Katy Perry in concert, March 27, 2009
Birth name Katheryn Elizabeth Hudson
Born October 25, 1984 (1984-10-25) (age 26)
Santa Barbara, California,
Genres Pop, pop rock, dance-pop, electropop
Occupations Singer-songwriter, musician, actress
Instruments Vocals, guitar, piano
Years active 2001–present
Labels Red Hill (2001)
Katheryn Elizabeth Hudson (born October 25, 1984), better known by the stage name Katy Perry, is an American singer-songwriter, musician 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 freshman year of high school, she began to pursue a music career. She released a self-titled gospel album in 2001 as Katy Hudson which was deemed unsuccessful due to the closing of its record label that year. She later recorded an album with production team The Matrix and completed the majority of a solo album from 2004–2005, neither of which was 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 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 thirty-third 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. Perry was ranked the ninety-seventh Artist of the 2000–10 decade by Billboard. She became known for wearing unconventional style of dress, often combining bold colors and vintage fashion. Her sophomore album, Teenage Dream, was released in August 2010 and debuted at number one on the Billboard 200. The album included the hit singles "California Gurls" and "Teenage Dream"; both of which topped the charts on the Billboard Hot 100 and several other countries.
Perry had a long relationship with Travie McCoy; she married Russell Brand on October 23, 2010.
1 Early life
2 Recording career
2.1 2001–07: Career beginnings
2.2 2008–09: One of the Boys and MTV Unplugged
2.3 2010–present: The X Factor, Teenage Dream, film debut, and marriage
3 Music and themes
4 Style and image
5 Personal life
Katy Perry was born Katheryn Elizabeth Hudson in Santa Barbara, California. She is of English, German and Portuguese descent and is second child of two pastors, she has an older sister and younger brother. Her Evangelical mother, Mary Hudson (née Perry), grew up in Southern California and had "a tempestuous first marriage in Zimbabwe." Her father, Keith Hudson, was a West Coast scenester in the 1960s. Perry's maternal aunt and uncle were screenwriter Eleanor Perry and director Frank Perry, through whom she is also related to Charles M. Schwab, the founder of the Bethlehem Steel Corporation.
Perry was incorporated into her parents' ministry; she sang in their church from ages 9 to 17. She grew up listening to gospel music and was not allowed to listen to what her mother called secular music. Perry 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 to pursue a career in music. Perry initially started singing "because I was at that point in my childhood where I was copycatting my sister and everything she did." Her sister practiced with cassette tapes, and Perry took the tapes herself when her sister was not around. She rehearsed the songs and performed them for her parents, who suggested she should take voice lessons. She grabbed the opportunity and began taking lessons at age nine to 16. She enrolled in at the Music Academy of the West in Santa Barbara, and studied Italian opera for a short time.
2001–07: Career beginnings
Katy Perry performing on her guitar. She learned how to play the instrument when she was just starting her record career.At 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. The album was due for release in 2005, but Billboard reported it also went nowhere. Perry was dropped by 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", and in Gym Class Heroes' video, "Cupid's Chokehold", playing the eventual love interest of lead singer Travie McCoy.
Prior to being dropped by Columbia, its then publicity executive Angelica Cob-Baehler recommended Perry to Capitol A&R Chris Anokute while at the 2006 Grammy Awards. Keen to hear more, Anokute was sent a DVD, featuring a video of "Simple", and a three-song demo. It was after hearing the demo of "Waking Up in Vegas" that Anokute became convinced of Perry's star talent. He showed the demo to his boss Jason Flom, then head of Capitol Music Group, telling him, "I've found the next Avril Lavigne meets Alanis Morissette." Flom proved to be less enthusiastic, however; he wasn't convinced the demos were good enough and was wary about an artist that had already been dropped by two major labels. Anokute refused to give up and eventually his persistence together with that of new Virgin employee, Cob-Baehler, paid off. Perry was signed to Capitol Music in early 2007.
2008–09: One of the Boys and MTV Unplugged
Katy Perry performing on the 2008 Vans Warped TourMain article: One of the Boys (Katy Perry album)
After signing to Capitol Records, Perry began recording tracks for her official mainstream debut album, One of the Boys, and 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".
While the buzz over Perry was building, 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 how, despite being himself convinced it was a "career record", 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 he 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 Anokute 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.
Katy Perry performs live in Berlin, September 2008.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 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 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 "happened 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.
Katy Perry performing at the 2009 Life Ball in ViennaOn 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 10 July 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: The X Factor, Teenage Dream, film debut, and marriage
Main article: Teenage Dream (Katy Perry album)
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 (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 promoting "California Gurls" at the 2010 MuchMusic Video Awards.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 at Dos Pueblos High SchoolKaty Perry appeared at the 2010 MTV Video Music Awards on September 12, 2010. She was nominated for two awards 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 the song "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. However, it was revealed that Perry was, in fact, wearing a flesh-colored mesh that went all the way to her neck.
Perry has announced her own fragrance to be released in autumn of this year, named "Purr". It will come in a cat-shaped bottle, and will be available through Nordstrom stores.
On October 23rd 2010, Perry was married to Comedian Russell Brand.Brand, 35, proposed to Perry, 25, in India outside the Taj Mahal, December 2010. Katy and Russell's traditional Indian ceremony was held at the ultra-exclusive Arman-I-Khas resort, close to the Ranthambore Safari Park in rural Rajasthan.It's thought around 80 guests flew out to India for Russell and Katy's special ceremony, to which only the pair's closest friends and family were invited. On October 21st, Russell's mum Barbera was spotted making her way through Mumbai Airport, meanwhile Russell's dad was banned from the wedding due to the fact he Divorced his mum when he was a child. Later in the day Katy's parents also touched down.With a guest list that reads like a who's who of Hollywood, we're sure Russell and Katy's nuptials were a suitably glittering affair. Jonathan Ross, David Walliams and P.Diddy were all thought to be in attendance out in India, but there was one noticeable absence, pop star Rihanna, who organised the hen party, and was tipped to be Katy's maid of honour, didn't make the big day 'due to work commitments'. Although Russell and Katy asked not to be given gifts by guests (instead they asked for money which will be donated to charity) it didn't stop them lavishing special presents on each other. Russ spent thousands on a treat for the new Mrs Perry, buying Machli, a female Bengal Tiger living at the Ranthambore reserve. He's also said to have given his bride a glittering ruby, said to possess 'protective powers'. Katy splashed out on a baby elephant, also at the reserve for her new husband.
Perry is set to make her film debut in the upcoming 2011 film The Smurfs, as Smurfette, alongside Neil Patrick Harris, Jonathan Winters, Alan Cumming, and George Lopez.
Music and themes
Katy Perry performing in August 2008Perry has a contralto vocal range. 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. Growing up listening to 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 Morissette; Ballard produced Morissette's Jagged Little Pill, the album that had a "huge influence" on Perry. She told her initial collaborator that she had decided to work with Ballard. The producer arranged a meeting for her and Ballard in Los Angeles. Perry presented him a song, and a day later she was called. Ballard developed Perry for a few years.
Perry described her music by saying, "Someone kind of penned it for me the other day, and I've been using it ever since." According to her, she has "changed a lot between the ages of 15 to 23." Her first album dwells on Gospel music. 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. Perry expects to record more pop songs for her next album.
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 "lezploitational". 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."
Style and image
Katy Perry singingPerry 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. Having learned dancing at an early age, she fancied 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, who were giving her nearly as much attention as fans of her music.
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.
Perry dated Gym Class Heroes frontman Travie McCoy, whom she met in a recording studio in New York, on and off for several years. After more than a year of friendship and casual dating, they became serious with their relationship right before they embarked on the 2008 Warped Tour. Perry and McCoy broke up in December 2008. The two began dating again in early 2009 and broke up again a few months later.
Perry first met British comedian Russell Brand in the summer of 2008 when Perry filmed a cameo 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 when Brand proposed to Perry while vacationing in India. In a July 2010 YouTube interview, Perry said Brand would be a "perfect" father. Perry has stated that she plans to take dual British citizenship when she marries Brand. "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 near the Ranthambhore tiger sanctuary in Rajasthan, India, the same location where Brand had proposed. They were married in a traditional Hindu ceremony.
Main article: Katy Perry discography
Katy Hudson (2001)
One of the Boys (2008)
Teenage Dream (2010)
Year Title Role Notes
2008 The Young and the Restless Herself Episode 8914
Wildfire Herself "Life's Too Short" (Season 4, episode 8)
2010 American Idol Guest Judge Season 9, episode 5
The X Factor Series 7, episode 2
Sesame Street Herself Online special (deleted from televised episode)
Year Title Role Notes
2011 The Smurfs Smurfette Voice