. A feat once thought impossible without the support of radio is now becoming a more regular occurrence, and for a widening group of performers.

Made official of February 18th, two Tyler Childers singles have graduated from Certified Gold, to Certified Platinum by the RIAA for sales and streaming equivalents of 1 million units. Tyler’s songs “Lady May” and “Whitehouse Road” from his 2017 album Purgatory join his singles “Feathered Indians” and “All Your’n” in the Platinum class. That’s right, Tyler Childers now had four platinum singles, three of which are from the album Purgatory, which itself was Certified Gold on December 8th, 2020, and is likely to go Platinum itself sooner than later.

The certifications come as Purgatory continues to be one of the most popular titles in all of country music, despite now being nearly half a decade old. Throughout 2022, Purgatory has regularly landed in the Billboard Country Albums chart Top 10, while receiving regular weekly totals of over 8 million streams, along with continued strong physical sales and downloads. In short, Tyler Childers is one of the most popular artists in all of country music at the moment, thanks to the continued strength of Purgatory.

Now joining Tyler Childers, Cody Jinks, Whiskey Myers, Sturgill Simpson, and a select few others as modern independent artists with RIAA Certified songs is Jason Isbell. Also announced on February 18th, his signature song “Cover Me Up” has officially gone Gold. The opening song of what many consider to be his master work, 2013’s Southeastern, “Cover Me Up” has become a standard in both country and Americana over the last few years.

Though the momentum behind Jason Isbell’s original version was quite strong on its own, the song has been covered by multiple mainstream country stars, helping to raise its profile. Zac Brown covered the song in 2017 for a Spotify live version that has since received some 14.5 million plays. Rodney Atkins covered the song on his 2019 album Caught Up In The Country. And then Morgan Wallen covered the song for his commercial powerhouse album Dangerous: The Double Album from 2021.

Warren Zeiders, Randy Matthews, and others have officially covered the song in recorded versions as well. Morgan Wallen’s version was Certified Double Platinum just a few months ago, on November 23rd, 2021. In the wake of Morgan Wallen’s N-word controversy, Isbell donated portions of his song royalties from the Wallen version to the NAACP.

Along with Jason Isbell’s native fans, enough people found favor in the song to seek out the original version of “Cover Me Up” for it now to join other independent singles in the RIAA certification department.

The continued success of independent singles proves that there is a path forward for country artists without the crutch of radio, at least for the right song from the right artist, of which these newly-minted singles most certainly were.

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