Lauryn Hill has contributed music to the world that still finds its way to the playlists of the new generations time and time again. When you talk classic albums, there is no way you leave out The Miseducation Of Lauryn Hill. When people talk timeless music, this album is sure to be on a majority of music lovers’ lists. This month, the 20+-year-old album achieves another milestone that will further cement its place in history.
— RIAA (@RIAA) February 17, 2021
The album has officially sold more than 10,000,000 units since its 1998 release. Miseducation also joins a very exclusive club featuring Michael Jackson’s Thriller, Adele’s 21, Britney Spears’ …Baby One More Time, Eminem’s The Marshall Mathers LP, and 2Pac’s All Eyez On Me.
When the album originally released, it debuted at #1 with more than 400k plus sold. The album also landed Hill with 10 Grammy nominations and five wins including for Album of the Year, Best R&B Album, and Best Female R&B Vocal Performance for “Doo Wop (That Thing).” The road to diamond has been 20 years in the making and would have happened sooner, had streaming not taken over, slowing pure sales. The theme of the album and feelings Lauryn had are still felt by everyone and every generation because as much as things change, they stay the same, and albums like this one help us cope.
During a recent interview for Rolling Stone’s 500 Greatest Albums podcast, the 45-year-old artist reflected on her success and how her seminal debut changed her life.
“The wild thing is no one from my label has ever called me and asked how can we help you make another album, EVER…EVER. Did I say ever? Ever!” Hill explained. “With The Miseducation, there was no precedent. I was, for the most part, free to explore, experiment, and express. After The Miseducation, there were scores of tentacled obstructionists, politics, repressing agendas, unrealistic expectations, and saboteurs EVERYWHERE. People had included me in their own narratives of their successes as it pertained to my album, and if this contradicted my experience, I was considered an enemy.” Lauryn continued: “I think my intention was simply to make something that made my foremothers and forefathers in music and social and political struggle know that someone received what they’d sacrificed to give us, and to let my peers know that we could walk in that truth, proudly and confidently. At that time, I felt like it was a duty or responsibility to do so. … I challenged the norm and introduced a new standard. I believe The Miseducation did that and I believe I still do this—defy convention when the convention is questionable.”