Pop Stars and Flop Stars: Goddammit, The Chainsmokers, and Goddammit, America

Pop Stars and Flop Stars!
Lady Gaga goes No. 1, and Justin Bieber throws (another) tantrum.

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 Stars: The Chainsmokers

Sigh. The Chainsmokers’ “Closer,” which features Halsey, tops the Billboard Hot 100 for its 12th week, making it the longest-running No. 1 of 2016. Only 16 other songs have logged as many weeks (or more) at No. 1 in the history of that chart. What a time to be alive! Let them enjoy their moment, though, for their moment will end, and we’ll look back upon them with a sad fondness after they’ve faded away from popularity in two years, max.

Runners Up

This Week’s Flop Stars: America

We have no one to blame but ourselves, really, for the rise of banal bro-trash like The Chainsmokers (and malignant politicians like Donald Trump, while we’re at it).