The movie premiered in September 2001 as the singer was struggling with serious personal issues. She had recently broken up with her then-boyfriend, Luis Miguel, after three years of dating, and she was still working alongside her ex-husband Tommy Mottola. In July 2001, she was hospitalized after suffering an emotional breakdown and making an erratic appearance on MTV’s TRL.
Nearly 20 years later, Carey revealed that she was diagnosed with bipolar disorder in 2001, but she’d kept it a secret because she was afraid that the stigma surrounding mental illness would hinder her career. Though she received her diagnosis the same year she was hospitalized, the New York native said it took her years to realize she needed to seek treatment.
The “Hero” songstress later described that period as one of the most intense moments in her life. “It was a tough time when [Glitter] came out,” she said during a November 2018 appearance on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon. “It was a whole thing; it was a drama.”
Critics didn’t help the situation, pointing out what they saw as the movie’s flaws and noting that the accompanying soundtrack didn’t sell as well as Carey’s other smash hits. “The press shouldn’t really have compared Glitter to another Mariah Carey album, because it’s a soundtrack, a concept album with an ’80s retro theme,” she told USA Today in November 2002. “Soundtracks aren’t expected to [sell] like artists’ other records. … But I still think there are some really good songs on that record.”
In 2018, however, the singer’s fans — known as the Lambily — managed to push the Glitter to the No. 1 spot on the iTunes album chart after a social media campaign known as #JusticeForGlitter. Despite her complicated history with the album, the “Fantasy” crooner acknowledged her fans’ efforts in interviews and social media posts, saying the renewed success of the LP was entirely due to the fans.
“The fact that Glitter even came back is a thing,” she told Jimmy Fallon after the album hit its belated milestone. “Whoever thought it was going to get to No. 1, all these years later? But it is a good album and the fans made it happen. I had nothing to do with it. The Lambily got behind it. … It’s a movement, it’s bigger than me.”
Keep scrolling for everything Carey has said about Glitter: