Biggie LP First Hardcore Diamond Album

The award honors records with shipments of more than 10 million units to stores.

The Notorious B.I.G.'s 1997 album, Life After Death, has

become the first hardcore hip-hop album to be given a Diamond Award by

the Recording Industry Association of America, the association announced

Tuesday (Feb. 1). The Diamond Award honors albums with shipments of more

than 10 million units to stores. Life After Death, the two-CD album

featuring "Mo' Money, Mo' Problems" and "Hypnotize," was released just

weeks after the Notorious B.I.G. was killed as he left a party in Los

Angeles on March 9, 1997. It earned the award last month. The RIAA counts

each CD as a unit, so a two-CD album counts as two units. MC Hammer's

1990 album, Please Hammer Don't Hurt 'Em, is the only other hip-hop

Diamond Award recipient. The RIAA also announced that 'N Sync's

self-titled debut album also was given a Diamond Award in January.