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
Drake’sViewsremains at No. 1 on the Album 200 for the seventh consecutive week, and “One Dance” notches another week at No. 1 on the Hot 100. Of note: Drake is the first male artist to hold it down on the Album 200 like this since Eminem did it with The Marshall Mathers LP almost 16 years ago. Good for Drake, you know, but this is getting old.
- Rihanna, whose two current Top 10 singles reach new heights this week: “Needed Me” moves up to No. 7 and Calvin Harris collaboration “This Is What You Came For” hits No. 6
- Sia, whose excellent “Cheap Thrills” finally pushed into the Hot 100 Top 10, landing this week at No.8
- Hamilton, the Broadway musical that just won a bunch of Tonys, sees its original cast recording of the soundtrack bound up to No. 3 on the Album 200
This Week’s Flop Star: Nick Jonas
And so it goes: No amount shirtless photo shoots, talk of weed boners, or general gay pandering could save Nick Jonas’ new album, Last Year Was Complicated, from a rather abysmal debut. Complicated arrives at No. 2 on the Billboard Album 200, which doesn’t sound bad, but make no mistake: it is bad. It comes in at No. 2 behind Drake‘s Views, which has been out since April. Sales-wise, things are worse: Complicated bows with just 66,000 total units moved, only 47,000 of which were actual sales. With this, Jonas joins the ranks of on-the-rise-or-are-they-really pop stars like Demi Lovato, Ariana Grande, Meghan Trainor, and Selena Gomez, all of whom failed to light the charts on fire with their most recent albums. That said, Jonas’ sales were far lower than all of the other singers I just mentioned, which: ouch! What can you do? The music business is complicated.
- Demi Lovato, who quit social media only to be back on it within a day, proving beyond a doubt the thing she’s most interested in as an artist is checking her @mentions
- Ariana Grande, whose Dangerous Woman, less than a month after its release, falls out of the Top 10 of the Album 200
- Taylor Swift, who…, just no…