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How Carly Rae Jepsen Became Pop’s Most Beloved Underdog | Time

Carly Rae Jepsen’s fourth album, Dedicated, was released the same weekend as the Game of Thrones finale. The result? In a small but vocal corner of the internet, fans latched on to the coincidence. “Give Carly Rae Jepsen the Iron Throne,” they tweeted. “So happy to hear Carly Rae Jepsen won Game of Thrones,” they joked. “Carly Rae Jepsen was destined to be Queen of the Iron Throne all along with her new-heights-reaching masterpiece Dedicated,” they declared. And they reminded each other—per the rules of “stan” culture—to stream Dedicated with, well, dedication.

Jepsen hasn’t had a song crack the Top 10 of the Billboard Hot 100 since 2012, but she’s doing just fine. Better than fine, in fact. Based on the potent praise lavished upon her online, you’d think she was the biggest pop star in the world, sitting comfortably alongside longtime titans like Beyoncé, Lady Gaga and Rihanna. So how, exactly, did Jepsen develop this extreme cult of popularity?