On This Day: Willie Nelson ‘Stardust’ Album Certified Quadruple Platinum in 1990

by Matthew Wilson

Willie Nelson dazzles and sparkles in his album “Stardust,” even after all these years. It’s been 31 years since the album went certified quadruple platinum in 1990.

That’s just icing on the cake to Nelson’s long and storied career, especially when his record label hated the album’s concept. In 1978, Nelson had made a name for himself with a string of outlaw country hits. For instance, “Red Headed Stranger” proved to be among Nelson’s seminal work in 1975.

But “Stardust” was a break away from that formula. Nelson wanted to cover some well-known pop songs and give them their own spin. Executives were afraid the change might alienate Nelson’s fanbase. But producer Booker T. Jones backed Nelson, and the singer ultimately was proven right.

“[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 recalled.

Willie Nelson Has Another Hit

When it released in 1978, the album proved almost instantly successful. The country singer had two No. 1 hit songs in the form of “Georgia on My Mind” and “Blue Skies.”

Those songs proved to be among Nelson’s classic and most endearing tunes. The album featured a blend of different styles and included songs such as “Unchained Melody,” “Don’t Get Around Much Anymore” and “Someone to Watch Over Me.”

Upon release, the album sold more than five million copies in just the United States alone. By 1990, the album had gone quadruple platinum proving that Nelson was a little more than right when it comes to music. In 1999, Nelson re-released the album with two new bonus tracks. The artist would release the album once more in 2008 for its 30th anniversary, with 16 bonus songs from throughout Nelson’s career.

In 2015, “Stardust” was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame.