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Def Leppard Tour History Fan Archive.
17 Years Ago Def Leppard Attend Diamond Awards In New York City

Wednesday, 16th March 2016

Def Leppard 1999.
16th March 1999

Def Leppard attended the first Diamond Awards ceremony in New York 17 years ago on this day in 1999.

The awards took place at Roseland Ballroom in New York, NY on 16th March 1999.

The first event where the prestigious RIAA Diamond Awards were given to all acts who had sold 10 million plus copies of one album in the USA.

All band members attended the ceremony and were joined by various music legends including Pink Floyd, Metallica, Billy Joel, ZZ Top, Bon Jovi, Boyz II Men, Kenny G, AC/DC, Led Zeppelin, Guns N' Roses, Journey, Elton John and many more.

At this first ceremony a total of 46 artists were awarded Diamond Awards for 62 different albums.

Follow this link to view a photo of the band as they arrived at the event.

View the award presented to Alanis Morissette at this event for 'Jagged Little Pill' which had sold 16 million copies.

The biggest selling albums awarded were The Eagles 'Their Greatest Hits 1971-1975' (25 million), Michael Jackson's 'Thriller' (25 million) and Pink Floyd's 'The Wall' at 23 million.

'Hysteria' was the 28th best selling album in America at the time of the awards. Metallica's 'Metallica' / Black album was at 11 million at this time but has now gone up to 16 million.

Def Leppard are one of only five rock bands that have two or more Diamond Award certifications. The others being - The Beatles, Van Halen, Led Zeppelin and Pink Floyd.

The 'Pyromania' album reached Diamond status with 10 million sales on 8th July 2004.

The ceremony marked the first appearance of Joe's new tiger skin coat which he would wear throughout the 1999/2000 Euphoria tour and bring back briefly on the 2006 YEAH! tour. It was also the first time he'd been seen with his new shorter hair style. Rick's gold suit was seen in the main band photo inside the 'Euphoria' album booklet. Mr. Savage's suit has not been seen since.

Phil and Joe spoke about the awards in some recent interviews which can be read below.

Def Leppard - USA Album Award Certifications

  • Hysteria
  • 10x Platinum - 9th May 1990 - (Diamond-awarded in 1999)
  • 11x Platinum - 6th December 1993
  • 12x Platinum - 17th August 1998
  • Pyromania
  • 10x Platinum - 8th July 2004 - (Diamond)

Note - the Diamond award was created in 1999 so only Pyromania was awarded Diamond status upon reaching 10 million sales. Hysteria had sold 12 million by the time the awards were created.

Phil Collen - October 2015 Interview Quotes

A moment where he had an appreciation for the band's accomplishments?

"I think I didn't realise how much we'd accomplished because we was doing album tour, album tour until we got our first Diamond award. Which is you know going ten times platinum. And you know we were talking earlier on about the industry changing so much. You know you used to have Gold albums, Platinum albums and then if you went ten times platinum you got a Diamond Award. We had the first Diamond Award ceremony ever in New York and it was you know - it's us. It's Elton John, it's Billy Joel, you know the guys from Journey, AC/DC, Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd. It was an amazing - but all in the same room."

"So it was actually really weird and - I think actually out of anything that happened at that moment in time we went 'wow, OK so these guys are our peers'. And we ended up getting two of them, two of these things. We got one for Hysteria and one for Pyromania. It was you know achievement wise you can't really - and they always say you don't measure it with something that's a material object but with these things they really - it did hit home what we'd actually been doing and what we'd accomplished you know from all those years of just touring and working in the studio. So it was kinda nice. It was a really nice event and the whole thing actually meant quite a lot and I didn't think it would but it was actually really cool."

Phil Collen - April 2015 Interview Quotes

Career Highlight Diamond Award

"Yeah I think all of it. It's not a blur. It's amazing, it's an amazing thing. But I think one moment that stands out, that kind of shocked me, is when we got, we went to receive our Diamond album for Hysteria and it was in the Roseland Theatre in New York City. It was the first time they'd ever had this event."

"So there was only 68 artists who'd ever achieved it and there's Elton John, there's Billy Joel. ZZ Top there's the Pink Floyd guys. Zeppelin with us, Metallica, MC Hammer was in there. I mean it was just right across the board all in this one room and I remember going up to the podium. You know because everyone went up and said thank you and all that. And I said well this is great and I looked out at the audience and then I just saw Jimmy Page, Elton John and it was like wow!."

"They're peers and we'd done this thing that's an amazing - So that kind of hit home to me how kind of popular you know some of our music had become - so that was kind of a highlight."

Phil Collen - June 2014 Interview Quote

Having Two Diamond Albums

"Yeah that was really cool actually yeah. Yeah, I couldn't believe that. That's amazing."

Joe Elliott - June 2014 Interview Quote

You guys have two Diamond Albums

"Yeah. We're very - yeah it's a very elite group. Zeppelin, Beatles, Pink Floyd, Van Halen. Yeah it's pretty cool. But you know you have to keep polishing the bloody things!."

RIAA - News Quotes

"While there are many ways to honor success in the music business, the RIAA's Gold, Platinum, Muti-Platinum and Diamond Awards program outshines them all," said Hilary Rosen, president and CEO of the RIAA, to an audience of approximately 400 guests, comprising a "who's who" in the recording industry." It's America's musical tastes and buying power that has determined who receives this award. From this day forward, the RIAA's Diamond Award will be seen as the ultimate, timeless symbol of success and acceptance in the music industry."

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