Pop Stars and Flop Stars: Rihanna Ties Elvis, Nick Jonas Ties No One as He Falls Out of the Top 10
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: Rihanna
Yes, yes: Drake’s Views is still perched comfortably atop the Album 200, and “One Dance” remains at the summit of the Hot 100, but let’s talk about someone else who had a good week for a change. As “This Is What You Came For,” her second collaboration with Calvin Harris, reaches a new peak of No. 5 on the Hot 100, Rihanna ties Elvis Presley’s 21 Top 5 singles benchmark. Now, both Rih and Elvis are tied in fifth place as artists who’ve had the greatest number of Top 5 singles ever. Not bad for a woman who broke onto the scene just 11 years ago. Rih also released “Sledgehammer,” a new Sia-penned single from the upcoming Star Trek: Beyond soundtrack, to much hype. Finally, Bad Gal took home a BET Award over the weekend, winning Best Collaboration with Drake for their mega-smash “Work.”
- Drake, who is still No. 1 in all the ways that count
- Beyoncé, who made a huge splash (literally) at the BET Awards and whose Lemonade is still selling incredibly well, months later
- Sia, whose “Cheap Thrills” rises to No. 6 on the Hot 100, earning her the highest-peaking single of her career (as a lead artist)
This Week’s Flop Star: Nick Jonas
After last week’s laughably poor Last Year Was Complicated debut, Nick Jonas suffers yet again as that very same album falls entirely out of the Top 10, losing rank to months-old albums like Rihanna’s ANTi, Beyoncé‘s Lemonade, and Meghan Trainor’s certified flop, Thank You, which re-enters the Top 10 thanks to an a promotional discount.
- Justin Timberlake, who stepped into a social media mess that resulted in him being called out for his long history of cultural appropriation
- Rihanna, who, despite her successes this week, was called out for her lackluster performance to a half-empty stadium
- Ariana Grande, whose Dangerous Woman remains outside of the Album 200 Top 10 and behind even Trainor’s less-acclaimed album