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10 Terrible Financial Choices in Music History

6. Mariah Carey's Glitter isn't gold
At the end of the 1990s, Billboard Magazine and the World Music Awards dubbed Carey the best artist of that decade. Each of her first seven albums had gone multiplatinum -- with her Daydream and Music Box albums selling more than 10 million copies each. Where do you go from there? To the movies!

Surely Carey could handle being one of the biggest music stars in the world, a one-woman industry and an actress in a film about a struggling club singer in the 1980s -- familiar subject for a performer who was once a backup singer for Brenda K. Starr. It was a lot more complicated than that, however, as Carey had just left Columbia Records amid fallout from her divorce from Sony (SNE) exec Tommy Mottola, signed an $80 million deal with Virgin/EMI, ended a relationship with boyfriend Luis Miguel and had a near breakdown on MTV's Total Request Live. Just months before Glitter was supposed to be released, Carey was checked into a hospital for extreme exhaustion.

She'd get no rest once Glitter was released, as it that happened the same day as the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, was nearly universally panned, brought in less than a quarter of what it had cost to make and won Carey Worst Actress "honors" at that year's Golden Raspberry awards. More importantly, it cost Carey her new record deal when its soundtrack failed to go multiplatinum and Virgin bought out Carey for $28 million.

It took Carey almost four years to completely rebound, signing with Island Records in 2002 and scoring 6 million sales of her album Emancipation of Mimi in 2005. Though Carey albums such as 2009's Memoirs of an Imperfect Angel or last years Merry Christmas II You have failed to sell a million copies, Glitter remains the one garish, sparkly smudge on an otherwise brilliant career.
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