Katy Perry [You must be registered and logged in to see this image.] [You must be registered and logged in to see this image.]
Katy Perry at 2011 MTV Video Music Awards
Birth name Katheryn Elizabeth Hudson
Born October 25, 1984 (1984-10-25) (age 26)
Santa Barbara, California,
Genres Pop, pop rock, dance-pop, electropop, europop, CCM (early)
Occupations Singer-songwriter, actress
Instruments Vocals, guitar, piano
Years active 2001–present
Labels Red Hill, Island, Columbia, Capitol
Associated acts The Matrix [You must be registered and logged in to see this image.]
Katy Perry (born Katheryn Elizabeth Hudson; October 25, 1984) is an American singer-songwriter and actress. Born in Santa Barbara, California, and raised by Christian pastor parents, Perry grew up listening to only gospel music and sang in her local church as a child. After earning a GED during her first year of high school, she began to pursue a career in music. As Katy Hudson, she released a self-titled gospel album in 2001, which was unsuccessful. She later recorded an album with production team The Matrix and completed the majority of a solo album from 2004–05, neither of which were released.
After signing with Capitol Music Group in 2007, her fourth record label in seven years, she adopted the stage name Katy Perry and released her first Internet single "Ur So Gay" that November, which garnered public attention but failed to chart. She rose to fame with the release of her second single "I Kissed a Girl" in 2008, which went on to top international charts. Perry's first mainstream studio album One of the Boys followed later that year and subsequently became the 33rd-best selling album worldwide of 2008. It was accredited platinum certification by the Recording Industry Association of America, while "I Kissed a Girl" and her second single "Hot n Cold" both received multi-platinum certifications.
Her second studio album Teenage Dream was released in August 2010 and debuted at number one on the Billboard 200. The album included the Billboard chart-toppers "California Gurls", "Teenage Dream", "Firework", and "E.T." and most recently "Last Friday Night (T.G.I.F.)". The album produced five Hot 100 toppers, making Teenage Dream only the second album—after Michael Jackson's Bad—to do so. With "E.T." at number one on the chart of May 12, 2011, Perry became the first artist in history to spend a whole year, 52 consecutive weeks, in the top 10 of the Billboard Hot 100.
Perry was credited as a guest judge on the seventh series of British television show The X Factor, has released a fragrance called "Purr", and voices Smurfette in the 2011 film The Smurfs. Perry had a long relationship with Travie McCoy; she married Russell Brand on October 23, 2010.[You must be registered and logged in to see this image.]
Early life and career
1984–2006: Early life and career beginnings
Perry was born Katheryn Elizabeth Hudson in Santa Barbara, California to Keith, a West Coast scenester in the 1960s, and Mary Hudson (née Perry), an evangelist who grew up in Southern California and had "a tempestuous first marriage in Zimbabwe". Perry has German, Portuguese, Irish, and English ancestry. She is the second child of two pastors. She has an older sister and younger brother.Perry's mother's aunt and uncle were screenwriter Eleanor Perry and director Frank Perry.[You must be registered and logged in to see this image.]
Perry was incorporated into her parents' ministry and sang in their church between the ages of nine and seventeen. She grew up listening to gospel music, was not allowed to listen to what her mother called "secular music",[and attended Christian schools and camps. As a child, Perry learned how to dance in a recreation building in Santa Barbara. She was taught by seasoned dancers and began with swing, Lindy Hop, and jitterbug.She took her GED after her freshman year at Dos Pueblos High School and decided to leave school in the pursuit of a career in music. Perry initially started singing "because [she] was at that point in [her] childhood where [she] was copycatting [her] sister and everything she [would do]." Her sister practiced with cassette tapes, while Perry took the tapes herself when her sister was not around. She rehearsed the songs and performed them in front of her parents, who suggested she take vocal coaching. She grabbed the opportunity and began taking lessons at the age of nine and continued until she was sixteen. She later enrolled in at the Music Academy of the West in Santa Barbara, and studied Italian opera for a short period of time.
Perry performing on her guitar, an instrument she learned to play when she was just starting her record careerAt the age of 15, Perry's singing in church attracted the attention of rock veterans from Nashville, Tennessee, who brought her there to polish her writing skills. In Nashville, Perry started recording demos and was taught by country music veterans on how to craft songs and play guitar. Perry signed to the Christian music label Red Hill, under which she recorded her first album at the age of 15. Performing as Katy Hudson, she released the self-titled Gospel-rock album in 2001. The album was unsuccessful, however, after the label ceased operations at the end of 2001. She later changed her surname to Perry, her mother's maiden name, because "Katy Hudson" was too close to film actress Kate Hudson.
At the age of 17, Perry left her home for Los Angeles, where she worked with Glen Ballard on an album for record label Island. Growing up listening to mostly gospel music, Perry had few references when she began recording songs. Asked by the producer with whom she would like to collaborate, Perry had no idea. That night, she went with her mother to a hotel. Inside, she turned on VH1 and saw producer Glen Ballard talking about Alanis Morissette; Ballard produced Morissette's Jagged Little Pill, which had had a "huge influence" on Perry. She expressed interest in working with Ballard to her initial collaborator, who arranged a meeting for her with Ballard in Los Angeles. Perry presented one her songs to Ballard, and received a call back a day later. Ballard then helped Perry develop her songwriting over the next few years. The album was due for release in 2005, but Billboard reported it also went nowhere. Perry was dropped by The Island Def Jam Music Group. Some of Perry and Ballard's collaborations included "Box", "Diamonds" and "Long Shot", were posted on her official MySpace page. "Simple", one of the songs she recorded with Ballard, was released on the soundtrack to the 2005 film The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants.
Perry signed to Columbia Records in 2004. However, the label was not amenable with her vision, not putting her in the "driver's seat". Instead, one of Columbia's ideas was to pair Perry with the record production team The Matrix, who was working on an album, to serve as its female vocalist. Although the album was later shelved, she caught the attention of the music press: Her burgeoning music career led to her being named "The Next Big Thing" in October 2004 by Blender magazine. With no album project ongoing, Perry began recording her own. Eighty percent completed, however, Columbia decided not to finish it and dropped her off the label. While waiting to find another label, she worked in an independent A&R company called Taxi Music. In 2006, Perry was featured in the tail-end of the video to P.O.D.'s single "Goodbye for Now". She made a cameo appearance in Carbon Leaf's video, "Learn to Fly".
2007–09: One of the Boys and MTV Unplugged
While in the process of being dropped by Columbia in 2006, the company's publicity executive Angelica Cob-Baehler enthusiastically recommended Perry to Virgin Records chairman Jason Flom. At the time Flom was leading a complete revival in fortunes at the label and looking to crown recent achievements by breaking a global pop act. Despite mixed reactions from fellow Virgin executives, Flom became convinced that Perry could be that breakthrough star, and at the start of 2007 extended discussions with Columbia resulted in Katy Perry signing to the newly created Capitol Music Group, a merger between Virgin and Capitol. As part of the deal, the label secured the masters to the unfinished album, recorded while at Columbia, that would go on form a significant part of her official mainstream debut album, One of the Boys.
The Columbia recordings were seen by Flom as being "very strong but lacking an undeniable smash or two that would work both at U.S. pop radio and internationally" and so one of the executive's first actions after completing the signing was to set up a collaboration between Perry and the writer-producer Dr. Luke.[The results were the songs "I Kissed a Girl" and "Hot n Cold". Establishing her image was one of the immediate concerns of her management. A campaign was started in November 2007 with the release of the video to "Ur So Gay", aimed at introducing her to the music market. A digital EP led by "Ur So Gay" was later released to create online buzz and press story.This was a successful move that resulted in bringing Perry to the attention of Madonna,who mentioned her on KISS FM and KRQ's JohnJay & Rich morning show in Arizona. On March 10, 2008, she appeared as herself on the ABC Family television series, Wildfire, on the episode "Life's Too Short".[You must be registered and logged in to see this image.]
Perry performs live in Berlin, September 2008.She went on the next step of promoting the album, undertaking a two-month tour of radio stations. The album's official lead single, "I Kissed a Girl", was released on May 6, 2008. Perry's A&R, Chris Anokute, told HitQuarters the song and its controversial theme met with strong resistance at the label, "People said, 'This is never going to get played on the radio. How do we sell this? How’s this going to be played in the bible belt?'" Anokute said that they needed the support of one of the label's radio promoters to convince people to believe in the record otherwise Perry would have likely been dropped again. Capitol's SVP of Promotions Dennis Reese saw the vision and helped push the single on national radio. The first station to pick it up and take a chance was The River in Nashville. After playing it for three days they were innundated with enthusiastic calls. With the song climbing atop the charts, Perry embarked on the annual Warped Tour music festival, which her management used to "establish her as a credible performer and make sure she wasn't seen as just a one-hit wonder." The single was a commercial success, peaking at number one for seven weeks on the Billboard Hot 100. It has since become a major worldwide hit, topping charts in 30 countries, including Australia, Canada, and the United Kingdom. On June 12, 2008, Perry appeared as herself on the daytime soap opera The Young and the Restless, posing for the cover to the June 2008 issue of the fictional magazine Restless Style. Perry also performed backing vocals on the song, "Another Night in the Hills" from Gavin Rossdale's 2008 solo album Wanderlust.[You must be registered and logged in to see this image.] [You must be registered and logged in to see this image.]
One of the Boys was released on June 17, 2008 to mixed critical reviews. The album has reached number nine on the Billboard 200, and has been certified platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America. Perry released her second single, "Hot n Cold", which became her second top three single in dozens of countries around the world, including the United States where it reached number three on the Billboard Hot 100, as well as topping the charts in Germany, Canada, and Denmark. After Perry wrapped up her appearance at the Warped Tour, she went on tours in Europe. She later launched her first headlining tour, the Hello Katy Tour, in January 2009.[ "I Kissed a Girl" earned Perry a nomination for Best Female Pop Vocal Performance at the 2009 Grammy Awards. Perry was nominated in five categories at the 2008 MTV Video Music Awards, including Best New Artist and Best Female Video, but lost to Britney Spears. She won Best New Act at the 2008 MTV Europe Music Awards, which she co-hosted, and Best International Female Artist at the 2009 BRIT Awards. On February 9, 2009, both "I Kissed a Girl" and "Hot n Cold" were certified three-time platinum by Recording Industry Association of America for individual digital sales of over three million. The Guinness Book of World Records recognized Perry in its 2010 version as the "Best Start on the US Digital Chart by a Female Artist," for having her first two singles sell over two million digital copies.[You must be registered and logged in to see this image.] [You must be registered and logged in to see this image.]
The Matrix's self-titled debut album, which features Perry, was later released via the team's label, Let's Hear It, during Perry's solo tour. When the release date was scheduled, "I Kissed a Girl" had been charting well. Matrix member Lauren Christy spoke to Perry about the decision, but she wanted to hold the release until the fourth single of One of the Boys had been dispatched. Despite their communication, The Matrix was released on January 27, 2009, via iTunes Store.[You must be registered and logged in to see this image.] [You must be registered and logged in to see this image.]
Perry performing in June 2009In December 2008, Perry apologized to British singer Lily Allen for remarks in which she called herself a "skinnier version" of her, saying she meant it as a joke. Allen retaliated and told a British radio station that she "happen[ed] to know for a fact that she [Perry] was an American version" of her because their record company needed "to find something controversial and 'kooky'" like her.
On May 16, 2009, Perry performed at the opening ceremony of the annual Life Ball in Vienna, Austria. In June 2009, lawyers acting for Katy Perry opposed the recent trademark of Australian fashion designer Katie Perry who uses her own name to market loungewear. Some media outlets reported this as a lawsuit, which Katy Perry has denied on her blog. Katie Perry the designer reports on her blog that at a hearing with IP Australia on July 10, 2009, the singer's lawyers withdrew their opposition to the trademark. During the summer of 2009 Perry filmed a cameo appearance for Get Him to the Greek; her scene, in which she kisses her future fiancé Russell Brand was cut, and does not appear in the final film. Discussing the issue with MTV, Perry hypothesized there may have been some fear that seeing the two make out would have taken viewers out of the experience. In 2009, Perry was featured on two singles: a remix of Colorado-based band 3OH!3's song "Starstrukk" in August (the idea for the collaboration came after Perry's tour that featured 3OH!3 as the supporting act). The song was released over iTunes on September 8, 2009; and "If We Ever Meet Again", the fourth single off Timbaland's album Shock Value II in December. In October 2009, MTV Unplugged revealed that Perry was one of the artists to perform for them, and that she would be releasing a live album of the performance, including two new tracks, "Brick by Brick" and Fountains of Wayne cover "Hackensack". The album was released on November 17, and includes both a CD and a DVD.
2010–present: Teenage Dream[You must be registered and logged in to see this image.] [You must be registered and logged in to see this image.]
Perry performing in November 2010Perry appeared as a guest judge alongside Simon Cowell, Cheryl Cole and Louis Walsh during the Dublin audition stage of the seventh series of the British television show The X Factor on June 28, 2010 (later televised on August 28). She was one of the many celebrities chosen to fulfil the role of judge whilst Dannii Minogue was on maternity leave. She later returned to the show on October 17 to perform "Firework". Perry's second mainstream studio album was titled Teenage Dream and was released in August 2010. The first single from the album was titled "California Gurls". The single peaked at number one on the Billboard Hot 100 and was the fastest rising single from a Capitol Records artist since Bobbie Gentry's "Ode to Billie Joe" in 1967. The cover art for Teenage Dream is a painting by Will Cotton in which depicts Perry lying naked on clouds of cotton candy; resembling the shots of Perry in the video for "California Gurls". The booklet of the physical edition of the album, in keeping with the theme of cotton candy, has a cotton candy scent. The album's second single "Teenage Dream" was released in July 2010. "Firework" is the album's third single.
Perry appeared at the 2010 MTV Video Music Awards on September 12, 2010. She was nominated for two awards, including the Best Female Video and Best Pop Video for "California Gurls", and presented the award of "Best Male Video" with Nicki Minaj to Eminem. On September 14, she returned to her old high school, Dos Pueblos High School, where she performed a short set for the school's students. Perry performed "Hot n Cold" with Elmo from Sesame Street, which was originally to appear on the forty-first-season premiere of the educational children's program on September 27, 2010. However, four days before the scheduled airing, Sesame Workshop announced, "In light of the feedback we've received on the Katy Perry music video ... we have decided we will not air the segment on the television broadcast of Sesame Street, which is aimed at preschoolers. Katy Perry fans will still be able to view the video on YouTube." The main reason was that parents complained about what appeared to be a great amount of cleavage shown by her dress. Perry shot the video for Firework in Budapest in September 2010. An open casting call drew an unprecedented 38,000 applicants. She proceeded to perform at a concert in Budapest on October 1, her first concert in Central and Eastern Europe. Perry released a perfume named "Purr" in November. It comes in a cat-shaped bottle, and is available through Nordstrom stores.
Teenage Dream led Perry to nominations four awards at the 2011 Grammy Awards: Album of the Year, Best Pop Vocal Album, Best Female Pop Vocal Performance for "Teenage Dream", and Best Pop Collaboration with Vocals for "California Gurls". Following the Grammys, Perry released "E.T." as the fourth single from the album. The single was a remixed version featuring Kanye West. The music video for "E.T." was directed by Floria Sigismondi and features Shaun Ross as the main love interest. In June 2011, Perry released the fifth single, "Last Friday Night (T.G.I.F.)". A remixed version featuring American rapper Missy Elliot was released in early August. The single has topped U.S. download and radio charts. The song topped the Billboard Hot 100 on August 17, 2011, making Perry the first female artist ever to have five #1 singles from one album. Katy Perry appeared at the 2011 MTV Video Music Awards on August 28, 2011. She was nominated for ten awards, received the most nominations of the ceremony and was the only singer in history to have four different music videos shown on various categories, eventually winning three of those, incluing Video of the Year for "Firework", Best Collaboration and Best Special Effects for "E.T.".
Musical style and themes
Perry performing in 2009Perry has a contralto vocal range. Perry's first album is of the gospel music genre. She related that her perspective in music was "a bit enclosed and very strict", and everything she did was church-related. Her second album, One of the Boys, is described as "secular" and "rock," and reflects a departure from her religious musical roots. Her next album Teenage Dream featured more pop songs in the vein of Boys. Among Perry's musical influences are Alanis Morissette, pop rockers Cyndi Lauper, Pat Benatar, Joan Jett, Shirley Manson, and Freddie Mercury, the late frontman of the British band Queen. In her tribute to Mercury on what would have been his 65th birthday, Perry stated; "Without you I wouldn't be making music or doing what I do because your lyrics inspired me as a 15 year old girl." She was especially inspired by the Queen song, "Killer Queen" to pursue a career in pop music after her first album. She also described Morissette's album, Jagged Little Pill as having influenced her music profoundly; even going on to work with Morissette's collaborator on the album, Glen Ballard because of that.
Perry is artistically involved in her projects, especially in the writing process. Since she could play guitar, she would start writing songs at home and present it to her producers. Perry is mostly inspired by specific moments of her life. She said it is easy for her to write songs about heartbreak. Most of the themes in One of the Boys deal with heartbreak, teen adventure, and "puking into toilets". Perry's mother reportedly told British tabloid Daily Mail that she dislikes her daughter's music, calling it "shameful and disgusting". Perry said her mother was misquoted and told MTV that it was false information. Her songs "Ur So Gay" and "I Kissed a Girl" have received negative reactions from both religious and gay sectors. The songs have been respectively labeled as being homophobic and promoting homosexuality, as well as "lez ploitational". MTV mentioned criticism suggesting that Perry is using "bi-curiosity" as a way to sell records. Perry responded to the controversy surrounding "Ur So Gay": "It's not a negative connotation. It's not, 'you're so gay,' like, 'you're so lame,' but the fact of the matter is that this boy should've been gay. I totally understand how it could be misconstrued or whatever ... It wasn't stereotyping anyone in particular, I was talking about ex-boyfriends."
Perry performing in July 2009Perry is known for her unconventional style of dress. It is often humorous, bright in color, and reminiscent of different decades, and she frequently used fruit-shaped accessories, mainly watermelon, as part of her outfits. Since the Teenage Dream era, Perry has included more glamorous and food-related outfits in her wardrobe. Having learned dancing at an early age, she fantasized about having her own style. Perry's transformation into an artist began with fashion, inspired by American film actress Dominique Swain's portrayal in 1997 film adaptation of the novel Lolita. She defines her fashion style as "a bit of a concoction of different things". Johnny Wujek, Perry's stylist, described her style, upon meeting her for the first time, as "very colorful and vintage". Her fashion has caught the attention of designers. In June 2008, a publicity photo that showed Perry posing with a switchblade was criticized. The picture was defended as only an effort to give Perry a "sexy, harder edge". The criticism leveled at her was mocked by Perry who subsequently posed with a spoon instead. She has appeared in FHM Magazine's 100 Sexiest Women poll twice, ranking at No.23 in 2009 and No.37 in 2010.
She was ranked 7th in Rolling Stone's global Queen of Pop poll in July 2011.
Perry dated Gym Class Heroes frontman Travie McCoy, whom she met in a recording studio in New York, on and off for several years. Perry and McCoy broke up in December 2008.
Perry first met British comedian Russell Brand in the summer of 2009 when Perry filmed a cameo appearance for Brand's film Get Him to the Greek. Perry and Brand began dating after meeting again in September 2009 at the MTV Video Music Awards, where Brand, as host, remarked, "Katy Perry didn't win an award and she's staying at the same hotel as me, so she's gonna need a shoulder to cry on. So in a way, I'm the real winner tonight." The couple became engaged in December 2009 while vacationing in India. In a July 2010 YouTube interview, Perry said Brand would be a "perfect" father. Perry stated that she plans to take dual British citizenship. "One of the first things I'll do is apply for dual citizenship. I'm not too sure if I have to take a test as I've not had time to look into it. But England is like my second home". Perry and Brand married on October 23, 2010 in a traditional Hindu ceremony near the Ranthambhore tiger sanctuary in Rajasthan, India, the same location where Brand had proposed.
In an interview with Rolling Stone she said, "I am sensitive to Russell taking the Lord's name in vain and to Lady Gaga putting a rosary in her mouth. I think when you put sex and spirituality in the same bottle and shake it up, bad things happen."
Main article: Katy Perry discography
Katy Hudson (2001)
One of the Boys (2008)
Teenage Dream (2010)
Hello Katy Tour (2009)
California Dreams Tour (2011)
Year Title Role Notes
2008 Young and the Restless, TheThe Young and the Restless Herself Episode 8914
Wildfire Herself "Life's Too Short" (Season 4, episode
2010 American Idol Guest judge "Season 9, episode 5"
The X Factor Guest judge "Series 7, episode 2"
Sesame Street Herself Online special (deleted from televised episode due to viewer controversy)
The Simpsons Herself 1 episode, "The Fight Before Christmas"
2011 How I Met Your Mother Honey 1 episode, "Oh Honey"
2011 America's Got Talent Guest Judge July 27 (Season 6, Qtr Finals 3 results)
Year Title Role Notes
2010 Get Him to the Greek Herself Deleted scene
Out in the Desert Herself Post-production[dead link]
2011 The Smurfs Smurfette Voice