Country Music Memories: ‘Stardust’ Certified Quadruple Platinum

Thirty-one years ago today, on Jan. 9, 1990, Willie Nelson‘s Stardust album was certified quadruple platinum, for sales in excess of 4 million units.

Stardust, released in 1978, includes two No. 1 hits, “Georgia on My Mind” and “Blue Skies.” The 10-track record features classics from all genres, including “Unchained Melody,” “Don’t Get Around Much Anymore” and “Someone to Watch Over Me.”

R&B star Booker T. Jones produced Stardust, which hit platinum status in December of 1978, eight months after it was released. The record proved that Nelson’s instincts were right, even though his record label balked at the concept of the album.

“[It’s] another one of those albums that they said, ‘This is not a good idea. It costs too much money first of all, and these old songs, nobody wants to hear ‘em anymore,'” Nelson recalls.

Stardust went on to sell more than 5 million copies in the United States and stayed on the Billboard Country Albums chart for an astonishing 10 years. The album has been re-released twice, first in 1999 with two bonus tracks, and then in 2008, for its 30th anniversary, with a 16-track bonus disc of standards from other Nelson albums.

Stardust was included in the 2015 class of Grammy Hall of Fame inductees. The album is available for download and streaming on Amazon.

This story was originally written by Gayle Thompson, and revised by Annie Zaleski.

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