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Mexican audiences started a trend of throwing stuffed toys at performers

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

Music fans in Mexico are throwing things at artists, but they aren't getting hurt. In fact, the artists welcome it because the objects are small stuffed toys. Jeanette Hernandez is a freelance culture writer who follows all things in Latin pop culture.

JEANETTE HERNANDEZ: It started out what seemed like a joke to actually something that got caught on from the Mexican audience to what we're seeing now even here in the U.S.

A MARTINEZ, HOST:

The trend crossed the border, and plush toys are soaring onto stages in El Paso, Texas, too. The phenomenon also has made it to Canada, where a plushie struck Lady Gaga in the face during a concert in Toronto.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "JUST DANCE")

LADY GAGA: (Singing) I can't remember, but it's all right, all right - just dance.

MARTINEZ: She laughed it off and just danced.

MARTIN: This all started last year, apparently, when a fan through a Dr. Simi doll at Norwegian singer Aurora during a festival in Mexico City.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "CURE FOR ME")

AURORA: (Singing) But I don't need a cure for me.

MARTIN: She hugged the stuffed mascot, a video went viral and the rest is history.

MARTINEZ: Dr. Simi is the friendly face of the Mexican generic drug pharmacy chain Farmacias Similares.

HERNANDEZ: It's basically like a huge mascot always outside their door and just promoting this very, like, likeable mascot that's always giving high fives and very friendly to whoever passes by.

MARTIN: Now, music fans are altering the Dr. Simi dolls to make them look like their favorite artists, leaving notes on his arms, legs and white coat. So far, the celebrities don't seem bothered by the flying stuffies. But if you are so inspired to hock one at your favorite singer, don't aim for their heads.

(SOUNDBITE OF ANAMANAGUCHI'S "PLANET") Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.