This One Career Move Is Mariah Carey's Biggest Regret

Mariah Carey is a once in a generation kind of talent, with her signature five octave range and sky-high whistle tones, per Bustle. The singer has influenced the likes of Ariana Grande, Beyonce, and Christina Aguilera, and continues to dominate today's artists, and set high standards for diva-hood in the pop music world (via The Things).

Despite her massive success, however, Carey has admitted to a few missteps in her career — though die-hard fans, called "Lambily," (a combination of "Lamb" and "Family" according to The New Yorker), might disagree with their Queen B.

Mariah Carey has appeared on Andy Cohen's cheeky late night talk show, "Watch What Happens Live" several times since its first season in 2009, and each interview has shed light on the pop star's awe-inducing persona. Carey has never been shy when it comes to dealing with her critics, but even the diva herself isn't a fan of every piece in her body of work. And one project was unmentionable for almost 20 years after its release, known only as the G-word in her inner circle, according to Billboard.

The star tried her hand at acting

In 2013, however, in a "Watch What Happens Live" interview that is tragically unavailable online, Mariah Carey owned up to the project she isn't proud of, naming the 2001 film "Glitter." Carey plays Billie Frank, a night club performer trying to make it in the industry who is scouted as a backup singer. Besides giving major "Cheetah Girls" vibes with its animal print outfits and immaculate girl-group energy, the film's narrative — a singer discovering the cost of fame — is a thematic cross between "Dreamgirls," "A Star is Born," and "Burlesque." All of these films also feature real-life pop divas as underdog protagonists.

Though the film has a semi-decent audience score of 48% on Rotten Tomatoes, an abysmal 6% of its critics reviews were certified fresh. Carey got into some of the details on why she doesn't see "Glitter" as a masterpiece with Andy Cohen in 2013; she told the host, "There was no script, darling" (per News).

Though there was technically a script, the film's writing was lambasted in reviews. A reviewer for wrote, "Nothing redeemable could possibly have come out of Kate Lanier's ill-fated script" (via Rotten Tomatoes). The singer also shared that she regrets the project most because of a lack of leadership behind the camera. She told Cohen, "I really needed a Hollywood legend to be in control." 

Glitter marked a difficult era in her career

In the evolution of Mariah Carey, "Glitter" came along with a dark period in her life, especially when it came to her public perception. In 2001, Carey was struggling publicly with her mental health, a delay in her album's release, and, according to The New York Times, Carey was also bought out of her $100 million record deal with Virgin due to their purchase by EMI Group. The delayed release of the album also happened to fall on the same day as the 9/11 terrorist attacks, which Carey felt increased the media's vilification of her personal life and professional downturn to distract audiences.

Considering the film's release during this difficult era of her career, Carey told Andy Cohen in 2013, "Now, I look at it again in retrospect, I'm like, 'You know what, I learned something, I'm grateful for that experience,' but it was a horrible couple of years. And then I had to get my momentum back for people to let it go" (via Fuse).

In an unexpected turn of events, Carey's ex-husband, rapper and TV personality Nick Cannon revealed that he has always liked the ill-fated film. He told Andy Cohen on "Watch What Happens Live" in 2015 "Glitter" is an "awesome movie! Honest opinion. Great movie, even better soundtrack."

Mariah Carey's fans demanded justice for Glitter

Though Mariah Carey's not a fan of the album's namesake movie, the "Glitter" soundtrack still has a special place in her discography. On her 2013 "Watch What Happens Live" appearance, as Carey cringed at the videos Andy Cohen showed of the film, the singer did tease a potential tribute to the album on an upcoming tour, per US Weekly. In 2016 she added her song "Loverboy" off the album to her setlist, according to Billboard. Then, in 2018, fans started a grassroots campaign online to get "Glitter" the respect it deserved as an iconic album that went tragically unappreciated.

Per Billboard, the movement was started by MariahTrends on Twitter, who used #JusticeForGlitter to engage the "Lamblily" to buy the album, which was then unavailable for streaming. The album quickly rose to the top of the Billboard 100, and Carey reacted to the stunning rise on Cohen's show that year in advance of her 2019 "Caution" tour. "Since the Lambily got 'Glitter' to number 1, they've lifted this huge burden, of having to feel like 'oh, I can't do stuff from 'Glitter,' because nobody knows it' ... redemption for glitter. #JusticeForGlitter ... We're going to put together perhaps a medley."

And, in the end, Lambily dreams came true, when Carey performed what Billboard described as a "Never Too Far"/"Last Night a DJ Saved My Life"/"Loverboy"/"Didn't Mean to Turn You On" medley on her subsequent tour.