Love can be a terrible thing â€” especially when it’s directed at someone you don’t know personally and who certainly doesn’t know you. Celebrities often inspire a kind of impersonal, fantastically overblown adoration in an overwhelming percentage of the American population. However, it only takes one emotionally imbalanced fan for things to elevate into the stratosphere of crazy. Here are some examples of love gone wrong, stories of mayhem and heartbreak of the tabloid variety.
From the onset of her career, Nicki Minaj has inspired odd behavior in her fans â€” but none as odd as a certain die-hard who recently got a gigantic tattoo of her face on his calf. First off, let’s be honest. Her face is not the most recognizable part of Nicki Minaj. Second, a calf tattoo pales in comparison to this fan, who tattooed “Nicki Minaj” on his hands, ensuring that he can never go to another job interview without looking like a serial killer or a hypochondriac. Or something so much worse: a Nicki Minaj fan.
When historians look back on our time, they will think of Justin Bieber not foremost as an artist or oddity, but as the 21st century’s foremost inciter of mass hysteria. From inspiring mob violence to mass acts of male vanity (grab the straightening iron, boys/boyish lesbians!), there was perhaps no more insane act of Bieber vigilantism than when a fan stole a water bottle sipped by the star and auctioned it off on TradeMe to the tune of $624. Though this crazy fan could be cast as simply a savvy business person, the same could not be said of the fan who shelled out 600 big ones for Justin Bieber’s backwash.
The problem with exalting one’s fans to ‘freak’ status is that, after awhile, some begin to wear the title with a bit too much pride. While there’s a fine line between “Lady Gaga Conversation” and “Lady Gaga Conversation Killers” the phrase “I totally murdered my cat and bathed in its blood” falls pretty solidly in the “Crazy at Any Time” category. While we’re mincing words it is a pretty fair observation that the only thing separating this fan from Lady Gaga is how long the animal was dead before they decided to wear its entrails.
No one can say that Lil’ Wayne isn’t a good role model. The deathless appeal of the man not only attracts an interesting fanbase (Paris Hilton?) but inspires in his fans more innovation in their madcap approaches to meet him than most. It wasn’t a normal stage-crash incident but a brilliant coup when in February, a Weezy fan crashed and robbed the star on the set of a music video while posing as a back-up dancer, only in hopes of returning the stolen goods to Wayne in
Once upon a time, Chris Brown had a following made up of girls who would have jumped barricades to be with him. Now he has to make due with girls who will shave his album title into the back of their head. But perhaps the craziest fans are the thousands who lined up to defend him against the pretty clear cut domestic violence charges he faced â€” toting such time-honored phrases from the 19th century like “She provoked him”, “I’ll bet Rhianna was the one who hit him first”, and perhaps most hilarious/depressing for humanity in general: “GIVE THE KID A BREAK IT’S HIS FIRST TIME IN HIS FOUR YEAR CAREER!”
Celebrity obsessers in 1926 may not have had e-bay and iPhones, but they knew how to make their presence known. Rudolph Valentino, the foremost sex symbol of the silent era, died at the peak of his career, leaving in his wake a string of ambiguously linked suicides. One involved a young mother trying to shoot herself and then being arrested for attempted self-murder â€” her body was discovered passed out in a pile of photos of Valentino. In an era where the only free time activities involved pole-sitting and watching various animals get electrocuted, the death of your favorite star probably did seem like the end of the world. So next time someone complains about the endless stream of interchangeable pop stars shat out by the industry, remind them that Justin Bieber saves lives.
Every devoted fan has, at some point, bought a Map of the Stars and visited their favorite celebrity’s mansion. Some even sat around for an hour or two to see if they’d catch a glimpse. But there’s a line where “You Probably Think About This Person Who Doesn’t Even Know You Exist a Bit Too Much” turns into “Okay Honey, You’re Scaring Us”. It’s a devoted/insane fan that finds out where a celebrity’s house is located and spends days parked outside of it . Such a fan was Karen McNeil, a dedicated Justin Timberlake devotee, until JT filed a restraining order against her. The 48-year-old stalker-fan was declared mentally unstable in court, to no one’s great surprise.
In a dark twist uncharacteristic of the lives of ’90s pop superstars, Selena was killed by the president of her fan club. Though embezzlement and betrayal were factors in the case, accusations of lesbianism were also thrown in the mix by the time the story reached tabloids, making the 23-year-old singer’s murder prime television biopic material â€” especially after the future President of the United States declared an official “Selena Day” in honor of her death.
One would think it takes a supernova of a performer to launch fans as monomaniacal and strange as to be pegged as subjects for a documentary. But it doesn’t. At least, not in the case of Tiffany Darwish and I Think We’re Alone Now, the film that documents her borderline stalker fans, each of which has their own shrine, and each of which has delusions that Tiffany is their destined mate. As sad as all of these other fan devotions are, it takes special kind of delusion to be obsessed with a celebrity who literally has a “Career Stall” category on Wikipedia.
Rebecca Black has spawned, apart from other things, the strangest fan of all: Lady Gaga. In a bizarre PR move worthy of Charlie Sheen, Gaga defended Black’s beleaguered music video attempt ‘Friday’ as a work of art â€” and Black herself as a genius to be reckoned with. While this seems pretty unbelievable for a song that involves such profound existential questions like what seat to choose in your friend’s car, let’s keep in mind that 80% of Lady Gaga’s lyrics consist of repeating nonsense words that rhyme with “Gaga”.
Graffiti, an ice pick, an SVU. What do all these things have in common? If not the film Basic Instinct, then surely Madonna. Such were the instruments of terror a fan used to convey his appreciation for Madonna’s music last September, when he parked outside her New York apartment spray-painting messages of love on street signs and begging her to be with him. It’s a tempting offer, but considering the fact that (brace yourself to feel old) Madonna’s pushing mid-50s he might want to invest in a younger pop star. I hear Rebecca Black is single and might turn 18 this decade.
Rock’s most (arguably) lovable icon seems never to have a lapse of patience â€” even when a young fan begins accosting him for not recognizing her after a concert. As the story goes, the girl said they had met before, but only in a ‘metaphorical’ way. Henry asks for elaboration on this point. The girl then states that both he and Michael Stipe live in her head, and that the last time the three of them were together, Rollins had watched her and Stipe have sex. But such things are but blips in the life of one whose fans, when they aren’t bidding to sleep with him, chuck canned food at his head.
It’s sort of an adorable story that goes something like this: Kate Moss gets in her car after a night of hard clubbing and sits on a fan who had been waiting for an introduction. Oh wait did we say adorable? What was actually meant was “ripped-directly-from-a-bad-horror-movie-creepy.”
Daniel Radcliffe is young England’sâ€”and now Broadway’sâ€”main asset. While just about any moderately famous person is capable of generating an obsessive fan base, we’re talking about an actor who played a boy wizard while appearing in the nude in a play centered around his character’s obsession with horses. So it’s more than a little strange to find a fan wanting to get closer? Reportedly, one fan sent Radcliffe fake body parts in the mail as a sort of gift â€” or perhaps a reverse-Van Goghian token of love. Another allegedly had Radcliffe sign her wrist so she could make it into a tattoo.
Doomed love, in the context of celebrity obsession, doesn’t often lead to doom. Teenagers and people who obsesses about something as topical as celebrities are seldom willing to take it that far. But Ricardo Lopez, an obsessive Bjork fan, fostered an obsession which led him to a tragic end . Lopez filmed himself making a homemade bomb intended to kill Bjork, filmed all 18 hours of production while explaining the nature of his obsession with the singer, and then shot himself dead. The video is online if you’re twisted enough to seek it out, but long story short Bjork is Icelandic, which means she hails from a country of around 300,000 people â€” barely enough to qualify for medium-sized city. That means this sad sack became obsessed and killed himself over what we in America would call “Someone from Cleveland”