Brow Beat

How Mariah Carey’s 2001 Flop Glitter Surged to the Top of the Charts 17 Years Later

Mariah Carey stands on stage in a pink dress and gives the crowd a joyous wave and smile.
Mariah Carey. Kevin Winter/Getty Images

Mariah Carey’s 2001 album Glitter always seemed doomed to fail. It premiered as the soundtrack of a semi-autobiographical musical rom-com with the same name, which got universally bad reviews. And just before a planned August release for the soundtrack, Carey went through mental health struggles that led to unflattering promotional appearances and a brief hospitalization. As a result, the soundtrack release date was pushed back to September 11, 2001, one of the most horrifying days in American history. Critically and commercially, the album was a flop.

But thanks to the loyalty of Carey’s fan base, who call themselves the “Lambily,” and the power of Twitter, the 17-year-old album just found new vitality. On Thursday, Glitter surged to the top of the iTunes album charts as Carey’s “lambs” created a #JusticeForGlitter hashtag to demand recognition for the old album. Tens of thousands of tweets later, their vision of Glitter’s restoration has been realized and the queen herself has responded with an appreciative tweet:

Carey’s new album Caution dropped on Friday.