Katy Perry (Courtesy Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia)
Katheryn Elizabeth Hudson (born October 25, 1984), known by her stage name Katy Perry, is an American recording artist, songwriter, and actress. Perry was born and raised in Santa Barbara, California. Her conservative parents forbade her from listening to mainstream pop music. As a teen, she pursued a career in gospel music under her birth name and released her debut self-titled studio album. She also recorded a second solo album which never received release. In 2007, she signed with Capitol Records and adopted her current stage name.
Perry's commercial breakthrough came once she released her first mainstream studio album One of the Boys (2008). This was preceded by the release of her first single "I Kissed a Girl". Several successful singles followed, including "Hot n Cold", "Thinking of You" and "Waking Up in Vegas". Perry embarked on the Hello Katy Tour in support of the album. She followed this up with her second studio effort Teenage Dream which was an instant commercial success, topping the album charts in several countries. It spawned five number-one hits on the Billboard Hot 100""California Gurls", "Teenage Dream", "Firework", "E.T." and "Last Friday Night (T.G.I.F.)". It became the first album in history recorded by a female artist to achieve this, and the second after Michael Jackson's Bad (1987). In support of the album, she embarked on the California Dreams Tour. Teenage Dream was followed by a re-release entitled The Complete Confection that spawned an additional number one, "Part of Me".
Perry has received multiple awards and nominations; she has been nominated for nine Grammy Awards and was named by Billboard as 2012's Woman of the Year. She has sold 11 million albums and 75 million digital tracks worldwide. Perry remains the only artist to spend 69 consecutive weeks in the top ten of the Hot 100. Perry has ventured into celebrity endorsement and released her signature fragrance Purr. She has also 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 biopic-concert film Part of Me (2012), which concentrated on her life as a touring artist and the breakdown of her one-year marriage to British comedian Russell Brand.
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, attended Berkeley, and had a "tempestuous" first marriage in Zimbabwe. Perry has Portuguese, German, Irish, and English ancestry. She is the second child of two pastors. She has an older sister named Angela Hudson and a younger brother named David Hudson. Perry's uncle was director Frank Perry (who was her mother's half-brother).
As a child, Perry attended Christian schools and camps. Her parents were pastors, and she was incorporated into their 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 after her first 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.
1999-2006: Career beginnings and Katy Hudson
When Perry was 15, her 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 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 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. 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 Island Records. 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 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 of her songs to Ballard. Ballard then helped Perry 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 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. "Long Shot" and "I Do Not Hook Up" were later recorded by Kelly Clarkson for her 2009 album All I Ever Wanted.
Perry 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 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, 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, 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: Commercial 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 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 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 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. 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 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, 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, which is in the Bible Belt. 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.
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.
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. 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, Perry also opened select concerts for the band No Doubt, on their Summer Tour 2009.
On May 16, 2009, Perry performed at the opening ceremony of the annual Life Ball in Vienna, Austria. 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 Perry 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 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: 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", the fourth single 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 Fountains of Wayne cover "Hackensack". 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-present: 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 British television show The X Factor on June 28, 2010. She was one of the many celebrities chosen to fulfil the role of judge whilst Dannii Minogue was on maternity leave. Perry's second 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 Girls" featuring rapper Snoop Dogg, which picked atop the Billboard Hot 100 for six consecutive weeks. "Teenage Dream" had been 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, Perry became the first female in eleven years to have three consecutive number-ones from a single album.
In February 2011, 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 Perry 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 and final single from the standard version of 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. To further push the song ahead on the Hot 100, Perry released a remix featuring American rapper B.o.B in December, however the song failed to attain the top spot.
In November 2010, Perry 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. In July, Perry made her film debut in the 3D family film The Smurfs as Smurfette. The Smurfs earned $557,771,535 worldwide during its theatrical run. The week of September 17 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 performed for 100 thousand people, a show that received high praise from critics and audience alike. Her second fragrance Meow, a flanker to Purr, was released in December. Also in December, Perry 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.
In January 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 Perry to promote their new expansion pack The Sims 3: Showtime. In March, Teenage Dream was re-released under the title The Complete Confection. It was proceeded by the February release of its lead single, "Part of Me", which became the album's sixth single overall to top the Hot 100. "Wide Awake" was released in May as the re-release's second single, peaking at number two. In June, she revealed plans to launch her own record label, which would be under Capitol Records. In July, Perry's part-biopic part-concert 3D film entitled 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, she was named "Woman of the Year" by Billboard. Perry supported Barack Obama during his November 2012 presidential campaign.
Perry, who previously stated in April that she was altering her musical style which she branded "dark", confirmed in November 2012 that she was in the process of working on her fourth studio album. The album is planning for release in Summer 2013.
Musical style and themes
Perry's 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 the vein of 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 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." 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. Influence also came from a number of female pop rock singers, including Cyndi Lauper, Shirley Manson, Pat Benatar and Joan Jett, as "they came out with a vengeance." Perry also cited Madonna as another big 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. 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. Perry has written several songs for 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") and Lesley Roy ("Slow Goodbye").
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". Musicians Pink, Kathleen Hanna and Beth Ditto criticized "I Kissed A Girl" as offensive to the LGBT community. 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."
As of October 2012, Perry's Twitter account (@katyperry) is the third most popular celebrity account behind that of Lady Gaga and Justin Bieber, with over 30 million followers. She was ranked 7th in Rolling Stone's global Queen of Pop poll in July 2011.
Perry is known for her unconventional style of dress. It is often humorous, bright in color, and reminiscent of different decades, and she frequently uses fruit-shaped accessories, mainly watermelon, as part of her outfits. Perry's 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 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. In 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 by stating: "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.
Perry is a gay activist. According to Dosomething.org, Perry had stated "I am a gay activist and I say that proudly. I 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), of course." Politically, Perry aligns herself with liberalism despite the conservatism of her pentecostal Christian parents. Through Twitter and by performing at his rallies, the singer has endorsed President Barack Obama due to his stance on same-sex marriage, believing in "equal rights for all".
Perry has had relationships with Gym Class Heroes frontman Travie McCoy, Relient K frontman Matt Thiessen, former Sons of Anarchy actor Johnny Lewis and English comedian Russell Brand.
Perry first met Brand in the summer of 2009 when she 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 2009 MTV Video Music Awards. The couple became engaged in December 2009 while vacationing in India. At the time, Perry stated that she had plans to take dual British citizenship. 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 proposed.