A stan is an avid fan and supporter of a celebrity, franchise, film, or group, often a rock/pop musician. The object of the stan's affection is often called their fave. Based on the song "Stan" by American rapper Eminem, the term has frequently been used to describe artist devotees whose fanaticism matches the severity of the obsessive character named Stan in the 2000 Eminem song. The word has been described as a portmanteau of "stalker" and "fan".
A website known as "Stan Wars" or "stanipedia" sprouted up to host discussions and flame wars between rival fanbases. In a response to stan culture, David Monger, an amateur cartoonist developed a web series on YouTube titled The Nekci Menij Show. The show strives to satirize public perceptions of female pop stars, simultaneously parodying it. The series features numerous pop stars including Lady Gaga, Christina Aguilera, Nicki Minaj, Madonna, Katy Perry, Beyoncé, Britney Spears, Kesha, Mariah Carey, Jennifer Lopez, Lana Del Rey, Rihanna, and Adele. The series employs an artistic style reminiscent of the Dolan Duck Internet meme.
Colloquially, the term can be used as both a noun or a verb. Stans of a particular singer are often given more detailed names, such as "Little monsters" for fans of Lady Gaga and "Belieber" for fans of Justin Bieber. Some artists, however, do not have specific titles attributed to their stans; stans of Britney Spears are called Britney Stans and fans of Kylie Minogue have been called Kylie Stans. Even for fandoms with specific titles, the "artist stan" formula still applies.
Some of these monikers are almost universally known and used by fans of the artists as well as outsiders. Other nicknames are not commonly used, neither by outsiders nor by the concerning fan-base, such as Kylie Minogue's so called "Kylie Stans", Madonna's so called "Madonna Fans" Maroon 5's so called "Maroon 5 Stans" or Nick Jonas's so called "Nick Jonas Fans" usually appearing on social media networks such as Twitter and Tumblr, the phenomenon also appear in K-Pop circles offline. In one instance, K-pop singer Yunho, of duo TVXQ, was poisoned when his stans snuck backstage before one of his concerts. Yunho was hospitalized and the perpetrator was arrested. The term sasaeng fan in Korean is believed to be influenced by "stan" culture. Etymologically, it translates to "Sa", meaning private and "saeng" meaning life, in reference to fans' all-encompassing obsessions with their preferred artists.
Celebrities have positively reacted to their "stan" followings. Notably, English singer-songwriter Jessie J had this to say about her stans, "They support me and buy my albums and singles, and they stand outside hotels, and they come to shows, and they get tattoos of my lyrics and they cut their hair like me. You have to love your fans. That's why I call them my Heartbeats, because without them I wouldn't be here." In 2012, a stan for Jessie J broke his leg to emulate her own leg injury. The fan tracked down Jessie J's personal address and sent her a photograph of the self-inflicted injury. The singer was horrified and decided to increase her security.
Singer-songwriter Lorde has a different opinion on the matter of giving her followers a nickname. She discouraged it by saying "I find it grating to lump everyone into a really awkward, pun-centric name" and affirmed she will never name her fanbase.
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