The Internet has really accelerated the way in which people can geek out about the objects of their desire. Twitter, Tumblr and Imgur are all mere vehicles for the lust/love/admiration normal folks feel for celebs.
Here, we’re taking a look at some of the most passionate fans, along with what the objects of their affection have said about them.
Though the One Direction boys have nothing but nice things to say about their fans (“best fans in the world,” etc.), that’s probably because they’re not doing things like searching Twitter for the names of any of their ex-girlfriends, because that is where the claws. Clap emoji Come. Clap emoji Out. At least they spend more of their time in hysterics than they do on the offense.
“I definitely have very loud fans,” Justin Bieber said back in 2010. And that carries over to the online sphere as well: At any given moment, the Beliebers are usually engaged in a stand-off with OneD-ers to see who can get their idol to trend harder. “Nothing makes me more happy than seeing him happy,” one wrote last November.
Sherlock Holmes himself has some of the fiercest fans online, though their native habitat is more Tumblr than Twitter – easier to exchange GIFs that way. The “Cumberb-tches,” as they call themselves, have caused some consternation to Benedict with that self-ascribed name: “Bless them,” he said in 2013, “I’m very flattered by the levels of adoration and loyalty that they show but they could’ve come up with a better collective name.” “Cumberpeople” is a bit bland, but he suggests “Cumberfolk” or even “Cumberbabes.”
Gaga’s Little Monsters are powerfully devoted to protecting their Mother Monster online (on Twitter and at the dedicated fan site LittleMonsters.com), and the love goes both ways: The singer has “Little Monsters” tattooed on “the arm that holds my mic” and frequently interacts with her fan base online.
The Britney Army was one of the earliest fandoms to go viral, with Chris Crocker’s “Leave Britney alone” video the most visible spearhead of the movement. But they interact with Britney in more subtle ways as well: Fan David LeCours wrote Spears a heartfelt letter about how her music helped him through a rough time in his life, and Britney responded by sending him a signed letter right back.
Woe betide to any who oppose the Beyhive on Twitter. It’s not going to end well for you. Anyone who goes after the singer, even subliminally, or even singers they perceive to be lesser who cover her songs: All fair game. Queen B mostly stays above the online fray, preferring more personal interactions, like when she sent 90 white roses and a handwritten note to the family of a fan who died of leukemia.
The Swifties drove Grizzly Bear’s Ed Droste offline, what do you think they’ll do to you? But the singer repays that devotion in full: “Fans are my favorite thing in the world,” she’s said. “I’ve never been the type of artist who has that line drawn between their friends and their fans I’ll hang out with them after the show. I’ll hang out with them before the show. If I see them in the mall, I’ll stand there and talk to them for 10 minutes.”
The Rihanna Navy will come at anyone, guns blazing. But Rihanna’s earned that love: She runs her own Instagram account, mostly out of respect for her fan base, apparently. “My fans can sniff the BS from very far away,” she said. “I cannot trick them.”
The KatyCats, as they’re known, haven’t had much to go on recently – the singer hasn’t been super-prolific as of late – but that seems to have only made them hungrier. In 2013, they attacked the Cincinnati Bengals when the team retired Perry’s “Roar” as its theme song. Also, she counts the president as a fan.
They’re called “Selenators,” and they’re mostly known for their rabid, bone-crushing devotion – in a positive sense. Gomez has also reached out to fans on Instagram, though she was less kind to one who stole her sunglasses, reportedly holding them ransom for concert tickets. “That’s very immature,” she said. “You have to be kind.”