We all have that one band, singer or musician that we can’t get enough of. We can’t stop listening to their music, buying up all their merch and gushing about how cool they are. But how much artist love is too much? For some people, being a fan is akin to obsession. These crazed individuals take supporting their favorite acts to a new level, devoting all their time and energy to knowing every detail behind the band, and doing virtually ANYTHING to get themselves closer. Such fans can be incredibly scary, and can make a simple performance challenging, for even the most experienced pop star.
A little over a week ago at a concert in Brazil, Avril Lavigne was onstage, about to start a cover of Coldplay‘s “Fix You”, when a crazed fan ran at her. Avril, atop a piano at the time, let out a shriek as a fan approached her, but before anything could happen, the fan was picked up and taken offstage by security. Avril, a little taken aback, took a second to collect herself, but laughed it off, saying “Its all good”, and resumed the show.
Miley Cyrus had an equally close encounter at a concert over a month ago, but didn’t take it quite as lightly. She had just finished her last song of the night, “The Climb”, and was taking a bow, when a girl who looked to be in her early teens, ran up behind her and attempted to give the pop star a hug. Seconds later, security guards rushed after her, prying her off Miley, pinning her to the ground, and then shoving her off the stage. The only words Miley uttered before being ushered offstage in a panic, were “Oh My God”.
Are Miley and Avril’s security measures over-the-top, or are these fans actually serious threats to the stars? It becomes hard to distinguish between a harmless starstruck fan and a fan who is dangerous when you look back in history at some of the obsessed fans who turned deadly. John Lennon, for example, was shot dead by obsessed fan Mark Chapman. Many stars have had fans break into their homes and have therefore taken out restraining orders and even used weapons for self-defense. Madonna‘s bodyguard shot and wounded fan-turned-stalker Robert Hoskins after he threatened her life. All that said, we don’t blame Miley and Avril for their “better safe than sorry” perspective.