Just over a week after performing her latest hit “Chun-Li” on Saturday Night Live, Nicki Minaj has officially earned a gold sales award for it.
Revealed on via the artist’s Twitter account and confirmed by the RIAA, the news comes roughly a month and a half after the song’s original release on April 12. The gold certification reflects sales and sales equivalents amounting to 500,000 units, a combination of digital download purchases, legal audio streams, and online music video plays.
Co-produced by Minaj with J. Reid, “Chun-Li” first appeared on the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart at No. 92, no small feat given that it accomplished this with only one day’s worth of performance in the qualifying frame. The following week, the track shot to No. 10, which remains its peak position after seven total weeks.
The corresponding album Queen is set for August 10 release, pushed back from an originally planned June 15 date. Some have speculated that the move has to do with an expected glut of rap albums due out next month, including ones from Nas and Kanye West, though the success of “Chun-Li” to date would suggest otherwise.
“Chun-Li” now marks Minaj’s fifteenth song as a lead artist to achieve RIAA certification. The highest performing of the bunch remains “Super Bass,” which is octuple-platinum, with the sextuple-platinum “Starships” coming in second. (Years have passed since these tracks’ last certifications, and it is plausible that at least one of the two would earned RIAA diamond status upon official review.)
Minaj’s presence has helped several other artists achieve at least RIAA gold if not better, including Ariana Grande, David Guetta, Trey Songz and Yo Gotti. In this subset, the Jessie J single “Bang Bang” outranks the rest, having done platinum six times over.
Furthermore, all three of Minaj’s studio albums for the Young Money / Cash Money imprint at Republic have earned RIAA awards, with a triple-platinum certification for 2011’s Pink Friday and double-platinum ones for its sequel Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded and 2014’s The Pinkprint.
Not surprisingly, Minaj’s strengths extend to the Billboard charts as well. To date, she has had 88 singles with her reach the Hot 100, including those with her as a lead artist as well as a featured artist on other people’s tracks. In addition to “Chun-Li,” Minaj currently appears on another concurrent Hot 100 charting single, albeit in a guest capacity: Post Malone’s “Ball For Me.” Despite having sixteen songs chart within the Top 10, she has yet to take the top spot, with The Pinkprint’s “Anaconda” coming closest at No. 2 in 2014 and the aforementioned “Super Bass” hitting a No. 3 peak in 2011.
Other hip-hop singles that earned RIAA certifications within the past week include a triple-platinum award for 21 Savage’s “Bank Account,” a double-platinum one for Offset and Metro Boomin’s “Ric Flair Drip” and gold for YBN Nahmir’s “Rubbin Off The Paint.”