Pop Stars and Flop Stars: The World Continues to Get in Formation Behind Beyoncé, Refuses to Go See ‘Popstar’

Previously On...
Last week, Drake slayed and Ariana Grande floundered.

Climb to the top of the pops and dive deep down into the depths with the flops in our new, improved edition of Pop Power Ranking (now called Pop Stars and Flop Stars).

Welcome back to Pop Stars and Flop Stars, which, as I explained earlier, is a revitalized (and shortened) restructuring of the feature formerly called Pop Power Ranking. Here’s the drill: each week, I’ll name a Pop Star — someone who secured the lion’s share of No. 1s, trophies, and/or other cultural gold stars (both tangible and intangible) — and one Flop Star who… well, you get the idea. And that’s about all there is to say. Let’s get into it.

This Week’s Pop Star: Beyoncé

Though Drake remains No. 1 on both the Billboard Album 200 and Hot 100, Beyoncé’s Lemonade era is proving to be the more lasting cultural phenomenon. Lemonade continues to climb back to the top of the iTunes charts on a regular basis as new albums come and go. In fact, despite seeing release before Drake’s Views, Lemonade is currently selling more digital copies. Last night, Beyoncé made a surprise appearance at the CFDA Fashion Awards, where she accepted the Fashion Icon Award. By accepting that honor, Bey joins the dignified ranks of past winners like Lady Gaga, Rihanna, Kate Moss, Iman, and Pharrell. Bey’s speech from the event is currently in the process of going viral, and for good reason. Also this week, Bey is set to play two sold-out shows at Citi Field in New York — I’m going tonight! — so expect a flurry of media coverage about her Formation World Tour.

Runners Up

This Week’s Flop Star: Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping

Andy Samberg and The Lonely Island’s Popstar, a sort of de facto parody of Justin Bieber and generic boy band shenanigans, performed horribly at the box office over the weekend despite decent reviews and a healthy promotional campaign. Yes, it’s a movie and thus slightly off-topic here, but it is a movie about pop music starring actors who’ve had success as pop musicians. Perhaps The Lonely Island, who rose to viral fame on Saturday Night Live in the mid-to-late 2000s,  just missed the boat (subtle reference): their peak was, arguably, an entire decade ago, when they dropped their debut single, “Dick in a Box,” with Justin Timberlake. There is some irony (or, more simply, amusement) in seeing a movie about a flopping pop star actually flop at the box office. It’s fitting in a way. One’s rise and fall from real fame: this is what we live for, what the movie is about.

Runners Down