The English language needed a word for an obsessive fan, and Eminem delivered one in 2000 with "Stan," which was added to the Oxford American Dictionary in 2017, defined as "An overzealous or obsessive fan of a particular celebrity." It can be used as a noun ("He's a total stan for Beyoncé") or a verb ("When I was a teenager, I stanned Justin Bieber"). This song is listed as the origin of the word. "Stan" - the song - tells the story of a fan obsessed with Eminem. When his letters are not answered, he gets more and more agitated until he finally snaps, putting his pregnant girlfriend in his trunk and driving off a bridge. The song ends with Eminem finally writing him back, but it's too late: As Eminem is finishing his letter, he realizes Stan was the man in the news story who drove off the bridge.
The song's hook is a sample of "Thank You," a track from the British singer-songwriter Dido that first appeared in the 1998 Gwyneth Paltrow movie Sliding Doors, then on her 1999 debut album, No Angel. Dido's song is about the guy who turned her topsy turvy in love, helping her escape a long depression. "Stan" uses the entire first verse, including the very British opening line: My tea's gone cold, I'm wondering why I got out of bed alone Dido gets out of her funk by seeing a picture of her guy and looking forward to seeing him again. Stan, though, has a picture of Eminem that keeps him going - a very unhealthy relationship.
Eminem talked about the character Stan in Rolling Stone magazine's Top 500 Songs: "He's crazy for real, and he thinks I'm crazy, but I try to help him at the end of the song. It kinda shows the real side of me."
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