Color us confused: We know that enduring megastar Mariah Carey’s new album, Caution, is coming out tomorrow, Nov. 16, but here’s a marketing strategy we didn’t see coming. Ahead of the release of her newest offering, Carey’s legions of fans—better known as her “Lambily”—have catapulted the soundtrack to her infamous 2001 box-office bomb, Glitter, to the top of the charts with a hashtag, #JusticeforGlitter.
In fact, Carey awoke this morning to discover that her soundtrack was No. 1 on the iTunes charts. According to Paper, it’s also currently charting in Italy, the Philippines, the United Kingdom and Australia. Considering the fact that the album not only had the misfortune of being affiliated with a film with only a seven percent “Fresh” rating on Rotten Tomatoes but was initially released on September 11, 2001, the sudden interest is impressive, to say the least.
Even more compelling? In a season where two current and highly marketed soundtracks were already topping the charts, Glitter is now besting both A Star Is Born and Bohemian Rhapsody (and everything else) on both the iTunes Top 100 soundtrack and album charts, according to PopVortex.
But why, though?
It seems all praises are due to Carey’s fans, who seemingly originated the #JusticeforGlitter hashtag unprompted, and subsequently made it go viral.
Still no explanation for the timing, outside of building momentum for Carey’s pending release amidst existing seasonal enthusiasm for her perennial No. 1 single, 1994's “All I Want for Christmas Is You.” But some outlets suggested a backlash against another music movie dominating this season, with Vanity Fair writing:
Move over, Lady Gaga, because there’s a new act in town—or rather, an act that has returned with a vengeance. A Star Is Born might be the rare studio film starring a famous singer—but Mariah Carey fans just catapulted a different soundtrack to No. 1 on the iTunes albums chart. ... somewhere out there, Jackson Maine is weeping.
While that feels like a bit of a reach to us, ironically, Glitter’s plot—underdog singer meets and falls in love with sweet but sketchy musician; her career takes off while his flounders; he dies, she sings big finale ballad—was actually based on A Star Is Born (a fact not lost on others). So, perhaps there is some correlation between the now-hit remake and renewed interest in Carey’s film, which is considered in equal measure a cult classic and one of the worst films ever made (even Carey has called it her “biggest regret.”)
But what remains to be seen is if all of this unexpected and unprecedented momentum will translate to success for Caution’s release on Friday. If the Lambily has anything to do with it, Mariah Carey might have a very merry Christmas, after all.