Did you hear? Ariana Grande's new album My Everything is out! Hasn't it felt like our entire summers have been leading to this event? Don't speak if your answer is no, you're ruining the moment for hundreds of Arianators.
What are Arianators, you ask? Why, they're Grande's fans – her "stans," in fact. What are stans? Oh, delightful reader, untarnished by the deepest recesses of the Internet, we appreciate you.
Stans, named both for the Eminem song "Stan" and for the portmanteau of the words "stalker" and "fan," refers to a fan who takes things to another level. This usually manifests itself in passionate Tumblr posts, but sometimes it results in a Jessie J stan breaking their leg to match hers! Stans can be crazy, y'all.
Each group of fans and stans has a name – like the Arianators – but not all stanbase names are created equal. Which ones stand above the rest? Which names are wholly understandable? In honor of the Arianators' big day, we've ranked the names for you.
BIG OL' NOTE: This is not a ranking of fanbases by quality of the fans. We repeat: This is not a ranking of fanbases by quality of the fans. Everybody got that? Oh, no, you're already headed to the comments to get mad. Okay, we'll repeat it one more time: This is not a ranking of fanbases by quality of the fans.
28. Rowland Stones: Kelly Rowland's stanbase. She named the fans herself last year, and you know she was feeling so proud when she came up with it. It's a terrible pun, but it's the kind of thing you only say when you've had a few cocktails. It may sound brilliant when the gin is flowing, girl, but this was one that should have stayed in the mind.
27. Mahomies: Austin Mahone's stanbase. If you didn't know what a stan was, chances are you also do not know what an Austin Mahone is. Question: Who says "homies" anymore? Is it Austin Mahone stans? So painful.
26. Heartbeats: Jessie J stans. She named them after her Heartbeat tour, which isn't exactly relevant to anything, and because, as she told MTV, "without them I wouldn't be here." That's sweet, but it still doesn't make for a particularly good stanbase name.
25. Directioners: One Direction stans. They took the second word of the band's name, added the suffix "-er," and ran with it. Pretty lame! We're only talking about the name, but notably, the Directioners are easily the most passionate stanbase on this list. They also tend to get into fights with other fandoms, currently mostly with the 5 Seconds of Summer fanbase. But that's unrelated! Their name is still uninspired.
24. Britney Army: Britney Spears' stanbase. Their name is just Britney's plus the word Army. Why is it so boring? One word, guys: Spearsleaders.
23. Selenators: Selena Gomez's stanbase. Same problem as Directioners, but it's at least got some spark to it. The difference between this and the much-higher-ranked Arianators is that "Selenators" looks and sounds awkward.
22. Jepsies: Carly Rae Jepsen's stanbase. This is almost cute, but it falls a little short. It's going for sounding like "gypsies," but it sounds a little junior.
21. Black Stars: Avril Lavigne's stanbase. They're named for her song "Black Star."
Naming yourselves after a song isn't the most original idea, but it's better than just slapping a suffix on your artist's name. It feels oddly appropriate for Lavigne's fans.
20. Azaleans: Iggy Azalea's stanbase. Again, not much effort. It sounds like "alien" a little bit? This one's pretty disappointing, because "Iggy" feels like fertile ground for a lot of great puns.
19. Sheerios: Ed Sheeran's stanbase. There's some wit here – remember that Sheeran is English, so "cheerio" is an interesting idea to riff on. But again, like Jepsies, it sounds too cutesy.
18. Daydreamers: Adele's stanbase. They're also named after a song:
Like with Lavigne's fans, this kind of works. It's not terribly up-to-date (it's from her 19 album, when almost everyone knows her from 21), but it's cute.
17. Swifties: Taylor Swift's stanbase. Talk about sounding too cutesy. This is pure "artist name + suffix" syndrome, but they get a break for fitting Swift's vibe. A similar name would sound totally inappropriate for another artist, but makes sense for the increasingly pop-oriented Swift.
16. JLovers: Jennifer Lopez's stanbase. This one gets a pass, because it works, even if it's not to author's taste. (It sounds more like a Jennifer Love Hewitt stanbase name OKAY IT'S OUT THERE I'M SORRY.)
15. Lovatics: Demi Lovato's stanbase. The name is totally middle ground and fine – a bit more interesting than the usual "name and suffix" trick – but what is a Lovatic, exactly? Gonna let Urban Dictionary do the talking here:
When a person really loves Demi Lovato, he is a Lovatic. Lovatic is that one juicy girl who doesn't live without her. Lovatic is that one person who supports her, no matter what. Lovatic is that one person who doesn't leave her because she is not perfect, but loves her even more because of her flaws. Lovatic is a f*ckin' SKYSCRAPER.
... All righty then. The name's fine! We're backing away slowly now.
14. Smilers: Miley Cyrus' stanbase. This felt a little more appropriate before Cyrus grinded up on the teddy bears, but as a fandom, you work with the had you're dealt. They're named for Billy Ray Cyrus' nickname for his daughter – "Smiley" – that was eventually shortened into her current first name. Kind of cute, right? Tonally bizarre now, sure, but cute.
13. Arianators: Our raison d'etre, and Ariana Grande's stanbase. It's not the best name – by a long shot – but it has something to it. It rolls off the tongue easily. There's a pretty substantial gap between this one and number 12, but among the lower tier, this one stands out.
12. Fighters: Christina Aguilera's stanbase. Named for her song "Fighter," this one works slightly better than the Black Stars or Daydreamers because the inspiration is a hit song. It's a little bland, though.
11. Fannilows: Barry Mannilow's stanbase. This is doing "prefix + artist name" right. It's easily understandable, and you can almost see the kind of people who would be Fannilows in your head just by the name.
10. Firebreathers: Imagine Dragons' stanbase. Are you a bit surprised the Imagine Dragons have a fandom? So were we! But there are more than you'd expect, and they're called the Firebreathers. Get it? Because dragons breathe fire? It's not reinventing the wheel, but there's some thought there! It's cute. (There was some initial disagreement on whether to be the "Firebreathers" or the "Dragons," but they chose correctly.)
9. Katy Cats: Katy Perry's stanbase. It's a painful pun, sure, but cats are a clear part of Perry's work (she has a pet named Kitty Purry). It's playful, which is what all these fandom names should aim for.
8. Rihanna Navy: Rihanna's stanbase. More than just her name plus another word (*cough* Britney Army *cough*), this one is actually inspired by her song "G4L," one of the best cuts from her album Rated R. "We're an army / Better yet, a navy / Better yet, crazy," the Barbadian princess sings. The name took off from there. Of course, if you're feeling ridiculous, you could also pretend they're so named because of her role in Battleship.
7. Little Monsters: Lady Gaga's stanbase, also known just as Monsters. Gaga is the Mother Monster, so named because of her first album's EP extension, The Fame Monster. On that record, she included a song called "Monster," but it wasn't a hit single and only seems tangentially related to the fandom name. Along with Directioners, this is one of the more commonly known stanbase names, and for good reason.
6. Glamberts: Adam Lambert's stanbase. Completely recognizable name – using the artist's name properly, but combined with an element of the artist's work that is wholly them. This one got started back when Lambert was on American Idol and has stuck, so points for longevity.
5. Barbz: Nicki Minaj's stanbase. Pronounced "bar-bees," like the doll and with a hard B. It's distinctive, funny, and totally on brand for the woman who often makes Barbie clothes fabulous. Fun fact: male Nicki Minaj fans are known as Ken Barbz, or just "Kens" for short. And they produce fan videos like these:
4. Lambs: Mariah Carey's stanbase. They're named for their relatively docile nature – and Carey notably refers to friends, family, and fans as her lambs, which is sweet. It has almost nothing to do with Carey's work, so it's slightly disconnected, but she named her fans herself. That goes a long way. (Though they are sweet, watch out when they get angry!)
3. Animals: Kesha's stanbase. So named for her song "Animal," which was also the name of her first record.
Like with Aguilera's fandom, it's nice that the fans are named after such an iconic part of Kesha's work. The name also fits with her whole vibe – animalistic in passion, but also in ability to have a good time.
2. Beyhive: Beyoncé's stanbase. Known for their fervent passion and willingness to fight members of the Rihanna Navy. This has the benefit of being a pun with multiple layers – we're all beys, but there's only one Queen Bey – but also for great visuals. Imagine a concert filled with buzzing fans all worshipping their queen. It really does seem like a hive – with a hive mind, to boot. We all love Beyoncé. Don't you love Beyoncé? Everyone loves Beyoncé.
1. Stans: Eminem's stanbase. Could there be any other? The term "Stan" is so much more than just his fandom – it's become one of the most prominent terms when talking about pop music fans in the 21st century. Using the stalker fan character at the song's center as inspiration makes this the perfect fandom name.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.
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