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 Huffington Post's Pop Power Rankings, our weekly roundup of who's on top (and who has fallen off) in the pop game.
1. Taylor Swift (Last Rank #2)
On New Year's Eve Taylor Swift got a midnight kiss in Times Square from her boyfriend, like many young ladies. But unlike regular young girls, Taylor's kiss came after headlining New Year's Rockin' Eve, was with a member of a prominent boy band, and rung in another week with the #1 album in the country. And thanks to holiday gift cards, Taylor led a record-breaking digital sales week with her song "I Knew You Were Trouble."
2. Lady Gaga (Last Rank #3)
It's looking like Lady Gaga has collaborated with Beyoncé and Azealia Banks on a new song called "Ratchet." No word on whose album it will be on, but Gaga's album is the one with the most hype — we already know <em>ARTPOP</em> will arrive this spring.
3. Kanye West (New Entry)
With all of the talk of Kimye being pregnant, it's a wonder any of us got on with our New Year's Eve. But the spawn of art rap and reality TV overshadowed another important development this week: Kanye <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/12/29/kanye-west-margiela-mask-photos_n_2381036.html" target="_hplink">wearing</a> fascinating, face-obscuring costumes at a recent live gig. This was part of his "seven-screen experience" shows, and a signal that the Kanye creative machine is still lumbering ahead, baby and all.
4. Britney Spears (Re-Entry)
It's looking more and more like Britney will be ousted from her <em>X-Factor</em> duties, after disappointing Simon Cowell (by not being crazy enough?). But Britney's a pro by now and knows how to bounce back from this kind of setback. Step 1, announce new music with amazing young producers like Hit Boy (Watch The Throne's "N***** In Paris"). Step 2, unleash your legions of fans to defend you on Perez Hilton's comment section.
<em>The Voice</em> is the biggest thing in reality TV right now, and when you're on top in showbiz, you don't stop working (unless you're Adele). That's why the NBC show will be back in March after only a couple months off, and new coaches Usher and Shakira can look forward to North American television viewers getting to know them a lot better.
Pop Power Fail - Psy
Thank you, Psy for "retiring" "Gangnam Style" on New Year's Eve, but couldn't you have at least released something new before you did it? How about releasing a snippet of this much-talked-about Bieber duet, or some video of you in a studio. How about anything! Psy is officially on Pop Power Probation.