'Belieb' it or not, celebrities inspiring pure madness from their most rabid fans is not a recent phenomenon. One of the first celebrity fiction writers in the world, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, was lifted to literary superstar status after his book, The Sorrows of Young Werther, exploded in popularity. Young adult readers were apparently so affected by the plight of the protagonist that a series of copycat suicides swept throughout Europe.
Back in the 18th century, fans had very few options to keep track of their favourite celebrities other than papers and rumors from individuals passing through town. Nowadays, celebrities maintain constant contact with their fans through a variety of social media outlets, like Twitter and Instagram, that continually update fans on the whereabouts and activities of their favourite stars.
As if that's not enough, paparazzi relentlessly chase the most popular celebrities for photos, while their candid shots spark wild rumors that spread like wildfire across the internet.
The complete saturation of celebrity coverage in the media has led to a peculiar type of superfan who often utilizes social media to relentlessly monitor and defend their favorite stars. Every group of celebrity followers includes a bunch of these types of individuals, the diehards who deeply and personally identify themselves with their favourite celebrities. Among these most dedicated squads of celebrity superfans, there's always at least one that completely crosses the line.
11 Taylor Swift
Taking a personal interest in her fans has resulted in a rabid following for pop star Taylor Swift, who actually spends quality time with her legion, even inviting the most loyal to listening parties at her own home to get their opinions on new material.
Swifties, the unofficial name of Taylor Swift fans, feel deep emotions anytime the singer is exposed to criticism or witticisms, responding to jokes at the expense of Taylor Swift with rapid, organized retribution.
When Abercrombie & Fitch released a t-shirt making fun of Swift's dating history, Swifites responded with a petition on Change.org. The campaign worked, with A&F tweeting "hey #swifties we no longer sell the shirt. We <3 Taylor's music and think she's awesome!"
10 Lady Gaga
Lady Gaga calls her dedicated fans "Little Monsters" and she's referred to as the "Mother Monster". The singer has gladly adopted these nicknames, even getting a 'Little Monsters' tattoo on her arm that holds the microphone when she performs.
Similar to other crazed and overzealous fanbases, Lady Gaga's 'Little Monsters' mercilessly attack anyone appearing to act against or insult the star on Twitter and other forms of social media.
After the latest edition of the Grammy Awards, controversy erupted after Lady Gaga's security slapped India Arie's arm away while the singer was innocently attempting to get Lady Gaga's attention. Despite the fact that India tweeted about Gaga's security, fans reacted as if Arie was insulting the Mother Monster, piling abuse on India Arie for no reason.
The RihannaNavy, also occasionally referred to Ri-Hards, received a very special personal letter from the pop star herself before the debut of her new album Unapologetic in 2012:
We continue down this road together, strong, united, uncensored and fearless... we are all Unapologetic.
As usual, Rihanna's spirit imbued itself into the souls of her biggest fans, including a member of the RihannaNavy who decided to be completely unrepentant in her eternal love and devotion to Rihanna.
In tribute to the Bahamian star, this fan covered her entire back with Rihanna tattoos and started a sleeve on her left arm filled with more ink of her favourite performer. When asked about how the tattoos will affect her dating life, she responded, "to be honest, I'm only interested in men who are Rihanna fans anyway."
The Beyhive is an inspired group of fans who maintain a constant buzz on all things Beyoncé at all times. While most Beyoncé fans are very protective of their Queen Bey, a few of her male fans have crossed the line into complete lunacy.
During a show in Brazil, a male fan ended up getting hold of the singer and started to slowly drag her into the crowd. When security jumped in and rescued the singer, Beyoncé kept it classy. She calmed the crowd by saying, "it's OK, it's alright - he just got excited". He didn't seem to hear what she said, responding "I love you too!".
Sadly, this isn't the only time a creepy male fan has inappropriately laid hands on Beyoncé. During a concert in Copenhagen, one fan ended up slapping her in the ass in front of the entire crowd.
7 Nicki Minaj
When this pop superstar released her album Anaconda, she ended up receiving a lot of criticism for her cover art, which features a racy photo of the star focused primarily on her legendary posterior. She pointed out the double standard used by critics, who mention nothing about the cover of Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue featuring model Chrissy Teigen, who strikes a similarly seductive pose.
After Chrissy retweeted Minaj pointing out the double standard, writing "I WILL TAKE ACCEPTABLE", fans of Nicki somehow mistook Chrissy's friendly jest as an insult and began to inundate the model with abusive tweets featuring profane suggestions. Even though Chrissy repeatedly pointed out that she wasn't beefing with Minaj, fans continued the onslaught against the model's imaginary sleight against Minaj and her Barbz, Boyz and Ken Barbz.
6 Justin Bieber
The insane fanbase of Justin Bieber is apparently one of the more sensitive groups of followers, reacting mercilessly to any perceived slight. Every time Bieber tweets to the 60-plus million followers he's amassed, a swift, intense response is sure to follow.
A 15 year-old fan felt the full wrath of crazed Beliebers when she tweeted "Not really a fan of Justin Bieber but his acoustic album is actually good." The fact that Bieber decided to retweet this message, despite her admission of not being a big fan, caused an uproar of undeserved jealousy, threats and insults towards her. One fan summed up the reaction perfectly: "I am a Belieber of him since 2009 and he didn’t notice me. And you’re not even a ******** fan. You get noticed. OMG."
5 Harry Styles
Even with the departure of Zayn, One Direction remains one of the most popular boy bands on Earth with tens of millions of screaming Directioners who know the lyrics to all the songs, even the less popular ones.
Harry Styles appears to have the most disturbed group of fans who take their obsession with the pop star to a whole new level. One fan decided to send 100,000 tweets to the star in order to get him to follow her account. When it didn't work, she said "when I was about to reach 100k tweets I felt weird, the reality hit me like a rock... it's like I was ignored 100,000 times - it wasn't cool at all."
Unfortunately, a quick search of @Harry_Styles and "kill myself" on Twitter reveals a distressing number of messages about suicidal references to Harry Styles by his fans.
4 Lil B
The Based God is a hip-hop phenomenon who has managed to flip his music into one of the craziest group of fans that follow his every word as law. Lil' B has used his fame and fandom for occasionally amusing purposes, even appearing to place a Based God Curse on Kevin Durant, a myth that endures through fans who monitor the baller's bad luck over the past year.
One Lil B aficionado is so enamored with the Based God that the fan appeared on YouTube offering a sexual sacrifice to the rap deity, saying that Lil B can have "my girl, my wife, my mother, my sisters, my nieces", before breaking out into a joyous dance on camera after his declaration.
3 Twilight (Robert Pattinson & Kristen Stewart)
Loyal TwiHards regarded the romantic coupling of Kristen Stewart and Robert Pattinson as a holy unity born from the serendipitous meeting of fiction and reality. For some Twi-Hards, the brief, confounding affair between Stewart and director Rupert Sanders was an apocalyptic event that shook the foundations of their reality.
When rumors of the affair finally leaked out to the general public, one user tweeted "one second I'm happy, smiling, then it hits me, I feel like I'm gonna throw up, I feel sick, even though I'm so not believing all of this."
In addition to the usual death threats lobbed around the internet by overzealous fans, TwiHards posted videos of themselves coping with their new reality as if their own parents were getting divorced.
2 Chris Brown
Despite his violent tendencies, or maybe because of them, Chris Brown has one of the most loyal and vocal fan bases in the world. Trouble seems to follow him wherever he goes, including a recent appearance at a nightclub that featured a multiple shooting.
Throughout his career, his fans have staunchly defended the performing artist regardless of his activities. However, the dedication of one fan took a disturbing turn recently when she broke the hinges off the door of his home, wrote "I love you" on the walls and threw out his daughter's clothing.
For some reason, the celebrity shared a close up picture of the mentally unstable member of Team Breezy on his Instagram account, sitting on a flight of stairs in his home and partially dressed in a white robe, describing her actions and praying that she gets help.