Stan (fan)

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,[1] 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.[2] 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.[3][4] 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.[5]


Colloquially, the term can be used as both a noun or a verb.[2] Stans of a particular singer are often given more detailed names, such as "Little monsters" for fans of Lady Gaga[2][6][7] 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.[6][8] Even for fandoms with specific titles, the "artist stan" formula still applies.[2]


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,[2] 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.[9]

Celebrity reaction

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."[10] 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.[11][12]

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.[13]


  1. O'Keeffe, Kevin (August 25, 2014). "Directioners, Arianators, Katy Cats, Oh My: Stanbase Names, Ranked". The Atlantic. Retrieved December 19, 2014.
  2. 1 2 3 4 5 Hawgood, Alex. "Scratching the Celebrity Itch". The New York Times. Retrieved 11 September 2012.
  3. Staff, Reporter (2012-09-18). "A Little Chat With..... The Guy Who Does The Nekci Menij Show". Popsessed. Archived from the original on October 19, 2012. Retrieved 2012-10-30.
  4. Bedder, Alex (2012-09-07). "Webseries Royale: Divas, Divas, Divas "Got 2B Real" vs. "The Nekci Menij Show"". NYU Local. New York University. Retrieved 2012-10-30.
  5. Cabalona, Jeremy (2012-09-26). "'Nekci Menij Show' Parodies Pop Stars With Crude Animations". Mashable. Mashable Inc. Retrieved 2012-10-30.
  6. 1 2 Martin, Samantha. "Daily Tweetcap: Lady Gaga Stans For Kylie Minogue". Pop Dust. Retrieved 11 September 2012.
  7. Rubenstein, Jenna Hally. "Lady Gaga Tweets GLAM Photo Of Herself In A High School Play, And She Hasn't Aged A Day Since (PHOTO)". MTV. Viacom. Retrieved 11 September 2012.
  8. Anitai, Tamar. "12 Unforgettable Moments In VMA History: Live Snakes, Baby Bumps, Meat Dresses, Oh My!". MTV Buzzworthy. Viacom. Retrieved 11 September 2012.
  9. Lanksy, Sam. "Hallyu Tsunami: The Unstoppable Rise of K-Pop Fandom". ESPN Networks. Retrieved 11 September 2012.
  10. Anitai, Tamar. "Jessie J Talks 'Domino,' Dedicates Her VMA Performance To The Heartbeats". MTV News. Viacom. Retrieved 11 September 2012.
  11. Sciarretto, Amy. "Jessie J Increases Security After Fan Breaks Leg to Be Like Her". Pop Crush. Retrieved 11 September 2012.
  12. Tinny, Aaron. "Jessie J fan: I broke my own leg to be like you – Star's stalker hell". The Sun. News International. Retrieved 11 September 2012.
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