It's hard to imagine that Katy Perry has been a star for just four years. Her first hit, "I Kissed A Girl," entered the Hot 100 the week of May 24, 2008. It debuted at #76—the week's sixth highest of 10 debuts. That may be the last time that Perry was in the middle of the pack. The song shot to #1 six weeks later, displacing Coldplay's "Viva La Vida."
Thursday is Perry's 28th birthday. To mark the occasion, I have prepared a round-up Perry's impressive statistical achievements.
But numbers can't capture one important aspect of Perry's career—fun. I don't think there's another pop star whose music and videos convey such a sheer sense of fun as Perry's do—or who seems to be having as much fun being a pop star as Perry does.
Here's Katy Perry, by the numbers:
4 Number of Perry songs that have sold at least 5 million digital copies each, per Nielsen SoundScan: "Firework" (5,926,000), "E.T." (featuring Kanye West, 5,393,000), "California Gurls" (featuring Snoop Dogg, 5,392,000), and "Hot N Cold" (5,301,000).
0 Number of other artists who have amassed four or more 5 million-sellers. (Lady Gaga comes closest. She has had three.)
1 Rank of "E.T." among Kanye West's digital best-sellers.
1 Rank of "California Gurls" among Snoop Dogg's digital best-sellers.
7 Number of #1 hits that Perry has amassed on the Hot 100: "I Kissed A Girl," "California Gurls," "Teenage Dream," "Firework," "E.T." and "Last Friday Night (T.G.I.F.)," "Part Of Me."
1 Number of other artists who have amassed seven or more #1 hits in the same period (since July 5, 2008). Rihanna has had eight #1 hits in this period--though her tally includes two "featured credits." Perry has been in the lead position on all seven of her #1 hits.
0 Number of other artists who have amassed seven or more #1 hits as the lead artist since July 5, 2008.
5 Number of #1 hits that Perry's Teenage Dream album generated.
1 Number of other albums that have spawned five #1 hits. (Michael Jackson's Bad)
3 Perry's age when Bad set that record (on July 2, 1988).
23 Number of years Bad held the record before Teenage Dream tied it.
0 Number of times I estimate that Jackson "turned over in his grave" when Perry tied his record. Jackson was a highly competitive artist, but I think he would have liked Perry, who shares his pop sensibility.
11 Number of top 10 hits Perry has had on the Hot 100. In addition to the aforementioned #1 hits, there's "Hot N Cold" (#3), "Waking Up In Vegas" (#9), "The One That Got Away" (#3) and "Wide Awake" (#2).
11 Number of these hits that Perry co-wrote.
11 Number of these hits on which Perry was either solo or in the lead position.
69 Number of consecutive weeks that Perry remained in the top 10 on the Hot 100 (from the debut of "California Gurls" in May 2010 to the final week for "Last Friday Night (T.G.I.F.)" in September 2011).
0 Number of other artists who have remained in the top 10 for 69 consecutive weeks in Hot 100 history.
3 Number of years that Perry has had a song among the top 10 best-selling songs of the year, per Nielsen SoundScan. "I Kissed A Girl" was #4 for 2008, "California Gurls" was #1 for 2010, "E.T." was #3 for 2011.
0 Number of other artists who have achieved that feat since 2008.
600K Digital sales of the Glee Cast's version of Perry's "Teenage Dream."
1 Number of other Glee Cast songs that have sold 600K digital copies. (Their cover of Journey's "Don't Stop Believin'" has sold 1,326,000 copies.)
Less than 1,000 Sales of Perry's 2001 Christian music album Katy Hudson (released under her real name, Katy Hudson), per Nielsen SoundScan.
2,549,000 Sales of Teenage Dream.
$25,326,071 Box-office gross of Katy Perry: Part Of Me.
3 Number of other music concert movies that have grossed $25M or more: Justin Bieber: Never Say Never ($73,014,000), Michael Jackson's This Is It ($72,091,000) and Hannah Montana/Miley Cyrus: Best of Both Worlds Concert Tour ($65,282,000).
19 Number of VMA nominations that Perry's videos have received.
4 Number of VMA "Moonman" awards that Perry's videos have received, including Video of the Year for "Firework."
8 Number of Grammy nominations that Perry has received, including Album of the Year for Teenage Dream and Record of the Year for "Firework."
0 Number of Grammys that Perry has won. (A girl's got to have something to look forward to!)