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Music
Fandom
on Social
Media

Social media has revolutionised the face of fan culture. Thanks to platforms like Twitter, musicians can directly engage with their fans, and fanbases can unite over their shared passion for their favourite bands and artists. But are all fanbases made equal? We investigated.

Music fandom is nothing new – it can even be dated back as far as the 19th century when classical composers such as Franz Liszt were causing a frenzy. That’s old news though. With the social media generation dictating the airwaves, we’re now witnessing a whole new calibre of 'superfan'. We analysed tweets from the fans of the world’s top artists to find out who is making the most noise and what tells them apart. Dr Mark Duffett, an expert in popular music and fan culture, also shared his insights into fan culture.

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Bose Music Fandom

Followers, mentions and fans

A fan is not a true fan unless they’re rallying a community of likeminded followers on Twitter, right? Use the arrows on the table below to find out which artist has the most followers, who’s garnering the most mentions, who has the most dedicated fans, which fans retweet each other the most and who’s doing the tweeting.

“I see the term ‘fan’ itself as something that does not have a race, class or gender. It’s simply a position of conviction, and I think there is something more universal, and in some circumstances, even humanist about that. In some instances, I think fandom has allowed empathy across gender divides.”

Name Total
followers
Total
mentions
Mentions
per author
Retweet
Factor
Male Female BAR
Adele 27,600,000 1,907,460 1.22 2.65 62% 38%
Ariana Grande 66,600,000 6,111,870 1.58 3.17 66% 34%
Beyoncé 15,367,000 8,741,900 1.72 2.65 61% 39%
Billie Eilish 2,800,000 1,002,600 1.06 5.24 67% 33%
BTS 22,200,000 237,934,020 7.02 8.64 76% 24%
Calvin Harris 12,700,000 358,390 1.49 1.89 57% 43%
Camilla Cabello 9,700,000 6,356,180 2.88 3.92 73% 27%
Cardi B 7,500,000 2,028,420 1.14 6.17 61% 39%
Coldplay
(Chris Martin)
23,700,000 2,504,600 0.46 0.69 59% 41%
Dido 119,000 23,980 1.31 1.87 44% 56%
Drake 38,600,000 6,575,950 1.21 4.15 47% 53%
Dua Lipa 3,500,000 1,471,610 1.71 2.28 66% 34%
Eminem 22,600,000 1,144,340 1.16 3.55 40% 60%
Harry Styles 33,500,000 4,565,530 1.88 2.54 72% 28%
James Blunt 1,900,000 52,480 1.04 3.68 43% 57%
Justin Bieber 107,000,000 7,031,910 1.76 4.82 68% 32%
Kanye West 22,900,000 4,092,900 1.24 3.99 41% 59%
Katy Perry 108,100,000 2,432,950 0.47 0.93 57% 43%
Lady Gaga 79,700,000 9,328,050 3.28 1.62 58% 42%
Leona Lewis 1,200,000 36,440 1.14 3.5 62% 38%
Lewis Capaldi 790,000 71,940 1.07 3.03 65% 35%
Lil Nas X 3,100,000 693,930 1.07 9.45 52% 48%
Michael Bublé 2,300,000 76,760 1.05 2.45 66% 34%
Post Malone 5,500,000 864,160 1.03 5.39 52% 48%
Rihanna 93,900,000 6,531,690 1.55 3.22 63% 37%
Shakira 51,600,000 847,110 1.6 2.3 56% 44%
Shawn Mendes 23,800,000 4,625,620 1.74 4.07 76% 24%
Taylor Swift 84,900,000 10,810,850 2.02 3.18 63% 37%
The Weeknd 10,500,000 2,390,360 1.42 3.17 57% 43%

Sentiment of tweets

Which musician has the happiest fans? Conversely, whose fanbase is sharing the most negative tweets? Filter the data in the table below to find out how the sentiment of the tweets about popular artists compare.

"Music itself may be a more immediate vehicle for intimacy than other media. It strikes us in ways that can powerfully represent emotions and offer particular pleasures. When you add lyrics about relationships, emotional struggle or political issues, there are further places of entry."

Name Positive Negative
Adele
79% 21%
Ariana Grande
91% 9%
Beyoncé
83% 17%
Billie Eilish
79% 21%
BTS
92% 8%
Calvin Harris
80% 20%
Camilla Cabello
95% 5%
Cardi B
65% 35%
Coldplay (Chris Martin)
86% 14%
Dido
76% 24%
Drake
63% 37%
Dua Lipa
91% 9%
Ed Sheeran
83% 17%
Eminem
64% 36%
Harry Styles
96% 4%
James Blunt
87% 13%
Justin Bieber
86% 14%
Kanye West
62% 38%
Katy Perry
77% 23%
Lady Gaga
95% 5%
Leona Lewis
90% 10%
Lewis Capaldi
85% 15%
Lil Nas X
68% 32%
Michael Bublé
85% 15%
Post Malone
74% 26%
Rihanna
79% 21%
Shakira
55% 45%
Shawn Mendes
94% 6%
Taylor Swift
80% 20%
The Weeknd
79% 21%

Top emojis

It’s the 21st century and there’s a new language in town – the language of emoji! Check out the table below to discover the top three emojis used when tweeting about each of the top artists. What do you reckon – do emojis speak louder than words?

“Social media is not just a tool that allows fans to communicate. It is an environment within which some fan communities live. What people do together helps build their sense of communal identity.”

Name Top 3 emojis
Adele 😍 😂
Ariana Grande 🖤 😍
Beyoncé 😂 🐝 💦
Billie Eilish 🌎 👏
BTS 💜 🔥 🏆
Calvin Harris 🍂 🔥
Camilla Cabello 🍕 🌹
Cardi B 😂 😩
Coldplay (Chris Martin) 🍂 🌟
Dido 🔥 😂
Drake 😂 🔥 😭
Dua Lipa 🍕 💐
Ed Sheeran 🍓 🍟 😍
Eminem 😂 🔥 👏
Harry Styles 🎄 💥
James Blunt 😂 👏 👀
Justin Bieber 😍 🔥
Kanye West 🔥 😂 🙏
Katy Perry 💦 🎄
Lady Gaga 🍕 🎄
Leona Lewis 💀
Lewis Capaldi 😭 😂
Lil Nas X 🤠 😂 🐎
Michael Bublé 🎄 😍
Post Malone 😂 🔥 🍻
Rihanna 😍 😂 💦
Shakira 😍 🔥
Shawn Mendes 🎄 😊
Taylor Swift 🍕
The Weeknd 🍕 💐 🔥