(Ryan Pierse/Central Press/Jung Yeon-Je/AFP/Getty Images)
By Shannon Carlin, Annie Reuter, Scott Sterling, Jillian Mapes & Matthew Levine
Since 1962 when John, Paul, George and Ringo released “Love Me Do,” there have been Beatles fans — lovers of the Fab Four’s music — and there have been those who took part in Beatlemania. These were young, mostly female fans so obsessed with the Beatles, they warranted a more specific name.
Sure, Beatlemaniacs bought records, but they also signed up for the original boy band’s official fan club, which was often flooded letters with requests for autographs and weirder fare, like sending a piece of a gum for Ringo to chew and return. We imagine this was in hopes to grab a bit of DNA so they could eventually clone a Beatle.
They knew what Paul McCartney’s favorite color was (blue) and were more than happy to spend an afternoon chasing the Fab Four through the streets, screaming and crying at the thought of even being in the presence of those lads from Liverpool. You didn’t think Hard Day’s Night was totally a work of fiction, did you?
Now, nearly 50 years later, One Direction has earned their own obsessive group of fans called Directioners. These fans, of course, have the Internet, which has made it even easier for them to keep tabs on the exact location of their favorite boy band 24/7. There are few lengths they won’t go to, stalking the members’ Instagram accounts to figure out what hotel they’re staying out — and spreading the word on the modern-day phone tree, Twitter.
But not every breed of loyal fan gets a name, fascinatingly. Take Adele, who can sell 10 million records in under two years but not inspire a unified moniker amongst fans. If you’re on American Idol, however, you’re almost automatically anointed with a cleverly titled group of supporters — Adam Lambert and his Glamberts, Clay Aiken and his Claymates — whether you win or not. And let’s not even get started on K-Pop artists, who seem to have some of the most truly random fan names of any genre.
These super fans, whose monikers range from song title references to puns, take their fandom extremely seriously. And so do we, which is why Radio.com is proud to present our dictionary of music fan groups. Who knows, it may even help you recognize the Parrotheads, Little Monsters and Grobanites among us.
Clay Aiken = Claymates
Aiken may consistently come in second place – American Idol, Celebrity Apprentice – but he’ll always be No. 1 in the hearts of all his Claymates, who somehow never thought the idea of him being a fly on their wall was creepy.
Lauren Alaina = Alainers
Lauren didn’t win American Idol season 10, that honor goes to fellow country newcomer Scotty McCreery, but she did earn herself a batch of extremely loyal fans who have created numerous Internet shrines that are dedicated to righting the wrong of her runner-up status.
Aquabats = Aquacadets
Every few years these official fan club members meet for conventions in southern California known as “Cadet Summits.” Cadets usually show up dressed in costumes that range from official costume merch sold on the band’s website to homemade costumes, which have led to Aquacadet factions like the Astrobats, Piratebats and Ninjabats.
The Beatles = Beatlemaniacs
An original Beatlemaniac — usually a teenage girl with very impressive lung capacity — was all about chasing after the Fab Four in the flesh. A modern Beatlemaniac is now obsessed with tracking down rare memorabilia and unreleased versions of Beatles classics. Essentially, someone who knows the difference between the original Yesterday and Today ‘butcher’ cover and the ‘trunk’ reissue.
Beyonce = The Beyhive
Queen Bey herself came up with her fans’ moniker and even provided them with a golden rule: “We protect our own. We are all beautiful. One Bey should never turn on another. We defend each other. Let love & respect guide you and always be good to each other.” Basically, bow down to her, but respect one another.
Justin Bieber = Beliebers
These fans have been with the Biebs through thick and thin, through monkey custody battles and Selena Gomez breaking his heart. They will beliebe in everything that he does (perhaps, a little too much), because “Never Say Never” is more than a catchy song — it’s their way of life.
Black Eyed Peas = Peabodies
When it comes to naming their fans, band seems to love puns and BEP are no exception. A Peabody is also the name of a prestigious award in the world of movies and television, so it fits nicely with frontman will.i.am’s penchant for promoting his own personal achievements, doesn’t it?
Jimmy Buffett = Parrotheads
These middle aged fans can usually be found wearing Hawaiian shirts and looking for that lost shaker of salt (salt!) for their margaritas because as Buffet taught them, it really is 5 o’clock somewhere. Most, if not all, are on a quest to live a pirate’s life, just like Jimmy himself, where their greatest wish is to finally devour that elusive cheeseburger in paradise. Fun Fact: Eagles guitarist Timothy B. Schmidt actually came up with the fan name while touring with Buffet.
Mariah Carey = Lambs
Often called her Lambily, Mariah’s fans will follow her wherever she goes, whether it’s into the world of reality singing competitions or hashtag R&B. Heck, they’ll even follow her back to that time she was on TRL and performed that weird ice cream striptease and decided to treat Carson Daly like her therapist. That’s how much they love and support her.
Clutch = Gearhead
Clutch is not exactly a household name. But this Germantown, Maryland band, who have released ten albums since 1993 and were signed to Atlantic records before starting their own label, have a dedicated fanbase in their Gearheads. Most of which come from their home state of Maryland. This includes Duff Goldman, the owner of Baltimore’s Charm City Cakes, who made the band a cake in the style of an amp for an episode of his reality show, Ace of Cakes.
Miley Cyrus = Smilers
These fans — believed to be named in honor of Miley’s signature big toothed, tongue-out grin — vary in their degree of love for Miley, ranging from a casual twerker to a full-blown obsessive. Best example: the 40-year-old man who has 21 Miley-related tattoos and says Ms. Cyrus helped him get through his divorce.
Dave Matthews Band = Nancies
Named in honor of the song “Dancing Nancies,” these fans are often — perhaps unfairly — categorized as bros with their khaki cargoes and red Solo cups. However, these environmentally-aware fans are also kind enough to pick up hitchhikers on their way to a show, sometimes even Dave Matthews himself.
Deer Tick = Tickheads
These fans support everything John McCauley does, whether it’s Deertick, his Nirvana tribute band Deervana, or his decision to lay off the booze so he can get a bit more serious about his music. But a truly loyal Tickhead is any man or woman who has no problem telling the band to go f*** themselves.
Jason Derulo = Derulers
Devoted fans of the R&B singer, who are likely still mourning the fact that he has stopped singing his own name.
Devo = Spuds/Spudboys
Spudboy is a term used in several Devo songs to refer to “devolving conformists,” which are those who are aging backwards due to America’s herd mentality. These fans are more advanced than most with their ability to understand Devo’s brand of new wave, which meshes kitschy sci-fi themes with satirical social commentary. They also get that the band’s Energy Domes from the “Whip It” video are much more than just silly headwear.
Duran Duran = Duranie
Duranies are typically middle-aged women with an ongoing obsession for the English new-wave phenom. But what started as an undying desire to marry Simon Le Bon (oh, that hair) has toned-down over the years, receding now to a more refined appreciation for “Hungry Like The Wolf.” For men who were teenagers in the ’80s, Duran Duran is the bane of their existence, but as author Rob Sheffield learned, the sooner you succumb to the catchiness of “Rio,” the sooner you’ll get a Duranie to go home with you.
Fall Out Boy = Overcast Kids
Highly literate teenagers and 20-somethings who find solace in Fall Out Boy’s clever turns of phrase. This passion for the music often leads fans to start their own, very personal Tumblr accounts. Or LiveJournals, if said fan started listening to the band in 2005 during their From Under the Cork Tree days. You know, back when Pete Wentz, with his guyliner and swiped bangs that covered his one eye, was the poster child of emo.
Five Finger Death Punch = Knuckleheads
This fitting play on the metal band’s name is not just for diehard fans of Five Finger Death Punch, but also the name of the group’s official mascot, who just so happens to have his own bloodied mask for sale. The Halloween costume that keeps on giving.
Goldfrapp = Deers
Though Goldfrapp’s 2000 debut Felt Mountain features the song “Deer Stop,” the fan nickname stuck after her 2003 Black Cherry tour, in which Alison Goldfrapp performed wearing a horse tail while dancers pranced around wearing deer heads. It was believed to represent her interest in animals and mythology.
Selena Gomez = Selenators
Extremely positive boys and girls who live by the code that a true fan of Selena’s should support her in whatever she does. This includes her decision to star in Spring Breakers, even if said Selenators’ parents wouldn’t let them see it. In potential contention with Beliebers, particularly in social media wars.
The Grateful Dead = Deadheads
Fans with a fondness for tie dye and getting high who traveled, usually by van, to see as many Grateful Dead shows as they possibly could. Finding enough clarity in their drug-induced haze to record the show and share the tape with other fans, creating the most expansive bootlegging system in the world, pre-Internet Age. Since the death of their lord and savior, Jerry Garcia, 18 years ago, Deadheads have channeled their energy into the many Grateful Dead side projects (7 in total), including The Dead and Furthur.
Josh Groban = Grobanites
Typically moms and grandmas who find Groban’s popera-style refreshing, but really it’s his boy-next-door looks (those curls!) and easy humor they gravitate toward. Their biggest dream is to see Groban and Michael Bublé team up in any capacity. Seriously, any capacity.
Hanson = Fansons
These fans do more than just buy the band’s music for 20 years and counting — they celebrate Isaac, Taylor and Zac’s birthdays and, since getting over the fact that all three brothers are happily married, rejoice when a new Hanson baby is born (currently 10). They probably also sported a rattail at some point, in honor of Taylor’s questionable style choice.
Taylor Hicks = Soul Patrol
This soulful underdog was able to overtake Smash star Katharine McPhee to win season 5 of American Idol, thanks in no small part to his extremely dedicated fan base. They’re still supporting him in his current gig as Vegas lounge singer, where he’s testing out new music, and Birmingham, Alabama restaurateur.
Insane Clown Posse = Juggalo/Juggalette
The name given to followers of Detroit’s infamous Insane Clown Posse was derived from their song “The Juggla.” By far the most notorious of all musical fan bases, Juggalos of course have their own annual festival, Gathering of the Juggalos, which is known for being an often lawless celebration of all things ICP and Psychopathic Records. This gathering is where Faygo is the only soft drink on the menu, a lucky lady can be crowned Ms. Juggalette and, thanks to a little thing called Juggalo Night Court, you can sue your friend for farting in the car on your drive to the Michigan fest. Should be noted that this was an actual case brought before the Judgalo (yep, that’s a word now).
Carly Rae Jepsens = Jepseners
Usually tweens, teens and Justin Bieber fans who believe fellow Canadian/Scooter Braun disciple Carly Rae has more to offer this world than just the well-crafted pop of “Call Me Maybe.”
Jessie J = Heartbeats
Fans who find inspiration in all that the English pop star does, from being open about her bisexuality to shaving her head. And she has the same love for her fans, explaining, ”They support me and buy my albums and singles, and they stand outside hotels, and they come to shows, and they get tattoos of my lyrics and they cut their hair like me. You have to love your fans. That’s why I call them my Heartbeats, because without them I wouldn’t be here.”
Ke$ha = Animals
A wilder breed of music fan who isn’t afraid to roll around in a little glitter, embrace the paranormal and drink their own pee if the occasion calls for it.
Wiz Khalifa = Taylors/Taylor Gang
This fan name comes from Wiz’s love of Chuck Taylors and Taylor Allderdice, Wiz’s former high school in Pittsburgh. Regardless, fans should obey thine Wiz’s three Taylor Gang commandments: drink, smoke and get money. Bonus points for those who dye a horrendous blonde streak in their hair.
The Killers = The Victims
Sometimes the best name is the most obvious one, as is the case of the Killers calling their fans “the Victims.” These fans are willing to die, both figuratively and literally, for the Las Vegas band. Or at the very least, drop a lot of dough on any new LP/B-side/rarity/unreleased demo/Christmas single/greatest hits compilation the band puts out, and oh boy are there a lot.
KISS = The KISS Army
Started accidentally in 1975 by two diehard KISS fans, Bill Starkey and Jay Evans, after they sent letters signed “The KISS Army” to their local radio station. These are people who are more than willing to defend Gene Simmons’ rather off-color commentary on religion, politics and the history of his own band. They’re saving up for the perfect coffin to rock’n'roll all night, or you know, eternity.
Lady Gaga = Little Monsters
These boys and girls, both gay and straight, live by the Gospel of Gaga and through their own social network share their love of music, art and equality. Like good Little Monsters they look to eradicate teen bullying just like Mother Monster taught them, and crown Jeff Koons “Father Monster” for his life-size sculpture of Gaga in all her ARTPOP glory.
Adam Lambert = Glamberts
If Glamberts ruled the world, Adam would have: won Idol, been cast on Glee back when it was actually relevant, and never ended up on a “Worst Dressed” list for sparkles and studs.
Avril Lavigne = Little Black Stars
These fans are often seen rocking Avril’s iconic wardrobe — long ties, heavy eyeliner, plastic wristbands, anything with skulls on it — and will defend the Canadian’s lofty claim that she is “the Sid Vicious for a new generation.”
Led Zeppelin = Zep Heads
These fans are a varied and eclectic bunch. There are those who merely listen to and collect the iconic rockers’ records, dreaming of the much-desired reunion show. And then there are the diehards, those people willing to delve into the socially frowned upon occult to understand the meaning behind the symbols on Led Zeppelin IV. It should be noted that these fans are also usually the ones behind the Led Zeppelin Satanist conspiracy theories. No one’s quite sure yet where the female fan best known for the “Fish Sandwich” falls on the spectrum.
Lil Wayne = Wayniacs
The name given to the Cash Money rapper’s most dedicated, who may or may not have considered drinking sizzurp and getting teardrop tattoos because of Weezy. (See also: Fans of Wayne Newton; overlapping sects of Wayniacs are unconfirmed at this time.)
Demi Lovato = Lovatics
These Demi-holics have been taking note of Demi’s daily affirmations on Twitter way before the pop star released her inspirational book, Staying Strong: 365 Days a Year, which they now own at least two copies of. These fans appreciate Demi’s honest admission of her past drug problems and struggles with depression, and band together to help fight teen bullying using “Skyscraper” as their anthem.
Barry Manilow = Fanilows
The term describes any super fan — usually over the age of 40 and female — who lives and dies for the man who writes the songs. The term was the title of a 2003 episode of Will & Grace in which Will goes to see a Barry Manilow concert and tries to sneak backstage. Obviously hilarity ensues.
Bruno Mars = Hooligans
The pop superstar has already amassed quite a few fans who identify as “Hooligans,” a play on Mars’ Doo-Wops & Hooligans debut. But despite what their name might suggest, these fans are pretty mild mannered, forgoing all sense of violence to instead vandalize their community Facebook page with adorable photos of the singer that they bully you into liking.
Marina And The Diamonds = The Diamonds
The Welsh singer is a solo act who doesn’t need a band since she’s got her fans to help sing every word. Marina even swears that her and her Diamonds share the same heart, which is all fine and good, but what her fans really want to know is when she’s going to shoot more episodes of her style webseries, Beauty Rules with Marina and the Diamonds. The Diamonds need some help finding the perfect outfit for their inner Bubblegum B****.
Conor Maynard = Mayniacs
If you look in a Mayniacs’ closet, you’re sure to find at least one item labeled “Vegas Girl,” in honor of his rather forward hit single of the same name where he proclaims, “Ey, shake, shake like you’re famous, girl/Head back, lay it down like a Vegas girl.” Then again, all those posters of the English singer lining their bedroom walls probably tipped you off to their crazy love for the teen pop sensation.
Janelle Monáe = Fandroids
These self-empowered Fandroids — often seen in a clean palette of black and white — are spreading Janelle’s sci-fi infused message of independence by breaking it down on the dance floor at every one of the singer’s shows. Because as these future Q.U.E.E.N.s know, the booty don’t lie.
Nicki Minaj = Barbz & Kenz
The name comes from Nicki’s girly-girl alter ego The Harajuku Barbie. Unlike Mattel’s original, Nicki fans are typically sassier and dressed a bit more NSFW, much like Minaj herself. The best part: Nicki calls her homosexual male fans her Kenz, in reference to Barbie’s boy toy.
My Chemical Romance = MCRmy
The recently-disbanded rockers boast fans so loyal, they’re soldiers for the band. After MCR announced their break-up back in March, a fan-generated petition surfaced and within a week had generated over 10,000 signatures in hopes of a goodbye tour. As of now, there are 20,931 people who are still hoping to see Gerard Way’s guyliner one last time.
New Kids On The Block = Blockheads
These fans may or may not still have handmade t-shirts and signs from the late ’80s/early ’90s NKOTB golden age. The only difference now is that they’re bringing their teenage daughters with them to shows. Nothing screams fandom like mothers and daughters arguing over which New Kid is the dreamiest (Joey, duh).
Wayne Newton = Wayniacs
Not to be confused with Lil Wayne’s Wayniacs (and let’s be honest, they never would be), this mild-mannered crew pre-games for Newton’s Vegas floor show with penny slots.
Rihanna = Rihanna Navy
The name most likely originated from her lines on “G4L” off 2009′s Rated R: “We’re an army, better yet a navy.” Now it can be linked to her small part in the 2012 summer flick Battleship. It does seem fitting, however, that pop’s most antagonistic star has a fan group named after a branch of the military.
Rita Ora = Ritabots
If you think you just spotted Rita Ora in your local hangout, you are probably in the presence of a Ritabot. With their cat eyes and bright red lipstick done to perfection, they could easily pass for the Jay Z-approved singer herself. But as they say, imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.
Paramore = Parawhores
The PG-13-named Paramore fan group includes: 1) girls who dye their hair day-glo orange in honor of lead singer Hayley Williams; 2) actually know the names of the band’s other two members, Jeremy Davis and Taylor York.
Katy Perry = Katycats
Named in honor of Katy’s love for all things feline, it was officially coined after her 2009 Hello Katy Tour. Her devoted Katycats are more than willing to roar on Twitter in defense of Katy’s choices in fashion, men and pop hits. Things only tend to get heated between Katy’s most devoted when they start debating whether Meow or Purr should be the signature scent of the Katycats. Ruh roh.
Phish = Phans
With their L.L. Bean wardrobe and a worn-in pair of Birkenstocks, these Phish lovers have become one of the most maligned groups of music fans ever (right up there with Juggalos and Deadheads). One thing that can’t be denied, though, is that for the last 30 years, they’ve stayed united by a truly grassroots network of message boards and tape trades. But whatever you do, don’t call them Phish Heads.
P.O.D. = Warriors
These fans have been soldiering on for the hard rockin’ Christian band since 1992, way before their 2001 single “Alive” hit TRL and turned the band into a household name. That being said, these fans take the message of this song very seriously, sharing the band’s posi vibe and ambiguously religious message.
One Direction = Directioners
Directioners have gotten a reputation for being slightly crazier than your average boy band fan, which is saying quite a lot. They’ve staked out hotel rooms and faked their own deaths, but we’ve actually found that they’re a lot saner than previously reported. Dare we say it, they are a group that finds solace in the music in the purest sense.
Ed Sheeran = Edheads
They can sing in harmony to every Sheeran song and know the story behind every tattoo on his body (more than you think). And if you look closely, you might see his song lyrics inked somewhere on them, too.
Skillet = Panheads
The Wisconsin-based Christian rockers’ most dedicated, who have been known to bring actual skillets with them as gifts.
Britney Spears = SpearLeaders
After much debate, this became the new official name for Britney’s fans in 2011, who pledge to become the largest fan group in the world. We’re still wondering why they missed the opportunity to call themselves Britney’s B****es, but this works too.
Bruce Springsteen = Bruce Tramps
Though an unfortunate name, Bruce Tramps are named in honor of The Boss’ immortal words on “Born to Run”: “We got to get out while we’re young/Because tramps like us, baby we were born to run.” These idealists will follow Bruce to the ends of the earth and back, as chronicled by Backstreets and recent doc Springsteen & I. They will also gladly vote for whatever Democratic candidate he believes will be best for our country.
Stone Sour = Dead Generation
This band fronted by Slipknot vocalist Corey Taylor derives their fan name from a lyric found in the song “30/30 – 150,” off 2006′s Come What(ever) May: “They called us a dead generation/They told us that we wouldn’t survive.” Boy, were they wrong.
Taylor Swift = Swifties
Not only will Swifties dissect each and every word in her lyrics to find out exactly who Taylor’s talking about, they’ll hold grudges against the men who broke her heart (Joe Jonas, John Mayer, Jake Gyllenhaal). They’ll also go ape-shit over t-shirts that reference said matters of Swift’s heart.
Thirty Seconds to Mars = The Echelon
Jared Leto’s band has possibly the most organized and proactive fan base of any musical act in the world. The network has grown to the point of having its own annual international conference – the next one is scheduled for Los Angeles in 2014 — where they not only celebrate the music of 30STM, but get out there and help spread the positive vibes expressed in the band’s music. One particular group of phans (philanthropist + fan), dubbed the Echelon House, have teamed up with Habitat for Humanity to build homes for those in need.
Tokio Hotel = Aliens
The Aliens, whose members include Lady Gaga, rave about the German alt-rock band, particularly frontman Bill Kaulitz’s almost alien look. The Aliens’ efforts to demonstrate their love has not gone unnoticed, as they have won the “Fan Army FTW Award” at the O Music Awards four years in a row.
Twisted Sister = S.M.F.F.O.T.S. (Sick Motherf*****g Fans of Twisted Sister)
People, usually those from the band’s home base of Long Island, who can still help the band sell out any club in the Northeast and appreciate Dee Snider — with or without his makeup.
Uriah Heep = Heepsters
Fans of the English band, who in the ’70s were amongst the original Big 4 of hard rock alongside Black Sabbath, Deep Purple and Led Zeppelin. Since 1996, the Heepsters Mailing List has taken the Heep fandom to an intense place, with 20 to 100 emails a day. List admins warn fans that they should only sign up if they’re ready for that kind of commitment — so fairweather fans, best keep moving on.
The Wanted = TWFanmily
Mostly 20-something females, who despite loving boy bands, don’t think One Direction is quite edgy enough. Dedicated to all things The Wanted, you can be sure to find these fans glued to their computers once Wednesday — better known as #WantedWednesday — rolls around.
White Stripes = Candy Cane Children
This fan name comes from the White Stripes’ love for all things red and white, because Jack White would never willingly name his fans something so cutesy. The term was later used as song title, on the 1998 holiday compilation Surprise Package Vol. 2, to honor the White Stripes’ most loyal fans.
The Who = Wholigans
A once rebellious group of fans who listened to their music too loud and windmilled like it was going out of style. Now these mostly older fans resort to taking off their shirts and singing “Baba O’Reilly” at the top of their lungs à la their leader, Roger Daltrey. (Also the name of a Who tribute band that has been touring the world since 1982 playing the band’s Live at Leeds-era hits.)
Zac Brown Band = Zamily
The beanie-wearing, environmentally conscious fans of Zac Brown are really more of a family. A family that often pre-games with their favorite band over BBQ, for their Eat & Greets.
(Photos by Central Press, Ethan Miller, Paul Kane, Alexander Heimann, Jordi Vidal for Getty Images)