It’s just for one week perhaps, but the late sage of beautiful gloom, Leonard Cohen, ranks higher in popularity than Selena Gomez. This despite Selena’s 100+ million Instagram followers and her return to the limelight during this week’s AMAs. Elsewhere on the Billboard “Social 50” chart the usual suspects play musical chairs, with Ariana Grande leaping over BTS to the top spot while Zayn and Justin Bieber — with Cohen! — round out the top 5. Selena sits in sixth place, though presumably not for long. (The Social 50 amalgamates data from various social media platforms, Wikipedia, and more.)
Selena does get credit for a precipitous rise in ranking. Her return, after a break to tend to her mental health and a Lupus diagnosis, saw her rise from #30 to #6. Impressive, but Leonard Cohen literally came out of nowhere: the “Hallelujah” bard wasn’t anywhere on this youth-dominated list last week. When he died two weeks ago at age 82, Cohen was past the age of Bieber (22), Grande (23) and Selena Gomez (24) combined — by nearly two decades. Cohen’s popularity was boosted by the widespread praise heaped upon him when he died, and by Kate McKinnon’s devastating performance of “Hallelujah” on Saturday Night Live.