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Mariah Carey fans helped a 16 year-old album return to the Billboard charts with an accidentally inappropriate hashtag.
Carey’s eighth studio album Glitter accompanies a 2001 film of the same name. The album didn’t do well for a number of reasons, including its release on September 11, 2001, according to Billboard. Last month, a fan-led campaign to encourage appreciation for the album used the hashtag #JusticeforGlitter.
— Leo Richardson (@leo_richardson) November 16, 2018
.@MariahCarey’s GLITTER returns to @Billboard in its largest sales week in 16 years:
#1 – R&B/Hip-Hop Catalog Albums
#4 – Soundtrack Album Sales
#8 – Catalog Album Sales
#14 – Soundtracks
#15 – Digital Albums
Details: https://t.co/k6kdQB0ygc #JusticeForGlitter pic.twitter.com/YCOhLimPuh
— Mariah Trends (@MariahTrends) November 20, 2018
I have to dedicate today's #tbt to Glitter, which is currently #1 on the iTunes albums chart, 17 years after its release and on the eve of my new album release! My fans are THE BEST 💖💖💖 #JusticeForGlitter!! LET'S GO #CAUTION⚠️ pic.twitter.com/i2v8Zkp1oy
— Mariah Carey (@MariahCarey) November 15, 2018
Carey’s fans, however, unknowingly made an epic error in judgement. As indy100 reports, the hashtag evoked a different meaning for United Kingdom users who thought the phrase about Gary Glitter, a rock artist who grew to fame in the 1970s and ’80s.
Glitter was charged for a number of offenses, including child pornography and having sex with an underaged girl, who was 14 at the time. In 2015, Gary was sentenced to 16 years in prison for sexual abuse that occurred between 1975 and 1980.
I just hiccup-laughed hot chocolate out of my nose in the office. The hashtag no one in the UK needed. https://t.co/WITRnAaL9y
— Jake Tucker (@_JakeTucker) December 3, 2018
— Ken Webster Jr (@ProducerKen) December 3, 2018
— tayliberal swileftist (@DelicateOutsold) December 3, 2018
In a recent interview, Carey said that the effort by her fans restored her confidence in Glitter, which was her worst selling studio album to date.
“Since the Lamb got ‘Glitter’ to number one, they’ve lifted this huge burden of having to feel like, ‘oh I can’t do stuff from “Glitter” because nobody knows it or whatever,” Carey told Andy Cohen.
Glitter is currently in the top 10 albums on Apple Music, alongside Carey’s 2018 release, Caution.
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Alexis Tatum studies journalism at the University of Texas at Austin. She's an editorial intern with the Daily Dot. Her work has appeared in Orange magazine and the Daily Texan.