In 2014, it's easier than ever for fans of different pop stars to connect with each other. With the explosion of social media making it simpler than ever to find other fanatics of your favorite artist, "fan armies" have become a shorthand for singers' most dedicated followers, the ones who can't get enough of their most beloved artists and who get ample shout-outs in return. In this day and age, you haven't truly reached pop superstardom until you have a fan army -- from Britney's Spearleaders to Justin's Beliebers to the new-school armies like the Arianators and Mahomies, fan armies are constantly demonstrating their support in good and bad times for pop's brightest stars.
Only one question remains: which fan army is the strongest? Billboard.com hopes to answer that question with the Fan Army Face-Off, a bracket-style tournament in which various fan armies will square off to prove that they are unequivocally the loudest voices in the pop sphere. We've rounded up 32 of the most notable fan armies today, and through five rounds, we'll let the fans themselves determine which fan armies stride forward, or fall by the wayside. Vote now in Round 1 of the Fan Army Face-Off, and show your support for your favorite artist! Polls close July 11. (And click here for the full bracket, or scroll to the bottom.)
Fan Army: The Beliebers
Aritst: Justin Bieber
Bieber on his fans: "My Beliebers changed my life."
Fan Army: The Victims
Artist: The Killers
Twitter to watch: @fans_thekillers
Fan Army: The Arianators
Artist: Ariana Grande
Twitter to watch: @GrandeAmaze
Fan Army: The Gould Diggers
Artist: Ellie Goulding
Ellie on her fans: "Fans have bought me like Swarovski things. Quite incredible things, like hats and clothes, necklaces. They make necklaces that say 'Gould Diggers.'"
Fan Army: The Lambs
Aritst: Mariah Carey
Mariah on her fans: "I appreciate my lambs and I'm not sure people understand just how much I appreciate them."
Fan Army: The Musers
Muse on their fans: "Our fans are the most dedicated in the world."
Fan Army: The Smilers
Artist: Miley Cyrus
Miley on her fans: "My fans are the best fans in the world."
Fan Army: The Aliens
Artist: Tokio Hotel
Twitter to watch: @TokioHotelUSA
Fan Army: The Swifties
Artist: Taylor Swift
Taylor on her fans: "I love them so much. They're adorable and sweet and wonderful and creative and you know I think for me it's like the most amazing thing when I'm having a bad day, I go on Twitter and look at the things that they say and the things that are important to them."
Fan Army: The Hooligans
Artist: Bruno Mars
Twitter to watch: @BrunoMarsFans
Fan Army: The Barbz
Artist: Nicki Minaj
Nicki on her fans: "I'm very aware that millions of people on Twitter have no idea what we're talking about. That's because we kind of have our own language. I used to think it was just a Queens language or a New York language or an East Coast language, but now it's a Barb Nation language. I have South African Barbz, Japanese, German, Saudi Arabian. You can be a Barb wherever you live."
Fan Army: The Mahomies
Artist: Austin Mahone
Austin on his fans: "It's been a lot of work, but I mean my fans are the reason I'm here, so I've got to give it up to them."
Fan Army: The Spearleaders
Artist: Britney Spears
Twitter to watch: @RespectBritneyS
Fan Army: The Animals
Kesha on her fans: "Without you here, supporting me and liking my music, I’d still be a waitress, and a very terrible one at that. So, thank you for your love and support. And I really think that I bond with my fans because I feel like we’re all kind of in this together."
Fan Army: The BeyHive
Beyonce on her fans: "Sometimes I'm like 'tone it down' but it's just really beautiful and I, honestly from the bottom of my heart, give everything that I can give. I'm always thinking about all of the fans."
Fan Army: The Echelon
Artist: Thirty Seconds to Mars
The band on their fans: "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."
Fan Army: The Directioners
Artist: One Direction
Harry Styles on their fans: "They are so dedicated ... our fans put us where we are. I don’t think it’s something that should be taken as a negative, I think passion’s good in any form."
Fan Army: The Panheads
Skillet on their fans: "The fans are the reason we're here. I love having all different types of fans."
Fan Army: The Taylor Gang
Artist: Wiz Khalifa
Wiz on his fans: "Thank you to everyone who's supported the TAYLOR GANG movement and showed love up to this point. We've all grown so much since i first came onto the scene and most of all inspired a whole new generation of muh fuggas who aren't afraid to be themselves and unite."
Fan Army: The Azaleans
Artist: Iggy Azalea
Twitter to watch: @WeLoveAzalean
Fan Army: The Glamberts
Artist: Adam Lambert
Adam on his fans: "They're why I'm doing what I'm doing. Their belief in me, response to the music, dedication to coming to the shows. It's great."
Fan Army: The Parawhores
The band on their fans: "I think we really had a lot of comfort knowing that our fans obviously connected to our past three albums, that's how we built our fanbase."
Fan Army: The Katy Cats
Artist: Katy Perry
Katy on her fans: "Fans are great, but a community is what it’s about. I try and not categorize them as 'my precious little fans.'"
Fan Army: The Fandroids
Artist: Janelle Monae
Fan Army: The Selenators
Artist: Selena Gomez
Selena on her fans: "I have incredible fans that are on a whole other level. They are really special. They are like my friends, in a way. They have more faith in me than I do. When I'm onstage, I can see what the music does to people."
Fan Army: The Brats
Artist: Cher Lloyd
Cher on her fans: "Whenever I go to any country, I feel like I have a similar experience where my fans are so committed and dedicated to what I do. When you know that your fans have got your back, it just makes it so much more enjoyable so whatever country I go to, I have an amazing time and the fans do too."
Fan Army: Rihanna Navy
Rihanna on her fans: "They’re definitely a fun group -- they're really funny. It's hilarious even to just watch them. They’re so entertaining."
Fan Army: The VIPs
BIGBANG on their fans: "We are extremely thankful to all the fans... We would like to continue visiting various countries around the world and to meet every BIGBANG fan out there. In order to do that, we have to constantly evolve and challenge ourselves and grow as artists. We hope that all of you will support for us."
Fan Army: The Lovatics
Artist: Demi Lovato
Demi on her fans: "I HAVE THE BEST FANS IN THE WORLD! I've been so touched and inspired by the personal stories you've shared with me. Every one of you is truly special, and I love you all so much!"
Fan Army: The Grobanites
Artist: Josh Groban
Josh on his fans: "They're there through snow, rain and cold. Bless their hearts. I can specifically point out the faces of people who have been their since day one. They have had such a great impact."
Fan Army: The Little Monsters
Artist: Lady Gaga
Gaga on her fans: "We have this umbilical cord that I don't want to cut, ever. I don't feel that they suck me dry. It would be so mean, wouldn't it, to say, 'For the next month, I'm going to cut myself off from my fans so I can be a person.' What does that mean? They are part of my person, they are so much of my person."
Fan Army: The Sones
Artist: Girls' Generation
Girls Generation on their fans: "None of Girls Generation would be possible without the fans. We've grown into a family. This is just love and support for one another. I hope we can repay that through good music, good performances and staying together as a band."