Katy Perry (Courtesy Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia)
Katheryn Elizabeth "Katy" Hudson (born October 25, 1984), better known by her stage name Katy Perry, is an American singer, songwriter, businesswoman, philanthropist, and actress. She was born and raised in Santa Barbara, California. Having had very little exposure to mainstream pop music in her childhood, she pursued a career in gospel music as a teen and released her debut studio album, Katy Hudson, in March 2001. She also recorded a second solo album which never received release.
In 2007, Perry signed a recording contract with Capitol Records and adopted her current stage name. The following year, she came to prominence with the June 2008 release of her second album, One of the Boys, which produced the singles "I Kissed a Girl", "Hot n Cold", "Thinking of You", and "Waking Up in Vegas". The project was further promoted through the Hello Katy Tour. Perry's third record, Teenage Dream, was released in August 2010 and spawned the Billboard Hot 100 chart-topping singles "California Gurls", "Teenage Dream", "Firework", "E.T.", and "Last Friday Night (T.G.I.F.)". In doing so, it became the first album recorded by a female artist in history to produce five number-one hits, and the second album overall after Michael Jackson's 1987 album Bad. Perry embarked on the California Dreams Tour following its release. In March 2012, it was re-released as Teenage Dream: The Complete Confection and contained the number-one single "Part of Me". Her fourth album, Prism, which contains the Billboard Hot 100 number 1 single "Roar", is scheduled for an October 2013 release.
Perry has received numerous awards and nominations. She has also been nominated for nine Grammy Awards and was named by Billboard as 2012's Woman of the Year. She remains the only artist to spend 69 consecutive weeks in the top ten of the Hot 100. She has ventured into celebrity endorsement and released fragrances Purr, Meow, and Killer Queen. She made her film debut voicing Smurfette in The Smurfs (2011). Perry was ranked at number fourteen on Billboard's list of top moneymakers of 2011, grossing more than $11 million. She was spotlighted in her own 3D autobiographical film, Katy Perry: Part of Me (2012), which concentrated on her life as a touring artist and the breakdown of her one-year marriage to English comedian Russell Brand.
Katheryn Elizabeth Hudson was born in Santa Barbara, California, to devout Pentecostal pastors Keith Hudson and Mary Perry. She is the second of their three children, and has Irish, Portuguese, English, and German ancestry. She has a younger brother named David (whose stage name is Hudson) and an older sister named Angela. Her mother's half-brother was director Frank Perry.
As a child, Perry attended Christian schools and camps. She was incorporated into her parents' ministry, singing in the church between the ages of nine and seventeen. She grew up listening to gospel music, and in an interview she said, "Growing up I wasn"t really allowed to listen to a whole lot of what my mom would call, secular music," She 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 during 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]." She took cassette tapes her sister Angela practiced with and rehearsed the songs and performed them in front of their parents. They suggested she take vocal coaching. She grabbed the opportunity and began taking lessons at the age of nine and continued until she was sixteen.
1999-2006: Career beginnings and Katy Hudson
At 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, she started recording demos and was taught by country music veterans how to craft songs and play guitar. Perry signed to the Christian music label Red Hill, under which she recorded her first album. Performing as Katy Hudson, she released a self-titled gospel rock album in 2001. She supported this album with The Strangely Normal Tour], accompanied by Phil Joel, LaRue, Luna Halo, Earthsuit, and V*Enna. The album was unsuccessful as the label ceased operations at the end of 2001.
At the age of 17, Perry left her home for Los Angeles, where she worked with Glen Ballard on an album for Island Records. Growing up listening to mostly Country Gospel, she 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 a "huge influence" on her. 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 of her songs to Ballard, who then helped develop her songwriting over the next few years. The album was initially planned to be released during the Fall of 2004 along with a promotional DVD, according to a promotional video on the Java Records website. The album never saw the light of day and Perry was subsequently dropped by The Island Def Jam Music Group. Some of her collaborations with Ballard, including "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.
Kelly Clarkson later used "Long Shot" (which Perry wrote with Matt Thiessen and Ballard) for her 2009 album, All I Ever Wanted. Perry then signed to Columbia Records in 2004. However, the label was not amenable with her vision and did not put her in the "driver's seat". Instead, one of Columbia's ideas was to pair her 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, titled Fingerprints. Eighty percent completed, however, Columbia decided not to finish it and dropped her from the label. In 2004, Perry and Kaya Jones provided backing vocals on Mick Jagger's song "Old Habits Die Hard", which won the 2005 Golden Globe Award for Best Original Song. While waiting to find another label, she worked in an independent A&R company called Taxi Music. In 2006, she was featured in the tail-end of the video to P.O.D.'s single "Goodbye for Now" and played the love interest of Travie McCoy in the music video for Cupid's Chokehold by Gym Class Heroes (of which McCoy is the lead singer).
2007-09: Breakthrough with One of the Boys
While in the process of being dropped by Columbia in 2006, the company's publicity executive Angelica Cob-Baehler enthusiastically recommended her 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 her 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 to 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 brought 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".
In the next step of promoting the album, Perry undertook a two-month tour of radio stations. "I Kissed a Girl", was released on May 6, 2008. Her A&R, Chris Anokute, told HitQuarters the song and its controversial theme had 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, she 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, which is in the Bible Belt. After playing it for three days they were inundated 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. On June 12, 2008, she 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.
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. "Hot n Cold" 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 her a nomination for Best Female Pop Vocal Performance at the 2009 Grammy Awards. She 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 her 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.
The Matrix's self-titled debut album, which features Perry, was later released via the team's label "Let's Hear It" during her 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 onto iTunes. In January 2009, Perry embarked on her first headlining world tour, the Hello Katy Tour, visiting North America, Europe, Asia, and Australia. Beginning on January 23, 2009, and ending on November 28, 2009, the tour consisted of 89 concerts. During that time, she also opened select concerts for the band No Doubt, on their Summer Tour 2009.
In June 2009, lawyers acting for Perry opposed the then-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 she denied on her blog. Katie Perry reported 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 Russell Brand was cut, and does not appear in the film. Discussing the issue with MTV, she hypothesized there may have been some fear that seeing the two make out would have taken viewers out of the experience. In 2009, she was featured on two singles: in August, a remix of Colorado-based band 3OH!3's song "Starstrukk" (the idea for the collaboration having come after Perry's tour that featured 3OH!3 as the supporting act, the song being released by iTunes on September 8, 2009); and, thereafter, in December, on "If We Ever Meet Again" from Timbaland's album Shock Value II. 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 a cover "Hackensack" by Fountains of Wayne. The album, released on November 17, included both a CD and a DVD, and debuted at No. 168 on the US Billboard 200 chart.
2010-12: Teenage Dream, film debut, and Part of Me
Perry appeared as a guest judge alongside Simon Cowell, Cheryl Cole, and Louis Walsh during the Dublin audition stage of the seventh series of the English television show The X Factor on June 28, 2010. She was one of the many celebrities chosen to fulfill the role of judge whilst Dannii Minogue was on maternity leave. Perry's third studio album Teenage Dream was released on August 24, 2010, in the United States. It topped the Billboard 200 chart, with first-week sales of 192,000 units. The album has since sold over two million copies in the US, being certified Platinum by the RIAA. It was preceded by the May release of its lead single, titled "California Gurls" featuring rapper Snoop Dogg, which picked atop the Billboard Hot 100 for six consecutive weeks. "Teenage Dream" was released in July as the album's second single, and also topped the Hot 100. In October, "Firework" was released as the third single from Teenage Dream. It became the album's third consecutive number one on the Hot 100. As a result, she became the first female in eleven years to have three consecutive number-ones from a single album.
In November 2010, she released her first fragrance Purr. It is packaged in a cat-shaped bottle, and is available through Nordstrom stores. In February 2011, Perry embarked on an extensive world tour in support of Teenage Dream. It was titled the California Dreams Tour and including 124 shows in Europe, Australasia, Asia, North America and South America. It earned over $59 million. That same month, a remixed version of "E.T." featuring rapper Kanye West was released as the fourth single from Teenage Dream. It topped the Hot 100 chart for five non-consecutive weeks. With "E.T." at number one on the chart of May 12, 2011, Perry became the first artist to spend 52 consecutive weeks in the top 10 of the Billboard Hot 100. In June, the album's fifth single "Last Friday Night (T.G.I.F.)" topped the Hot 100. This allowed her to achieve a record for being the first female to achieve five number one Hot 100 songs from one album, and she tied with Michael Jackson's record. Additionally, Teenage Dream boasted a record-breaking six number-one songs on Billboard Adult Pop Songs chart. In October, "The One That Got Away" was released as the sixth single from Teenage Dream, peaking at three on the Hot 100. Teenage Dream became the third album in history to produce six top five hit singles, "The One That Got Away" became the album's seventh track to reach the top of the US Hot Dance Club Songs chart, the most by any album and setting a new record in the chart.
In July 2011, she made her film debut in the 3D family film The Smurfs as Smurfette. The Smurfs earned $557,771,535 worldwide during its theatrical run, though received many negative reviews from critics. The week of September 17, 2011 marked Perry' 69th consecutive week in the Top 10 with single "Last Friday Night (T.G.I.F.)". On September 23, 2011, she performed, along with Elton John, Brazilian Claudia Leitte, and friend Rihanna, on the opening day of the 2011 Rock in Rio festival, which was extended to October 2. Perry hosted Saturday Night Live on December 10, 2011 with Robyn serving as the episode's musical guest. Perry's work on the episode received generally positive reviews from critics, who praised her comedic timing and the episode's digital short which featured Perry and Andy Samberg, however some critics noted that Perry's performance in the episode was overshadowed by cast regular Kristen Wiig. Her second fragrance Meow was released December 2011. Also in December, she was elected the Artist of the Year by MTV, for their performance on the charts worldwide and won the record during the year. Also that month, she revealed plans to release a Barbie doll that represents her style.
On January 5, 2012, Perry was named the sixth best-selling digital artist in the United States, with sales of 37.6 million units according to Nielsen SoundScan. That month, she became the first artist to have five songs sell over 5 million digital units. Later that month, EA Games recruited her to promote their new expansion pack The Sims 3: Showtime. In March 2012, Teenage Dream was re-released under the title Teenage Dream: The Complete Confection. It was preceded by the February release of "Part of Me", which became the album's seventh single released and sixth single overall to top the Hot 100. "Wide Awake" was released in May as the album's eighth and final single, peaking at number two. In June, she revealed plans to launch her own record label, which would be under Capitol Records. In July, her movie Katy Perry: Part of Me was released to theaters under Paramount Pictures. It garnered positive critical reviews and grossed $30 million worldwide at the box office. That September, it was announced that Perry would take home the 2012 "Woman of the Year" Award at Billboard's Women in Music event, which took place on November 30, 2012 in New York City. She also supported Barack Obama during his campaign for re-election in November 2012.
Perry told Billboard in late 2012 about her upcoming album: "I know exactly the record I want to make next. I know the artwork, the coloring and the tone..... I even know what type of tour I'm doing next. I'll be very pleased if the vision I have in my head becomes a reality". However, Perry mentioned that she does not want the album to be a "Teenage Dream 2.0", stating: "That would be silly. It's not of any interest for me to try and outdo myself at every corner. Eventually you just like pop, explode". Even though Perry initially said that the record would contain "darker" elements, departing from her previous sound, she later clarified, stating: "There's not really any darkness on the record, there's definitely some textures and colors but I think I was saying that when I was going through a different phase, but I really let that light in". She has collaborated with Sia Furler, Diplo, Klas Ĺhlund, Greg Kurstin, Dr. Luke, Max Martin, Greg Wells, Bloodshy, Juicy J, Bonnie McKee, Sarah Hudson, Emeli Sandé, and Cirkut on the album. In early April 2013, she worked with UNICEF to assist children in Madagascar with education and nutrition. Later that month, she appeared in a video clip for the "Chime For Change" campaign that aims to spread female empowerment.
Perry reprised her role as Smurfette in The Smurfs 2, which was released in theaters on July 31, 2013. Like its predecessor, it received many negative reviews from critics. Killer Queen was released as her third fragrance in August 2013 through Coty, Inc. On July 29, 2013, it was announced that her fourth studio album would be titled Prism, and is due for release on October 22, 2013. "Roar" made its debut as the album's lead single on August 10, 2013. Perry recorded and co-wrote a duet with John Mayer titled "Who You Love" for his album Paradise Valley. The album was released on August 20, 2013. She closed the 2013 MTV Video Music Awards by performing "Roar" live for the first time on August 25, 2013 in a special performance under the Brooklyn Bridge.
On August 20, 2013, Perry teamed up with Pepsi and MTV, giving fans the opportunity to unlock song titles, lyrics, and snippets from Prism by tweeting #KATYNOW. After fans heard the two snippets, they chose which one they wanted to be released in full before the album is released. The two snippets were "Dark Horse" and "Walking on Air". On August 25, 2013, at the 2013 MTV Video Music Awards, Pepsi announced "Dark Horse" featuring Juicy J won, 64% to 36%. The same day, a 21-second teaser of the official "Roar" music video was released. On September 4, 2013, Billboard announced that "Roar" reached number one on the Billboard Hot 100. On the same day it topped the Billboard Hot 100, a behind-the-scenes video was released. The official full length music video for "Roar" was released the following day on September 5, 2013.
On the same day that the official "Roar" music video was released, a Prism listening party took place in New York, where all the guests including several music critics listened to 12 songs from the standard edition of the album. She revealed the album's official cover the following day (September 6) on Good Morning America. On September 12, 2013, a Prism listening party took place in Los Angeles; all 13 tracks from the standard edition were played during this party. "Dark Horse" was released as a promotional single via iTunes on September 17, 2013. "Walking on Air" will be released as the second promotional single on September 30, 2013 "Unconditionally" will be the album's second single. On October 23, 2013, Perry will host the "We Can Survive" concert along with Kacey Musgraves, Sara Bareilles, Ellie Goulding, and duo Tegan and Sara at the Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles. This concert's profits will go towards Young Survival Coalition, an organization aiding breast cancer in young women.
Rolling Stone ranked Perry 7th in its global Queen of Pop poll in July 2011. Men's Health dubbed her the "sexiest woman of 2013". She is a sex symbol and is known for her unconventional style of dress, which is often humorous, bright in color, reminiscent of different decades, and often includes food-related themes such as her trademark peppermint swirl bra. Her transformation into an artist began with fashion, inspired by American film actress Dominique Swain's portrayal in the 1997 film Lolita. She defines her fashion style as "a bit of a concoction of different things". Her fashion has caught the attention of designers.
In June 2008, a photo of her posing with a switchblade was criticized. The picture was defended as only an effort to give her a "sexy, harder edge". She later posed with a spoon, mocking the criticism.
Perry is Pentecostal and an avid supporter of gay rights. According to Dosomething.org, she voted no on Prop 8 (California"s Nov 4, 2008, amendment declaring that marriage is defined as a union solely between a man and a woman). Through Twitter and by performing at his rallies, Perry supported President Barack Obama in his run for re-election in 2012 due to his stance on same-sex marriage, and believing in "equal rights for all".
Musical style and themes
Her first album is within 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 contrast to Boys. Many of her songs have been described as EDM or electropop, and she herself has been credited as an electropop artist.
In her childhood, Perry was introduced to the music of Alanis Morissette and Freddie Mercury, the late frontman of the English 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." Queen's song "Killer Queen" inspired her to pursue a career in pop music after her first album. She also described that 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 has also listed Madonna as a significant influence, saying "I want to evolve like Madonna."
Perry has a contralto vocal range. She 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. She is mostly inspired by specific moments of her life, and has 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". Her mother Mary once reportedly told English tabloid Daily Mail that she disliked her daughter's music, calling it "shameful and disgusting". She said Mary was misquoted and told MTV that it was false information. Perry has written songs recorded by other singers, including Ashley Tisdale ("Time's Up"), Selena Gomez & the Scene ("Rock God" and "That's More Like It"), Jessie James ("Bullet" and "Girl Next Door"), Kelly Clarkson ("Long Shot" and "I Do Not Hook Up"), and Lesley Roy ("Slow Goodbye").
Her songs "Ur So Gay" and "I Kissed a Girl" have been respectively labeled as being homophobic and promoting homosexuality, as well as "lez ploitational". MTV mentioned criticism about her 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 has had relationships with Justin York, Matt Thiessen, Johnny Lewis, Travie McCoy, and Russell Brand. Since August 2012, she has been in an on-again, off-again relationship with John Mayer.
She first met Russell Brand in 2009 when she filmed a cameo appearance for his film Get Him to the Greek. The two began dating after meeting again in September 2009 at the 2009 MTV Video Music Awards. The couple became engaged in December 2009 while vacationing in Rajasthan, India. They married on October 23, 2010, in a traditional Hindu ceremony near the Ranthambhore tiger sanctuary in Rajasthan. After 14 months of marriage, he filed for divorce on December 30, 2011, citing irreconcilable differences. After they reached an agreement on financial issues, a judge granted the divorce request in February 2012. The divorce became effective in July 2012 following a mandatory six-month waiting period. Her autobiographical movie revealed that the disagreement over starting a family led to the end of the marriage. In June 2013, she revealed in an interview with Vogue that Brand divorced her via a text message and never spoke to her again. In September 2013, she revealed in an interview with Bilboard that after the divorce, she thought about committing suicide.
Main article: Katy Perry discography
Katy Hudson (2001)
One of the Boys (2008)
Teenage Dream (2010)
Hello Katy Tour (2009)
California Dreams Tour (2011-2012)
The Strangely Normal Tour (2001)
Warped Tour 2008 (2008)
No Doubt - Summer Tour 2009 (North American select dates) (2009)