Justin Bieber was presented with the Diamond Award for “Baby,” his signature 2010 single, during his Newark, N.J. concert at the Prudential Center on Wednesday night (July 31).
The award represents the Recording Industry Association of America’s official recognition of “Baby” as the highest certified digital single in US music history, and earns its Diamond status after going 12-times Platinum.
Released as the lead cut from the second half of Bieber’s debut album My World 2.0 and featuring the rapper Ludacris, to date “Baby” has punched in 3.9 million track sales and over 876 million views on VEVO.
Back in May, the RIAA announced “Baby’s” new Diamond status was based on its inclusion of on-demand streaming data into its Gold and Platinum Awards Program.
In doing so, “Baby” dethroned Elton John’s 1973 double-A “Candle in the Wind/ Something About The Way You Look Tonight” as the highest certified single.
Bieber was given the award on stage by his manager Scooter Braun. In front of 20,000 screaming fans and a visibly blown away singer, Braun, 32, said:
“I met Justin when he was 12, and through all the good times and the hard times he has stayed positive and worked hard for all of you.”
Reading the inscription on the glass pyramid award, Braun added: “The Diamond Award presented to Justin Bieber in recognition of ‘Baby’ for 12 million in sales making ‘Baby’ the number one most certified song ever in US music history. Congratulations.”
After embracing his manager and accepting the Diamond, a shirtless Bieber asked fans, “Do you guys want me to do a speech right now, alright.”
“Well, first and foremost I want to thank all my Beliebers in the audience tonight,” the 19-year-old added. “Second of all, I want to thank all my Beliebers at home. I want to thank my mom for always believing in me.”
Bieber signed off by thanking the dancers and band on stage before launching — aptly enough — into a performance of “Baby.”
As the news rippled through the web, fans stormed Twitter sending the hastag “#congratsjustin” trending worldwide almost immediately.
The RIAA joined the fun, tweeting:
— RIAA (@RIAA) August 1, 2013
The stage manager for the Believe tour, who is known as “Scrappy,” hilariously noted:
Bieber, naturally, also took to Twitter and as well as retweeting celebratory messages, wrote:
Amazing night and honored. So much more to do. I love my #Beliebers. Thank u!!
— Justin Bieber (@justinbieber) August 1, 2013
After months of controversy, the RIAA’s Diamond honor is not only a well deserved award for the highest digital sales of a single, it’s also a refreshing and welcome headline for the Canadian teen.
Meanwhile, the Believe tour rolls on. The pop prince plays Brooklyn’s Barclays Center this Friday.
[Image Credit For Signage Photo via David Schwitzer]