There are a couple of ways to build up hype for a new album. You could drop it with no warning at all (Beyoncé), or spend years teasing that it’s coming (Frank Ocean), or, apparently, let the world watch you around-the-clock over four days.
Katy Perry went with that last option. On Thursday night, to promote her new album, “Witness,” she stayed on-theme and moved into a “Big Brother”-style Los Angeles house, outfitted with dozens of cameras that captured her every waking (and sleeping) moment and streamed live on YouTube. The four-day long “Katy Perry: Witness World Wide” event will conclude Monday afternoon.
But this wasn’t just Perry living her regular life. She had famous guests over, played games, sat for live-streamed therapy sessions, cooked with celebrity chefs and sang songs. Here’s a rundown of some of the things we learned — including some tidbits we could have done without.
Ranking of exes
James Corden stopped by to play “Spill Your Guts” — either eat something that may make you queasy, or answer an embarrassing question. He asked Perry, “From best to worst in bed, rank John Mayer, Diplo and Orlando Bloom.”
“No! No! No!” Perry screamed. “I will not do that.”
Oh, but she will. She finally succumbed to the challenge, and with a caveat. (Who doesn’t like a caveat before being ranked?)
“They’re all amazing lovers,” Perry said. Her ranking, worst to best: Diplo, Bloom, Mayer.
The one who got away
It’s Josh Groban. They never got together, Perry signaled. “He’s one of my good friends,” but he’s her “one who got away.”
That Taylor Swift feud? “I am ready to let it go.”
Thank goodness, because this is getting old.
A quick recap on this front: After years of speculation, Perry finally confirmed her long-standing feud with the “Bad Blood” singer last month, and went into detail on Corden’s show about how things played out between her and Swift. Then Swift pulled a move many thought would be sure to rile up Perry: The famously anti-streaming Swift released her entire catalogue at the exact same time Perry released “Witness.”
But Perry’s not mad! At least that’s what she told Arianna Huffington when asked about the feud during the weekend live stream, for Huffington’s Thrive Global Podcast:
I am ready to let it go. I forgive her and I’m sorry for anything I ever did, and I hope the same from her. I think it’s actually like, I think it’s time. There are bigger fish to fry, and there are real problems in the world. You know what I’m saying? And I love her, and I want the best for her. And I think she’s a fantastic songwriter, and I think that, you know, if we, both her and I, can be representatives of strong women that come together despite their differences, I think the whole world is going to go like, ‘Yeah, well we can do this.’ I don’t know. Like maybe I don’t agree with everything she does and she doesn’t agree with everything I do, but I just really truly want to come together in a place of love and forgiveness and understanding and compassion.
She also broke into the “Frozen” song “Let It Go.” Then added: “There’s a lot of other things out there in the world that people need to be focused on, and I truly, like, God bless her on her journey. God bless her. Honestly.”
Struggles with depression
Perry got very emotional during a tear-filled therapy session for Viceland’s show “The Therapist” with Siri Sat Nam Singh. She revealed that she’s had suicidal thoughts in the past, and her 2013 song “By the Grace of God” was about that time in her life.
“I feel ashamed that I would have those thoughts, feel that low, and that depressed,” she said. “You can be right, or you can be loved. I just want to be loved.”
Why she cut her hair
Perry’s blond pixie cut got loads of attention earlier this year. She connected it to grappling with her two identities: Katheryn Hudson (birth name) and Katy Perry (pop star).
“People talk about my hair or they wish it were longer, and like, I so badly want to be Katheryn Hudson that I don’t even want to look like Katy Perry anymore sometimes,” she told Singh during the live-streamed therapy session. “And that is a little bit why I cut my hair, because I really want to be my authentic self, like 100 percent. So it hurts when I don’t feel like I can.”