A groupie is a person who seeks emotional and sexual intimacy with a musician or other celebrity or public figure. "Groupie" is derived from group in reference to a musical group, but the word is also used in a more general sense, especially in casual conversation. The word "groupie" is commonplace, a derisive term used to describe a particular kind of female fan assumed to be more interested in sex with rock stars than in their music. 
Groupies became prominent in the music scene in the 1960’s and 1970’s. This was prior to the murder of John Lennon in December of 1980, and before security levels for bands increased significantly. Female groupies in particular have a long-standing reputation of being available to celebrities, pop stars, rock stars and other public figures. Led Zeppelin singer Robert Plant is quoted as distinguishing between fans who wanted brief sexual encounters, and "groupies" who traveled with musicians for extended periods of time, acting as a surrogate girlfriend or mother, often taking care of the musician's valuables, drugs, wardrobe, and social life. Nancy Spungen, who became the partner of Sid Vicious of The Sex Pistols, is one such example; women adopting this role are sometimes referred to as "road wives." Cynthia Plaster Caster and The GTOs ("Girls Together Outrageously"), with Pamela Des Barres, in particular, as de-facto spokeswoman, are probably the best known groupies of this type. The GTO's was organized by musician Frank Zappa in the late 1960’s. The band consisted of 7 young women: Miss Pamela (Pamela Des Barres), Miss Sparky (Linda Sue Parker), Miss Lucy (Lucy McLaren), Miss Christine (Christine Frka), Miss Sandra (Sandra Leano), Miss Mercy (Mercy Fontentot) and Miss Cynderella (Cynthia Cale-Binion). Another type of groupie were the young teenage girls who dominated the backstage scene in the seventies, sometimes referred to as the "Baby Groupies" by certain musicians. These girls started going backstage when they were fourteen years old and set a precedent at the time. The best known of this group were Sable Starr, Lori Maddox, and Geraldine Edwards, who was the inspiration for Penny Lane, played by actress Kate Hudson, in Almost Famous.