Pop Stars and Flop Stars: Let’s Welcome Drake Back to the Top and Start Panicking About Lady Gaga’s ‘Perfect Illusion’
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: Drake
These last few weeks, those in which I did not have to write about the chart dominance of Drake’s mediocre Views, were a nice reprieve, but that time has come to an end. Views returns to the No. 1 spot of the Billboard Album 200 chart for its 13th non-consecutive week. Your fav could never, etc. In other Views news, the album has reportedly reached an incredible milestone, becoming the first album to be streamed one billion times on Apple Music. Now, those numbers are opaque and shady and potentially not even very accurate, but regardless, it’s clear most people are still enjoying the view.
- Adele, whose 25 has been officially certified Diamond (10 million units sold) and whose “Hello” has been officially certified seven-times platinum
- Mac Miller, whose The Divine Feminine debuts at No. 2 on the Album 200 chart
- The Weeknd, whose “Starboy,” featuring Daft Punk, debuts at No. 40 on the Hot 100 on the strength of just a day of streams and sales
This Week’s Flop Star: Lady Gaga
Sometimes the things we love aren’t the things everyone else loves, and though it pains me to have to write this, it is time to admit things aren’t looking good from a commercial perspective for Lady Gaga’s “Perfect Illusion”. After a less-than-stellar Hot 100 debut at No. 15 last week, the Joanne lead goes the way of Britney Spears’ “Make Me…” and Katy Perry’s “Rise,” tumbling down the chart to land this week at No. 42. If my understanding of chart math is correct, the first two days of the video’s streams should have factored into this week’s chart position, which makes the sharp drop even more perplexing. (That said, maybe it will #rise up a little next week when a full week of video streams gets factored in. Then again, considering the lukewarm reaction to the video, maybe not.) Unless Gaga actually starts promoting the song — her only performance so far has been in a tiny club in London — “Perfect Illusion”‘s days on the Hot 100 are numbered. But Monsters, don’t let it get you down. There’s still much to look forward to this era with the imminent release of Joanne — which in my heart of hearts I believe will be very good — and the all-but-officially-confirmed news that Mother Monster is set to headline the 2017 Super Bowl halftime show. Anyway: #MusicNotTheBling, right?