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These fans will often hold a crush on a major movie star, pop star, athlete or celebrity (see teen idol).

The groupie is an example, a fan of a particular band or musician, who will follow them on concert tours.

However, the term "fancy" for an intense liking of something, while being of a different etymology, coincidentally carries a less intense but somewhat similar connotation to "fanatic". The Dickson Baseball Dictionary cites William Henry Nugent's work asserting that it was derived from the fancy, a term from England referring to the fans of a specific hobby or sport from the early 18th century to the 19th, especially to the followers of boxing.

According to that theory, it was originally shortened to fance then just to the homonym fans.

The modern sense of "extremely zealous" dates from around 1647; the use of fanatic as a noun dates from 1650.

This can easily switch to hatred of the previously loved celebrity, and result in attempts at violent attacks, one notable incident being the death of Rebecca Schaeffer by a stalking fan in 1989.

This is somewhat related to the concept of parasocial interaction where audiences develop one-sided relationships with media characters and celebrities.

The degree of devotion to celebrities can range from a simple crush to the deluded belief that they have a special relationship with the star which does not exist.

In extreme cases, this can lead to celebrity worship syndrome, stalking behavior.

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