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. Adele (Last Week - #1)
Adele just became the only act to ever be named Billboard Artist of the year AND have the best selling album of the year two years in a row. Just to remind you, her album <em>21 </em>came out in January 2011, making it 23 months old (and still at #17 this week). Yes, there are still people who don't own it.
2. Taylor Swift (Last Week - #3)
Did you know that Taylor Swift donated $4 million towards the creation of the Taylor Swift Education Center at the Country Music Hall of Fame? That's just one of the many things she did to earn DoSomething.org's title as the Most Charitable Celebrity of 2012. That and her album<em> Red </em>made a perfect gift this year, returning to #1 for Christmas week.
3. Lady Gaga (New Entry)
Gaga has been hard at work on her next album <em>Artpop</em>, and this week she announced Terry Richardson is doing a documentary film on the making of the album. With Richardson's ability to straddle the art and fashion world this is just the kind of move to put her up another rung on the Madonna ladder.
4. Madonna (New Entry)
This week Billboard announced that Madonna had the highest grossing tour of 2012, and Madge desperately courted controversy at every stop. In Chile this week she stormed off stage threatening to cancel the show in progress, because fans were smoking. "No smoking. If you're going to smoke cigarettes, I'm not doing a show." Like most of this tour's misbehaviour, fans are backing her up online. This tight relationship with her fans is why Madonna, on the edge of relevance, had the highest-grossing tour of 2012.
5. Mariah Carey (New Entry)
Thanks to new ways of counting digital song purchases, 18 years after its release, Mariah Carey's<em> All I Want For Christmas Is You</em> has finally cracked the top 40. Merry Christmas, Mimi.
Pop Power Fail - Nicki Minaj
After a year of small spats with New York hip-hop radio stalwarts Hot 97, Nicki Minaj attended their Christmas event, where she was booed by her own fans. It's not clear on whether they were promised a performance, but what they got was Minaj partying in VIP until the boos began, then she angrily threw a stack of hundreds onstage, presumably returning her appearance fee. Yow.