Luckily though, she's now more massive than ever and I believe that record companies are putting a lot more thought into follow-up albums/singles these days, where-as, say back in the early 00s, I think they just rolled through artists and were happy to toss them once they become one-hit wonders.
That's an interesting thought and I think you're right. I feel labels kind of have to put more thought and effort into follow-up albums, as the market has changed so much in the 'iTunes era'. Everything goes so fast with downloads, that you have to stay relevant. A lot of artists don't take the 'standard' 4 years to write, record and release an album anymore. (few exceptions there). Good example is Rihanna, who released her first album in 2005, her sophomore in 2006 and her third album in 2007 (and she's still releasing albums fast after each other). Katy only took two years to come up with 'Teenage Dream', and in the meantime she was featured on 3OH3's 'Starstruck' and Timbaland's 'If We Ever Meet Again'. She never really dissapeared from the charts and that seems the only way nowadays to build a name for yourself. I bet that if she would've waited another year (and a half), she wouldn't have had as much success. I'm glad artists and labels seem to realise more and more that they don't have time anymore, especially artists who just come out. They can't take their time anymore, because it seems like if they take a long time, they'll be forgotten. (Take note Christina!)