Birth name Katheryn Elizabeth Hudson
Born October 25, 1984 (1984-10-25) (age 24)
Santa Barbara, California, United States
Genre(s) Pop, pop rock
Occupation(s) Singer-songwriter, musician
Instrument(s) Vocals, guitar
Voice type(s) Contralto
Years active 2001–present
Label(s) Red Hill, Island Def Jam, Columbia, Capitol
1 Childhood and personal life
2 Recording career
2.1 2001–2007: Beginnings
2.2 2008–present: One of the Boys
3 Music and themes
4 Public image
10 External links
Katheryn Elizabeth Hudson (born October 25, 1984), better known by her
stage name Katy Perry, is an American singer-songwriter and musician.
Perry rose to fame in 2007 with her internet hit «Ur So Gay», and later
scored in 2008 her breakthrough single «I Kissed a Girl».
She began with an on-and-off recording career, having been dropped three
times by record labels. After signing to Capitol Music Group in 2007,
she released her first mainstream album, One of the Boys. It contains
the worldwide hits «I Kissed a Girl» and «Hot N Cold», both certified
three-time platinum in the United States. She is known for wearing
unconventional style of dress, often combining colors and vintage
fashion, as well as associating outfits with fruits.
Childhood and personal life
Katy Perry was born Katheryn Elizabeth Hudson on October 25, 1984 in
Santa Barbara, California, United States. The middle child of two
pastors, she has an older sister and younger brother. Her Evangelical
mother, Mary Hudson, grew up in Southern California, and had «a
tempestuous first marriage in Zimbabwe». Her father was a West Coast
scenester in the 1960s.
Baptized a born again Christian, Perry was incorporated to her parents’
ministry, and she started singing in their church from age nine to
sixteen. She grew up listening to gospel music and was not allowed to
listen what her mother called secular music. Perry attended Christian
schools and camps. As a child, Perry learned how to dance in a rec hall
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 of high school and decided to leave schooling 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».
She was in a constant fight to capture the attention of her parents off
her sister’s, who was at the time taking voice lessons. Her sister
practiced with cassette tapes, and Perry took the tapes herself when her
sister was not around. She rehearsed the songs and performed it to her
parents, who suggested she should take voice lessons. She grabbed the
opportunity and began taking lessons at age nine to sixteen. She
enrolled in at the Music Academy of the West in Santa Barbara, and
studied Italian opera for a little while.
Perry dated Gym Class Heroes frontman Travis 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 into the 2008 Warped Tour.
Perry and McCoy broke up in December 2008. They began dating again in
Katy Perry performing on guitar. She learned how to play the instrument
when she was just starting her record career.
At age 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 age 15. Using her real name, Katy Hudson,
she released the self-titled Gospel-rock album in 2001. The album was
unsuccessful, however, after the label ceased. She later changed her
surname to Perry, which is the maiden of her mother, because «Katy
Hudson» was too close to film actress Kate Hudson. At age 17, Perry left
her home for Los Angeles where she worked with Glen Ballard on an album
for record label Island Def Jam. The album was due for release in 2005,
but Billboard magazine reported it also went nowhere. Perry was dropped
by Island Def Jam. 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
Trying her luck, 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 is featured in the tail-end of
the video to P.O.D.’s single «Goodbye for Now». She made a cameo
appearance on Carbon Leaf’s video, «Learn to Fly», and on Gym Class
Heroes’ video, «Cupid’s Chokehold», playing the eventual love interest
of lead singer Travis McCoy. Her songs eventually captured the attention
of Virgin Records CEO Jason Flom, then head of Capitol Music Group, who
signed her to Capitol Music in early 2007.
2008–present: One of the Boys
Katy Perry at one of the 2008 Vans Warped Tour concerts
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. 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, undergoing a two-month tour of radio stations. The
album’s official lead single, «I Kissed a Girl», was released on May 6,
2008. 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 20 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, and poses for the cover to the June 2008 issue of the
fictional magazine Restless Style.
Katy Perry 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, as of
February 2009, has sold over 800,000 copies in the United States. The
album has been certified platinum by the Recording Industry Association
of America. Perry released her second single, «Hot N Cold», which gave
her second top five 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, in 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
The self-titled debut album of The Matrix, which features Perry, was
later released via the team’s label, Let’s Hear It, during when she was
in the midst of 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 off One of the Boys had been dispatched. Despite
their communication, The Matrix was released on January 27, 2009, via
Music and themes
Among Perry’s musical influences are Alanis Morissette, pop rockers
Cyndi Lauper, Pat Benatar, Joan Jett, Shirley Manson; and British
singer-songwriter Freddie Mercury. Growing up listening to Gospel music,
Perry had little references when she began recording songs. Asked by the
producer whom she would like to collaborate with, 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, the album that had a
«huge influence» on Perry. She told her initial collaborator 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.
Katy Perry performing in August 2008.
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 had 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», although reflects a departure of her 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 took inspiration
off different things, mostly are references to specific moments of her
life. She said it is easy for her to write songs about heartaches.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
Katy Perry in pink
Perry is known for her unconventional style of dress. Her style is often
humorous, bright in color, and reminiscent of different decades, as well
as her frequent use of 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 «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 calling her even before the release of
«I Kissed a Girl», almost as much as the attention drawn by her music.
Perry’s songs, particularly «Ur So Gay» and «I Kissed a Girl», have
generated controversies upon their release. The songs have received
reactions from religious and gay sectors. The songs have been
respectively labeled as homophobic and promoting homosexuality, as well
as for being «lezploitational». MTV mentioned critcism 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 … I wasn’t
stereotyping anyone in particular, I was talking about ex-boyfriends.»
In June 2008, a publicity photo emerged that showed Perry posing with a
switchblade. Tabloid The Sun reported criticised the photo as an attempt
to glamorize knives. The picture was defended as only an effort to give
Perry a «sexy, harder edge».
In December, 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 to know for a fact that she was an American version» of
her because their record company needed «to find something controversial
and ‘kooky'» like her.
2001: Katy Hudson
2008: One of the Boys
Studio albums 2
Extended plays 1
Music videos 5
The discography of Katy Perry, an American pop rock singer, consists of
two studio albums, five singles and two extended plays. Perry began her
career using her birth name, Katy Hudson, in 2001. Prior to the release
of her breakout album in 2008, she changed her surname to Perry, which
is the maiden name of her mother, because «Katy Hudson» was too close to
actress Kate Hudson.
Perry released her debut studio album in 2001, it was self-titled Katy
Hudson, and gospel. Billboard reported that the album «disappeared
after the label (Red Hill Records) folded.» In 2004, she began
working on an album with Glen Ballard for Island Def Jam, which also
went nowhere. Perry then signed to Columbia Records. Columbia had
her collaborate with renowned production team The Matrix, as the female
vocalist for their album, The Matrix. The album was never released by
Columbia, with The Matrix’s Let’s Hear It Records eventually releasing
it in 2009. Perry also started recording a solo album, (A) Katy
Perry, eighty percent of the record was completed and Columbia cancelled
Capitol Records signed Perry at the beginning of 2007. She wrote and
recorded her second album before releasing the music video for her first
single, «Ur So Gay», in November 2007. The single generated
underground talk, but failed to chart. Her second single, «I Kissed a
Girl», topped the charts in multiple countries. In the United States,
the single went to number one on the Billboard Hot 100 and Pop 100
charts; as well as number one in Australia, Denmark, Germany, Sweden and
the United Kingdom. The album, One of the Boys, followed in mid-2008. It
debuted at number nine on the Billboard 200 and within the top ten in
Canada, Denmark, France and Germany. «Hot N Cold» was the third single
released, it also topped multiple charts. The song went to number one on
the Pop 100, and in several countries including Austria, Germany and
Switzerland. Both «I Kissed a Girl» and «Hot N Cold» were accredited
triple platinum certifications by the Recording Industry Association of
America, with the album receiving a platinum certification. Perry has
since released «One of the Boys» and «Thinking of You» as singles, with
neither achieving as much in the charts as her previous singles.
Perry’s Debut Tour The Hello Katy Tour kicked off in the United States
in January 2009, to support the album. Live Nation has been listed as
the tour promoter.
Perry at the 2009 Life Ball in Vienna
On May 16, 2009, Perry performed at the opening ceremony of the annual
Life Ball in Vienna, Austria.
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«Find Out What Influences Katy Perry’s Cute Style!». Seventeen.
a-interview. Retrieved on 2009-02-28.
Panda, Priya. «Katy Perry Wants to Draw on Your Face». Toonage.
http://www.toonage.ca/features/sep2108_katy_perry.shtml. Retrieved on
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Retrieved on 2009-02-13.