Deadheads to One Directioners: These Fans Are Unbelievably Dedicated
Gaining a dedicated fanbase in the music industry isn’t as easy as some artists make it look. It takes talent, patience, hard work, and a certain je ne sais quoi to develop that special bond with the fans.
But while some artists have fans, these artists have super fans. We’re talking fans who will fly across the country and wait hours in the rain just to catch a glimpse of Rihanna in concert. Or the Deadheads of the ’70s who sold burritos so they could follow their favorite band. Check out which artists made our list and see just how dedicated their fanbase is. You won’t believe what one Drake fan tattooed on her body!
The Grateful Dead’s Deadheads
The Grateful Dead has established one of the most dedicated fanbases out there. In the 1970s, a group of fans started traveling to see the band as many times as they could. As more fans began to do the same, a community developed—they even developed their own idioms and slang and took on the name “Deadheads.”
Of course, following a band costs money, so by the late ’70s, Deadheads began selling tie-dye T-shirts, veggie burritos, and other goods at Grateful Dead shows so they could continue following the band. Deadheads’ loyalty to their favorite band hasn’t wavered throughout the years and is still strong into the 21st century. Many Deadheads continue to follow the band through musical incarnations like Ratdog and Phil and Friends
The artist up next has one of the most dedicated fans. Someone call the navy for assistance.
Rihanna’s Navy Holds It Down
When Rihanna released her first album in 2005, it wasn’t long before the singer was a household name. Today, Rihanna is one of the best-selling artists of all time as well as the youngest and fastest solo artists to earn 14 number-one singles. Alongside with a slew of awards, Rihanna has also won over a huge fanbase. The Navy, as they call themselves, are always there to support their beloved Barbadian singer.
“The Navy fights for the country, we fight for Rihanna,” says Eric Nathaniel Best, who has been part of the Rihanna Navy since its inception. The fanbase is so loyal that they even won “Best Fan Army” at the 2014 iHeartRadio Music Awards.
The Juggalos Just Want To Enjoy The Music
The Juggalos are the devoted fans of the hip-hop duo Insane Clown Posse. One wouldn’t expect a horrorcore rap group to have such organized fanbase but these Faygo-drinking Juggalos are nothing to overlook. They have their own festival called the Gathering of the Juggalos which draws more than 100,000 fans each year since it began in 2000.
While the Juggalos just want to enjoy their music, they were once targeted by the police which forced Insane Clown Posse to take legal action against the FBI. “The Juggalos are fighting for the basic American right to freely express who they are, to gather and share their appreciation of music, and to discuss issues that are important to them without fear of being unfairly targeted and harassed by police,” Michael J. Steinberg, ACLU of Michigan legal director, said.
Did someone say “firework”?
Katy Perry’s Fans Break The Law For Her
Katy Perry has amassed an intense fan base who aren’t afraid to show their admiration for the star. And apparently, some of her fans aren’t afraid to go to jail for her either. After Perry had a messy divorce with ex-beau Russell Brand, a fan vandalized a billboard in Los Angeles supporting Brand’s newest show. Underneath Brand’s smiling mug, the fan spraypainted: “I’d rather watch the Katy Perry movie.” Burn!
It’s easy to see that Perry’s fans are simply obsessed and why shouldn’t they be? She’s beautiful, talented, and proves to be hilarious time and time again on the red carpet. We think you’re a firework too, Katy.
Ever since Justin Bieber burst onto the scene in 2008 with a viral YouTube video of him singing, the Beliebers have been doing their thing—and to put it lightly, they’re an are intense bunch. Whatever Bieber does, his fans think it’s the best thing since sliced bread. There isn’t a limit to the crazy things Beliebers have done for Beebs either. From calling a radio show 300 times a day to win tickets to Beiber Island or even going as far to get a tattoo of Beiber’s face, his fans are utterly obsessed.
How do the Beliebers stack up to the Little Monsters?
Lady Gaga’s Little Monsters
Lady Gaga has had diehard fans since the beginning. Her earliest fans even helped build the online community where the eventually dubbed themselves “Little Monsters” and Lady Gaga “Mother Monster.” It’s not surprising that her fans are so dedicated either. After all, Lady Gaga is a huge supporter of the LGBTQ community and loves to give her fans shout outs during live performances. Can you imagine your favorite artist shout your name out while they perform?
Billboard asked people to write what it meant to be a part of their fandom and someone wrote an essay for Gaga. “We all believe in the importance of love, compassion, and tolerance,” wrote the Little Monster. “We are genuinely trying to make the world a better place.”
The KISS Army
In 1975, the KISS Army was unofficially formed by Indiana fans Bill Starkey and Jay Evans, who would pester the local radio station to play the band’s music. Once Evans and Starkey were mentioned on air, the army became a bigger affiliation and other fans started to call in and ask if they could join.
Once they started working with the band to help promote a concert that brought in 10,000 people, the KISS Army became the official fan club. They got their own logo to go along with their loyalty. They really are their own entity.
Whatever you do, don’t be this type of fan coming up next.
Drake’s Fans Tattoo His Name So He Knows It’s Real
Drake has been reigning supreme in the hip-hop world ever since he released “Best I Ever Had” from his highly acclaimed mixtape So Far Gone. The artist was on an unprecedented journey of being on the charts for 431 weeks which ended in August 2017. Only the most dedicated fans could help an artist pull off a streak like that—and it appears that Drake does have the most dedicated of fans.
One of his supporters took one of Drake’s lyrics a little too seriously (“tatt my name on you so I know it’s real”) when she got “DRAKE” tattooed on her forehead! “I want to meet her and understand what happened,” he told LA radio host Mando Fresko. “That’s cool though, I feel you 100 percent. That to me is absolutely incredible.”
We haven’t even got to some of the craziest fans yet!
The Beyhive Is Sweet As Honey
If there’s one group of super fans you don’t want to mess with, it’s Beyonce’s Beyhive. The Beyhive takes no prisoners whenever someone dares to challenge their Queen Bey. You know have some of the best fans when another megastar is practically the president of your fan club.
Adele dedicated her Grammy to Queen Bey in 2017. “She is my icon — for my whole life since I was 11 years old.” Adele added: “I felt like it was her time to win. I felt this album showed another side of her that we haven’t seen and I felt blessed to walk into that situation.”
One Direction’s One Directioners
You’d be hardpressed to find a group of fans as loyal as One Directions’. Just be sure you aren’t dating one of the One Direction members or else you could be threatened. Just look at Taylor Swift. When the pop star started dating Hary Styles back in 2012, One Direction fans weren’t happy and they let everyone know. Swift’s social media mentions were flooded by angry One Directioners, some of whom even threatened to kill her. While one fan tweeted: “I’ll murder Taylor Swift. She will not date my Harry,” another posted: “If u dating my harry, I kill u.” Yikes.
But do their fans stack up to who we have next?
Don Arnold/WireImage Diehard Taylor Swift fans, playing dubbed The Swifties, are no joke. They’ve met the pop star in person (or have it at the top their bucket list), they’ve seen in concert multiple times, they have every single one her albums, and spend every waking minute trying to get Taylor’s attention on social media by creating fan accounts just for her.
It’s no secret that Swift has skyrocketed to stardom over the last decade and it seems like no one’s immune to the power of Tay either. Even Kim Kardashian told a reporter in 2009 that she was “the biggest Taylor Swift fan.” That was, of course, until the very public feud between Swift, Kardashian and her husband, Kanye West. We wonder if she still feels the same way.
Did someone say Kanye West?
Yeezy Yeezy How You Doin’ Huh?
Kanye West’s career has transformed immensely over the last decade. From starting off rapping about getting tired of working the grave shift at the GAP to spewing out lyrics telling his girl she shouldn’t be partying in Los Angeles anymore, all of his fans have noticed the transformation. It allowed them to stay with him and for West to obtain new fans along the way.
“They come in all stripes, but if you attend a live show you’ll notice that men are typically overrepresented by a significant margin,” GQ wrote. “The majority of these Kanye stans are teens and men in their twenties, naturally, but on the outskirts, it’s not rare to find dudes with Rogaine prescriptions and Roth IRAs quietly mouthing all the words to ‘All Falls Down.'”
Kanye West may have super fans, but this next group had super fans before he was even born.
Anytime the police have to help with containment, your fans are probably as crazy as they come. For The Beatles, that was exactly the case. The longest lines of fans would be perched outside of offices waiting just to get a glimpse of these rockstars.
Concert promoter Andi Lothian tells a story about these fans quite well. “The girls were beginning to overwhelm us,” remembers Lothian, a business consultant. “I saw one of them almost getting to Ringo’s drumkit and then I saw 40 drunk bouncers tearing down the aisles. It was absolute pandemonium. Girls fainting, screaming, wet seats.”
J. Cole’s Dreamvillains
Rapper J.Cole is an anomaly in today’s social world. He doesn’t tweet often, rarely posts on his Instagram and for sure doesn’t Snapchat. So how is it that he has established so many fans? Ever since signing with Jay-Z’s Rocnation in 2009 as their first artist, he has been hard at work.
In between releasing four number one albums, J. Cole has connected with his fans like no other rap artist or any artist has in recent years. His annual “Dollar & A Dream” tour is the highlight. This is where he performs in small venues for all his true Dreamvillains on a first come first serve basis for a dollar only. His projects “2014 Forest Hills Drive” and “4 Your Eyez Only” both went platinum with no features and the former was the first hip-hop album to do so since 1989.
Adele’s Day Ones
True love is understanding. Understanding that the person you love might disappoint you but you love them through it all and even come up with a way to make them feel better. Adele’s fans learned that she would be unable to perform at Wembley Stadium, which is a drag for any fan waiting for their favorite artist to sing live so they started #SingForAdele.
“Guys! Adele can’t sing for us but we can sing for her,” said a note which made the rounds on social media and encouraged fans to meet up at Wembley. “We will be walking around and singing her set list, or whatever song you will want to sing for her.”
The next star is another powerhouse vocalist.
Ariana Grande’s Arianators Look Out For Her
Ariana Grande got her big break when she was cast on the Nickelodeon show Victorious. She was the little girl with the high-pitched voice but those moments on screen were the genesis of her gaining fans. Since then, she has become one of the most popular pop and R&B singers of the time.
Having started her career on the Disney channel, Ariana already had a loyal fanbase before she crossed over to music. The Arianators were formed and the rest is history. Her fans are so dedicated, they even took to Twitter and started the hashtag #ArianaWearYourSeatBeltPlease after someone noticed in all of her car pictures, she’s not wearing a seatbelt! One tweet from user @zo399 read, “Didn’t notice before, as I was distracted by her beauty..Now I’m concerned. This fandom is weird but I love it #ArianaWearYourSeatBeltPlease.”
The Fans Are The Fifth
With the recent departure of Camila Cabello, Fifth Harmony’s fans were forced to deal with it and hope that the music wouldn’t lose its signature sound. While losing one member probably only tarnished their fanbase on a small level if anything at all, with only four members, their name seems a bit off.
“The fans,” says Ally Brooke Hernandez, “are our fifth member.” I’m so proud of us because we developed our voices as young, strong females.” They are now making songs more solo but as a unit and their fans are here for it all still.
Two Words: Marshall Mathers
Christopher Polk/Getty Images for MTV
Eminem is timeless. You don’t have to be a “stan” to know that Marshall Mathers is going down in rap history as one of the best to ever do it. Taking the game by storm with his rapid lyrics and phenomenal punchlines, he was only elevated more because he doesn’t look like other rappers.
There was a point when people thought he was “falling off” due to his drug problems and personal life issues. But Mathers responds to adversity with fire. Even though he has released some albums that were not his best, they all still went platinum. Only loyal fans can help you accomplish that. Now, will the real Slim Shady please stand up?
XO And The Weeknd
The Weeknd could have been even bigger than he is now. Before he became the superstar that he is today, in 2010 Drake posted Weeknd’s mixtape “House of Balloons” on his site that was already bringing tons of traffic. That is how he started to get his appeal.
Drake wanted to sign the artist to his label, OVO Records but The Weeknd declined, saying that he wanted to become his own star without any help from Drake. Well, he has become a huge star in his own right with his XO fanbase but what if he and Drake would have stayed together?
Speaking of The Weeknd, what about his on-again-off-again lady?
Selena Gomez’s Selenators Show Their Support
@LifeWithSeIG wrote on Twitter in 2016 during the AMA awards, “Selena Gomez has already SLAYED the 2016 American Music Awards by just appearing on the red carpet. That’s what you call a LEGEND! #AMAs.” It might be a little too early to call the former Disney actress a legend but hey, that is what your fanbase is for!
Gomez is still the sweet innocent Disney star we grew to love even after starring in Spring Breakers and so are her fans. Whatever Gomez has been through, they have been there to support her. Even if it’s the on again off again relationship with Justin Bieber.