Power Rankings have been rating sports teams mid-season for years, based on statistical analysis, momentum and gut feelings. But there's just as much strategy and move-making involved in the big leagues of pop.
So, we bring you HuffPost's Pop Power Rankings, our weekly roundup of who's on top (and who has fallen off) in the pop game.
1. Beyonce (Last Week: 2)
Last week the chatter around her HBO doc and Superbowl headliner status had Bey in the top 5, but this week's announcement that Beyonce is <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/12/10/beyonce-pepsi-deal-50-million_n_2270365.html" target="_hplink">now on the Pepsi payroll</a> to the tune of $50 million takes her up a notch. Some of this money is apparently going towards "collaborative projects that indulge Beyonce's creative whims, and might well have no explicit connection to Pepsi products." As long as none of your creative whims involve educating people in the dangers of overconsumption of sugar, right Bey?
2. Justin Bieber (Last Week: Fail)
Justin Bieber is one of the most powerful forces in music. And sometimes that means more than the moves your high-powered manager makes or how well you do on your TV appearances. Sometimes that makes you a target. Even though Bieber gets the brunt of a joke or two, thanks to luck, the grace of God and the jolly ol' FBI, a Bieber murder-castration <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/12/12/justin-bieber-murder-plot-dana-martin-kill-castrate-_n_2287292.html" target="_hplink">plot</a> that was underway has been thwarted.
3. Taylor Swift (Last Week: 3)
This is what a low-key week looks like for Taylor Swift: She released a new video called "I Knew You Were Trouble," got photographed with her famous boyfriend on her birthday, and because no award show can get by until they've had their dose of Taylor she was nominated for a Golden Globe.
4. Wiz Khalifa (New Entry)
After a top 5 Billboard debut and some of the biggest crossover songs in the past year, Wiz Khalifa is settling into position a rap's go-to mainstream guy (not counting Flo-Rida). 12-12-12 was named "Wiz Khalifa Day" in Pittsburgh, prompting his tweet "I also wanna thank the city of Pittsburgh for making 12-12 'Wiz Khalifa Day'…Get stoned." Words to live by.
5. Maroon 5 (New Entry)
We've been reluctant to mention Maroon 5 even though they're on a massive chart run and lead singer Adam Levine is on the biggest music show on television, but bias aside, they're finally entering the Pop Power Rankings. Was it a new song? Video? Maybe Adam's appearance in a 50 Cent song and video holding his own with Eminem and 50? No. It was the fact that Mick Jagger finally mentioned their hit "Moves Like Jagger" on Letterman's Top Ten List. And what Mick mentioned was that they got rich off it and he didn't.
Pop Power Fail - Psy
Psy has had a heck of a run this fall, with Gangnam Style just refusing to die at the charts. This week was a little different though — older videos of Psy criticizing the U.S. war machine were translated online, making it that much harder for him to turn gawkers into fans, but worst of all, Gangnam style has its<a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/12/12/eamonn-kilbride-gangnam-style-death_n_2288422.html" target="_hplink"> first casualty</a>. An English man collapsed after doing Psy's horse dance at his office party when he started feeling chest pain. Psy. New song time. Now.