New Zealand singer-songwriter Lorde (Ella Yelich-O’Connor) has achieved a national first. The Recording Industry Association of America has confirmed that Lorde’s smash hit Royals is officially certified diamond in the United States, putting her among just 15 other singles in US history to reach diamond status.
A song is certified diamond when it reaches 10 million US units. A unit is equal to 150 streams or 1 paid download. Diamond status is one of the highest honours in the music world, symbolising the overwhelming popularity of a song or album.
Lorde took to Twitter to declare her delight, posting that “this is still so crazy to me”. The 21-year-old artist initially released Royals as a free download in 2012 and the track quickly flew up the charts, eventually reaching number one in several countries including the US, UK and her home country of New Zealand.
The hit single earned Lorde Song of the Year and Best Pop Solo Vocal Performance at the 2014 Grammy Awards. In a Billboard interview, Lorde said she wrote Royals “in like half an hour” in her room.
Other diamond-certified singles include Ed Sheeran’s Thinking Out Loud, Katy Perry’s Firework, Imagine Dragons’ Radioactive and Elton John’s Candle in the Wind.
Lorde’s recent single Green Light has also reached platinum status, which acknowledges songs or albums that move 1 million units.