In this project, I touch on multiple ways that you can identify a Superfan but the one that manifests itself in the most apparent way is this particular category. The other two themes rely on observation and understanding a celebrity but this theme is not hard to notice.
A lot of us have seen a celebrity on TV as children and have wanted to emulate them, to become them one day. For me that particular celebrity was Britney Spears. I would dress up as her as often as I could, I would sing for everyone that would listen and I would try to adapt her persona as well as I could. Well, until she had her ‘meltdown’ that is.
Britney Spears, the first celebrity author Taylia Meese was a Superfan of.
Image Source: Getty Images
I have wanted to sing for as long as I could remember, and with that I remember the first album I ever got. Britney Spears- Greatest Hits: My Prerogative. I learnt the words at an excessive speed and put on performances wherever I went. I remember people telling me that I had such an angelic voice that I pursued singing. I entered as many concerts as I could in primary school and even joined the choir. I wanted to be the next biggest singing sensation, I wanted to be the next Britney Spears. However, puberty hit me hard, my voice got so much deeper and would crack whenever I tried to hit high notes. I was so confused as that was only supposed to happen to boys but alas, here I am. I still try to sing whenever I can, but in the place of my soft and sweet angelic voice, a huskier, raspier one, took its place. Does this mean that I am terrible? Certainly not! It did mean that I had to reassess my career though.
With this, I am not alone, nor am I unique or special. So many people have wanted to be pop stars, rock stars, musicians, actors or any other form of artist based off of a celebrity that has inspired them. Justin Timberlake has himself said that Prince inspired his music. But it is those that actively pursue their talents based off of this inspiration that I will draw from. Those that became an actress because of Audrey Hepburn’s stellar performance in Breakfast at Tiffany’s or those that indeed became a singer because of the likes of Britney Spears.
Audrey Hepburn. Popular actress born in 1929, famous for portrayals of Holly Golighty in Breakfast at Tiffany’s and Eliza Doolittle in My Fair Lady.
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Within the lives of celebrities themselves, it is not rare to find that they have been inspired by an artist of their particular niche. Madonna has a whole Wikipedia page designed for showing a list of artists inspired by her. She herself was inspired by the likes of Aretha Franklin, Marilyn Monroe and David Bowie to name a few. Similarly to how many, many artists acknowledge Queen and Freddie Mercury as their main inspiration. Artist like these include Lady Gaga, Katy Perry and many many others according to gigwise.com.
These are just a few singers that call on inspiration of their predecessors, but with social media, we are seeing a definite rise in careers created by this. YouTube, the biggest and most popular video sharing website has seen many come to fame from artists producing covers from their favourite artist. Chloe x Halle covered Beyonce’s song ‘Pretty Hurts’, which currently boasts over 16 million views. None of these views matter however, except for one: that of Beyonce Knowles herself. She discovered them through this cover and has since had them opening for her on tour. Not only did she inspire their work, but someone who they idolised helped make their dreams become a reality. Whilst this might not be the case for many cover artists, it is definitely the dream.
Chloe and Halle Bailey, pictured as the fifth and sixth people from the left, were both inspired and discovered by Beyoncé (pictured ninth from the left).
Image Source: Getty Images
On the Glamour YouTube channel, a common video series is uploaded where celebrities watch fan covers in order for all to see. They are sat in front of a camera and shown a series of videos where different fans perform various of their songs, in their own unique ways. The celebrities normally express surprise and pleasure, but the true joy comes from the fans. The fans that produced the covers as Glamour sets out to get the fans reaction of the celebrities reaction. So even though they may not ‘make it’ like Chloe x Halle, the recognition is definitely something that serves to encourage fans to further pursue their dreams in music.
I talk a lot about celebrities in the music industry because they are the most vocal, pun intended. But in every genre of the arts, there’s always someone that has been inspired enough by someone in the media to pursue an activity in line with that that the popular figure promotes. Entertainment makes up the biggest percentage of our life span other than the natural biological functions so it is unsurprising when someone draws inspiration from this field and the people in it. I did not get to become Britney Spears, but if I could have, bet your bottom dollar I would have!
So in terms of this particular project, activities refers to being so embedded in the artform of the celebrity that they take it and make it their own. This with their own unique spins and twists of course. Lee McAllister Rooney is my superfan that exhibits this attribute most significantly. He was so inspired by the works of Thom Yorke and Radiohead that he decided to pursue music. He is even likened to them often because of this, people noting that his sound has drawn inspiration from his favourite band. This is where the superfan exhibits the integration of the celebrities art form into their very own lives.
Lee McAllister Rooney, the superfan that demonstrates the highest level of activity for this project.
Image Source: Taylia Meese