The song peaked at No. 10 on the Billboard Hot 100.
The fourth and last R.E.M. single to reach the top 10 on the chart.
The track peaked at No. 6 on the UK Singles Chart, becoming the first R.E.M. song to reach the top ten in the UK.
It's the only one song of R.E.M. to reach the top ten in both countries.
The band performed the song with Pierson on Saturday Night Live on April 13, 1991.
It was first released as a single in May 1991 in the UK, but did not go on sale in the U.S. until four months later.
Despite the song's success, band members were ambivalent about being known for a pop song that lacked gravitas.
"It's a fruity pop song written for children. It just is what it is", Stipe told the BBC's Andrew Marr in 2016. "If there was one song that was sent into outer space to represent R.E.M. for the rest of time, I would not want it to be Shiny Happy People".
A cover version of the song is featured on the 2004 video game Donkey Konga 2.
Alvin and the Chipmunks recorded a cover of the song as a playable track for their 2007 video game.
In its 2006 "Song of the Summer" countdown, CBC Radio's Freestyle named "Shiny Happy People" 1991's "Song of the Summer".
In 2006, the song received the No. 1 position on AOL Music's list of the "111 Wussiest Songs of All Time".
Blender magazine ranked the song No. 35 on its list of the "50 Worst Songs Ever".
Q magazine included it in a list of "Ten Terrible Records by Great Artists" in 2005.
When Michael Stipe made an appearance on Space Ghost Coast to Coast in 1995, he simply stated "I hate that song, Space Ghost."
Due to the band's dislike of the song, it was one of their few Warner-released singles not included on their 2003 greatest hits album In Time.
The song was included on band's 2011 greatest hits album Part Lies, Part Heart, Part Truth, Part Garbage 1982-2011.
In 1999, R.E.M. created a parody, called "Furry Happy Monsters", and performed it on Sesame Street with a Muppet version of Kate Pierson singing back up, voiced by Stephanie D'Abruzzo of Avenue Q.
The song has also been covered by the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, but without the lyrics.
The Fatima Mansions recorded a song of the same title which used the main title line in its chorus on their EPs Bertie's Brochures and Tima Mansió Dumps the Dead.