Katy Perry's No. 1 spot on Twitter has its price

Singer Katy Perry says she is living under this crazy microscope.
Singer Katy Perry says she is living under this crazy microscope.PHOTO: AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

WASHINGTON • Pop superstar Katy Perry has made history by becoming the first user to garner 100 million followers on Twitter, the social media platform announced.

"Today we #WITNESS history," Twitter said over the weekend in a tweet, referencing the title of Perry's recently released fifth album.

"Congratulations @katyperry, the first to reach 100 million followers! #LoveKaty."

The 32-year-old singer recently livestreamed her life for 96 hours, inviting fans to watch as she slept, cooked, did yoga, cuddled with her dog Nugget and chatted with a stream of celebrities who showed up at her door.

Despite putting her life temporarily under observation with 41 cameras, Perry - born Katheryn Hudson to conservative Christian parents in California - said she struggled to handle the attention paid to her life in general, Agence France- Presse reported.

"I built up this Katy Perry thing that everybody knows and that's the reason they're tuning in and it's fantastic, but it's more of a facade," she told therapist Siri Singh.

"I'm human and I'm living under this crazy microscope," she said, tears smudging her mascara.

Singer Justin Bieber trails on Twitter with just under 97 million followers while Perry's pop rival Taylor Swift has 85 million.

Perry's Twitter feat will come as a booster shot, given how her new album Witness has not seen off other contenders to hold on to the top spot in the charts.

No one could accuse her of not trying though, ahead of the album's launch. She spoke about being willing to mend fences with Swift; she ranked her ex-lovers; she cooked with celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay; and discussed cultural appropriation with Black Lives Matter activist DeRay McKesson, noted The Washington Post.

Did all these publicity-seeking ways pay dividends? At first, they did.

Soon after the release on June 9, Witness shot to No. 1 on the iTunes charts.

But the Dear Evan Hansen (the hit musical on Broadway) cast album was soon sitting in that spot and Witness fell to No. 5.

Swift's old music was also outperforming Perry's latest release on Spotify.

Music data site Kworb found that seven Swift songs were in the top 200. Perry had four songs and only two were off Witness.

Her track Swish Swish ranked only at 52, but that was higher than any Swift tracks. Swift's Blank Space came in at 82.

If that all seems like less than a blockbuster release, there is still one big metric that has not come out yet: the Billboard 200 chart, which lists the most popular albums by sales, on-demand streaming and digital sales of album tracks in a week.

That is one where Perry has traditionally done well - 2010's Teenage Dream and 2013's Prism both debuted in the top spot. Industry forecasters expect Witness to follow that trend and debut at No. 1 on that chart.

The new rankings will be known this morning, Singapore time.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 19, 2017, with the headline 'Katy Perry's No. 1 spot on Twitter has its price'. Print Edition | Subscribe