Recently when I came across Rollingstone‘s article “Bob Dylan’s 10 Craziest Fans” (link), I was excited. Once I read it, however, it was clear the borderline disturbing or rude fans were the only ones sadly featured. I wanted to follow suit, but in a different style. As a professional journalist who was hired to document Gaga fans at one of her concerts, and as a general fan culture enthusiast, I want to feature the Top 10 most devoted Lady Gaga fans I have met, or heard about, who are “crazy” about her, except in a heart warming or surprising way:
10) Stephanie Picher was a Little Monster from Massachusetts who was a shining example to the fan community. She not only had multiple pieces of body art relative to Gaga (including two portrait tattoos), but she constantly promoted a message of peace amongst fans. A horrific car accident took her life in April 2014, but many fans continue to keep her spirit alive by bringing Steph’s passing to Gaga’s attention on her recent ArtRave Tour. Watch a tribute video of Stephanie HERE and learn how to contribute to her memorial fund HERE.
9) Professor Gaga – read more about him HERE
8) Grandma Gaga aka Inez Whitfield of the UK stands out not only for being 86 years young, but for still attending an ArtRave show after appendix surgery. Inez, pictured with Gaga when she got to meet her at the show, says Gaga’s music speaks to her, in a way such as The Beatles did.
7) Gaga Cosplayers stand testament to the singer’s wild statement outfits. Many times, fans will create the pieces themselves. Click HERE to see my mini documentary on Gaga fans at a 2011 Monster Ball where I interview many costumed ballers, as well as to check out F.R.E.E.BitchesTV.
6) The FreeBitches of YouTube, aka Courtney and Sarah of Canada, have gotten recognition from both Gaga and her team for their astounding, home made recreations of her outfits. Aside from how they dress, their highly entertaining YouTube channel will leave you contemplating art AND having many laughs. Check HERE to check out one of their latest videos that contains a homemade song spoof and clips of previous videos.
5) “He said that’s what women were for.” Gaga often reads fan notes that are thrown onto her stage, and this one from a fan Jose on a recent ArtRave stop resonates. With the recent violence against women in the spotlight from Santa Barbara shootings, the topic of women as an object for men is in the public eye. In the video (link), Gaga reads an amazing letter a brother wrote about his abused sister who became stronger from Gaga’s music and invites him backstage.
4) Waldo, a monster from Florida (originally from Cuba), has been a popular staple in the fan community for years. His positive attitude and great Gaga body art make it easy to adore him. He has been pulled backstage by Gaga at a show before (link), but it is not the first time he has met the pop star, either. He also took part in fan activities to keep the memory of Stephanie Picher alive with his awesome ArtRave outfit and other efforts.
3) Tim Cox was originally famous for making Gaga cry with a touching speech he gave to her at the last North American Monster Ball show during his Virgin Mobile Call (link), but this was not the last stop on this Little Monster’s journey. Two years later, he created RadioArtpop. He recently was invited backstage to speak with Gaga about the show, self mutilation & how they had met three years previously. Catch his vlog about the event HERE.
2) It is a rare occurrence a fan touches a star’s life so much that they become friends, and then coworkers, but Little Monster Emma has done just that. Gaga met Emma backstage during the Born this Way Ball, and the tour was infamously cut short due to her hip injury. Because Emma lives with scoliosis and hip dysplasia, which has bound her to a wheelchair, Gaga bonded with the fan during this difficult time. She payed for Emma’s surgery (link) and also made her part of her Haus (aka her professional posse, as it were) to promote the message of #CurePity. Other fans embody the same message, such as fan Jon in the screenshot to the left.
1) RadioArtpop tops the list. It has gained international attention because Lady Gaga has praised it on Twitter, previewed clips of her album “ArtPop” exclusively for them, and has recorded an intro to the show herself. It’s also popular because of the fan involvement the show promotes. A YouTube vlog-cast that involves multiple fans broadcasting and communicating at once, the show touches on Gaga’s music, what her message does for fans, and they take each show to do “A Piece of Me/Us”, so that pertinent issues like HIV and sexual abuse can be discussed. Kudos to Tim, Jess, Justin & Tiffa for starting this wonderful movement!