Fan Army

An Evolution of Fan Armies -- From Beatlemaniacs to Swifties

Beatles fans in the 1960s
GAB Archive/Redferns

Beatles fans in the 1960s

They swooned. They squealed. They pledged their true love forever. Directioners aren’t the first to turn artist devotion into a hyperventilating spectacle -- and they won't be the last.

2015 Fan Army Face Off


The piano playing of 19th-century Hungarian composer Franz Liszt inspired a reaction that poet Heinrich Heine described as “true madness,” anticipating nearly two centuries of fandom.

5 Craziest Fan Army Videos: From 'Leave Britney Alone!' to One Direction Fans Crying Over Zayn


Named for the rolled-down hosiery they matched with saddle shoes and skirts, these teen girls were pop music’s first real fan army, swooning and fainting over Frank Sinatra during World War II.

10 Taylor Swift Good Deeds That Warmed Our Hearts


Can fans love a group too much for its own good? In 1966, The Beatles quit touring partly because their performance couldn’t be heard over the crowd’s frenzied screams.

How One Direction Superfan Anna Todd Went From Waffle House Waitress to Next-Big-Author With Erotic Fan-Fic Series 'After'


The free-spirit culture of tie-dye and tape trading has outlived the jam band that spawned it: 60,000 fans mailed handmade ticket requests to the Grateful Dead’s early-July reunion shows.

Fan Armies in Their Own Words: Aliens, Echelon, VIPs & More Sound Off

Kiss Army

Founded in 1975 by two kids who pressured an Indiana radio station to play their favorite band, Kiss’ official fan club went on to become a card-carrying rock’n’roll institution.

Top 10 K-Pop Boy Bands You Need To Know


New York mayor Ed Koch was so impressed with the zeal of Menudo’s faithful that he declared the Latin boy band “bigger than The Beatles” when it sold out Radio City Music Hall in 1983.

Watch Ed Sheeran Surprise Fan By Joining Her Mall Performance


Insane Clown Posse’s intensely loyal following of face-painted nonconformists is the only fan army to maintain its own professional wrestling league -- or to be classified as a gang by the FBI.

Phish Fan Decodes Band's 35-Minute Jam, Launches Album Campaign

Little Monsters

Lady Gaga’s admirers originally referred to themselves as the Gagarazzi, but their “Mother Monster” soon rechristened them and tattooed their new name on her right arm.

Taylor Swift Calls Chicago Fan Battling Cancer


Taylor Swift wants her fans to feel like friends: She invited them to her apartment for a preview of 1989, then consulted their Tumblrs for the set list for her subsequent tour.

This story originally appeared in the July 25 issue of Billboard.