In the ultimate fan army showdown, Rihanna’s Navy takes on One Direction’s Directioners in this week’s round of Billboard’s Fan Army Face-Off. Easily one of the fastest-growing fandoms (thanks to social media), the Directioners have bestowed such high levels of fame upon the 1D boys, their fandom is often compared to that of the Beatles. Yet, Rihanna’s Navy might be the anchor Directioners can’t shake.
One Direction’s rise in Billboard Hot 100 charting success is accredited to their loyal band of followers. With the combination of the boys’ pop/rock vocals, relatable singles for the tween/teen market and their heartthrob looks, 1D has captured audiences since their formation in 2010 on The X Factor U.K. Their debut studio album, Up All Night, hit No. 1 on the Billboard 200 and brought the No. 4-charting single “What Makes You Beautiful.” The British-Irish boy band followed with three more No. 1 albums: Take Me Home (2012), Midnight Memories (2013) and Four (2014). Early 2015 brought devastating news for Directioners, as Zayn Malik ventured off for a solo career. Despite the upset, the band continued with Made in the A.M. in 2015. 1D is currently on hiatus, with their fate unknown due to the recent confirmed solo deals for Harry Styles and Liam Payne.
Rihanna’s Navy has helped the pop/R&B/dance singer reach No. 1 on the Hot 100 time and time again. The artist’s 11 No.1 hits began with “SOS” in 2006, which was followed by “Umbrella” in 2007 featuring Jay Z. The good girl went bad in 2008 with “Take a Bow” and “Disturbia.” Two years later, Rihanna released “Rude Boy” from her fourth studio album, Rated R. The top-charting artist then began her list of singles featuring Drake with “What’s My Name” and dabbled on the Top Dance Club Songs chart with “Only Girl (In the World)” and “We Found Love” with Calvin Harris and “S&M” featuring Britney Spears in 2011. Rihanna released “Diamonds” in 2012, written by Sia. Her latest album Anti brought another hit single with Drake, “Work,” and her Anti World Tour for the Navy to enjoy.
It’s clear Rihanna is commander in chief when it comes to her loyal Navy, but for One Direction, Directioners call the shots. The battle between the two fandoms has been tight, with the Navy one step ahead (for now).
There are two days left in the current round of Billboard’s Fan Army Face-Off – vote for your fave now!