Fan Armies in Their Own Words: Aliens, Echelon, VIPs & More Sound Off
As Billboard's Fan Army Face-Off continues its fourth round -- Tokio Hotel's Aliens are battling it out with Thirty Seconds to Mars' Echelon, and Skillet's Panheads are taking on BIGBANG's VIP -- we've asked prominent members of several fan armies to tell us why their fandom is the best. Here they are, in their own words.
Tokio Hotel's Aliens (In the final four):
Tokio Hotel’s fans, #Aliens, are more than fans, we’re family. Thanks to their music, we've built incredible friendships with people all over the world -- from the USA to Siberia, Germany to Israel. Their music stopped us in our tracks the moment we heard it and takes our breath away when we get to see Tokio Hotel performing live.
The music and our unity has seen us through the best and worst of times, and we are forever grateful. It is that love that fuels our global communities and we come together for one reason, supporting Tokio Hotel.
Most of us found Tokio Hotel online. Sharing info via social media built the Aliens strength. When the #Aliens are called on to speak for our band, beware! Our support spreads faster than you can say “Ready, Set, Go!” Someone calls for a fan vote? Hope they added bandwidth because the #Aliens can crash sites. #Aliens don’t fade away, we are here waiting for their return, continuing to support and spread the name of Tokio Hotel wherever we can.
The Aliens are of all ages, different cultures, countries and religions, but we are bound together by a language that breaks all barriers: music! Scratch that… TOKIO HOTEL’S MUSIC! -- @tokiohotelusa
Thirty Seconds to Mars' Echelon (In the final four):
This is a not just a fanbase. It’s a family. No matter your gender, age, nationality, religion, sexuality, you are welcome to join the Echelon: A group of people who organize street teams, support and create charity events, promote the band in every single possible way and of course love Thirty Seconds To Mars’ music to bits.
Most people don't understand what the Echelon means. People love to count numbers, but this is not about how many people belong to the Echelon Army. It's about unconditional love and support towards the band, but also towards each other. There is a beautiful feeling when you attend a Thirty Seconds To Mars concert. You are not alone anymore, you are united with the others who surround you, the people who share the same love and adoration for the band. You feel as though the entire crowd is a heart beating as one for the band and each other.
As Jared Leto, frontman of the band, said beautifully:
“If it wasn’t for the Echelon, we wouldn’t have ever won a single award ... I think that’s the blessing of living in this digital age, is that people have a voice, and the Echelon Nation out there has made their voice heard again and again, and we’re so proud that they’re able to gather together, to organize themselves, to fight for a common cause and to make dreams a reality. It’s pretty special.” -- @30stmvote
BIGBANG'S VIPs (In the final four):
The VIP fandom deserves to be named the best fandom because of the love and family connection we have with each other and with the boys from BIGBANG. Since 2006, the community has grown internationally, but we still stay connected regularly using twitter and other social media to send congratulatory messages, condolences, information about the band, and everything in-between. The group also sends tweets, Instagram photos, videos and other support to show us how much we really mean to them. They recognize specific member groups and fans at concerts and send messages and signatures to them for the support they receive. VIPs might be known for being chill, but when it comes to voting and proving who is the best, we come out #1. During 2011 when Big Bang faced their darkest times, we came together and helped to earn them an MTV EMA for Best Worldwide Act, showing the long term faith we still have. One of the VIP fandom's biggest sayings is "Forever, till whenever." We stand by them now as they celebrate their 8th anniversary and we plan to stick around until forever. What makes a VIP is not when they joined the fandom, but that once someone becomes a VIP they stay a VIP for life. -- VIP4Daesung, @BigBangUpdates.com
Girls' Generation's Sones (Eliminated in round 3):
We are INDESTRUCTIBLE and UNBREAKABLE. Sones always protect Girls' Generation. And we respect other fandoms. -- @SNSDaddicted
Kesha's Animals (Eliminated in round 2):
Animals are a very strong fanbase, though they are less in number. They have this amazing kind of postive energy within them, which they get from Kesha. They are always united and get along really well. They are always so positive about everything in life and only spread love not only within the fanbase, but outside it too. Since we all know Kesha has always been known for spreading peace and inspiring everyone to be themselves, her fans are completely original and known for not giving a damn about what others think and just loving and being themselves. They don't even judge others and this they've learned from their idol. Kesha taught them that they don't have to follow stereotypes, they accept their imperfections and are always themselves. Animals have not only been there for Kesha through thick and thin, but also for each other. They're very supportive and caring. It's Kesha who keeps them together. Lastly, Animals are the only fans who stood by their idol and fought against injustice she was dealing with and helped her get her freedom back. This is what makes them unique and special from the rest, they're warriors! -- @holykesha
Iggy Azalea's Azaleans (Eliminated in round 2):
Azaleans are the best fandom because we love and support our beautiful and talented Iggy. We learn from her how to deal with everyday life, how to deal with haters and people who try to bring us down. Everytime we feel down or don't know what to do, we ask ourselves what would Iggy do? There are no words that can describe how much we look up to her and idolize her. Iggy knows how much we look up to her so that is another reason why she's so classy. She teaches us how to act classy and mature in certain situations. She isn't there to tell us to smoke weed, do drugs or dress certain way. She knows she is a role model and a big influence on our fanbase. There is so much yet to come for her and us. Her relationship with fans is amazing. Some celebritys don't even bother to follow their fans or tweet them. Iggy does that on a regular bases. For us it's not about how many awards has she got or how many followers does she got. It's all about the struggle and what you can learn from it. Trust your struggle. I can honesly say that Iggy has made our lives better. -- @WeLoveAzalean
Ellie Goulding's Gould Diggers (Eliminated in round 2):
Gould Diggers are the best fandom. Maybe that's biased, but why wouldn't you love the GDs? From memes of Ellie falling off a segway to coming together to support her in whatever she does. GDs are just awesome and hilarious people. -- @EllieGAlways