I gotta have faith, faith faith. George Michael wasn’t singing about Faith Hill in his 1986 No. 1 pop hit, but in retrospect, it feels like an apropos precursor to country’s Faith revolution of the 1990s.
Faith Hill took country music by storm with her 1993 debut album, Take Me as I Am, eventually becoming one of the Top 20 Best-Selling Country Artists of All Time, according to the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA).
The RIAA has been tracking domestic album sales in the U.S. for seven decades. Gold (500,000 units), Platinum (1 million units), and Multi-Platinum (2 million units and more) are shiny, but Diamonds (10 million units and more) are forever.
No. 16: Faith Hill
- 25.5 Million Units Sold
- 6 Multi-Platinum Albums
- 1 Gold Album
- 1 Platinum Single
- 2 Gold Singles
Faith Takes a Deep Breath
Faith Hill has six Multi-Platinum albums to her name, including her 1993 debut album, Take Me as I Am (3X), her 1995 sophomore album, It Matters to Me (4X), and her 1998 album, Faith (6X).
But Faith’s fourth studio album, Breathe, will make you gasp for air. The album has been certified 8X Platinum for sales of 8 million units.
The 13-song offering earned Faith three Grammy Awards in 2000, including Best Country Album, Best Female Country Vocal Performance (“Breathe”), and Best Country Collaboration With Vocals (“Let’s Make Love”). In addition to the chart-topping title track, “The Way You Loved Me” also reached No. 1 on the Billboard Country Airplay chart.
While Faith’s No. 1 single, “Breathe,” has been certified Gold, her best-selling single is “This Kiss.”
Certified Platinum for sales of 1 million units, “This Kiss” was the lead single from Faith’s self-titled third album in 1998. Penned by Beth Nielsen Chapman, Robin Lerner, and Annie Roboff, “This Kiss” also became a Top 10 hit on the all-genre Billboard Hot 100 chart.
“This Kiss” won the ACM Award for Single of the Year and Video of the Year in 1998, as well as the CMA Award for Video of the Year in 1998.
In Defense of Faith
Back in my day, you were either Team Faith or Team Shania. What a glorious time for female country music stars.
Faith and Shania dominated the charts with No. 1 albums and No. 1 singles, and their videos were must-watch events. The country stars seemingly competed for every Grammy Award, CMA Award, and ACM Award for the better part of a decade.
Faith and Shania—along with Trisha Yearwood, Lee Ann Womack, Martina McBride, and more—set the bar in the 1990s and early 2000s during the heyday of female vocal powerhouses. Unfortunately, country’s current landscape makes that bar unreachable right now. But there’s hope. And we’ll always have Faith.