Katheryn Elizabeth Hudson (born October 25, 1984), known professionally as Katy Perry, is an American singer, songwriter, and television judge. After singing in church during her childhood, she pursued a career in gospel music as a teenager.
Early Life[edit | edit source]
She was born on October 25, 1984 near Santa Barbara, California, the second child of Pentecostal pastors Maurice Keith Hudson and Mary Christine Perry. Katy has a younger brother, David, and an older sister, Angela. She has Portuguese, English, German, and Irish ancestry. While Katy Perry was growing up, she became a part of her parent’s ministry and sang in church from the age 9 to 17.
She grew up listening to gospel music and had limited exposure to what her mother called secular music. Katy attended Christian schools and camps. As a child, 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, leaving school to pursue a career in music. Katy initially started singing «because I was at that point in my childhood where I was copycatting my sister and everything she did.» Angela practiced with cassette tapes, and Katy 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.
Early Career[edit | edit source]
At the age of 15, Katy’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 on how to craft songs and play guitar. Katy 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 album in 2001. The album was unsuccessful, however, after the label ceased operations in December 2001.
She later started using Perry, her mother’s maiden name, as a stage name because Katy Hudson was too close to film actress Kate Hudson. At the age of 18, Katy 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. She was dropped by Island Def Jam Music Group. Some of Perry and Ballard’s collaborations included "[(song)|Box]", "[(song)|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.
She signed to Columbia Records in 2004. Unfortunately, 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 [Matrix|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, Katy 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 early 2006, she 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 late November 2006 appeared in 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.
Mid Career[edit | edit source]
After signing to Capitol Records, Katy began recording tracks for her second studio 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 Katy to the attention of Madonna, who mentioned her on KISS FM and KRQ’s John Jay & 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 Katy 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 in May 2008 and she was 24 years old at the time. With the song climbing atop the charts, they "establish her as a credible performer and make sure she isn’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, she 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.
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. Her second single, "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 Perry a nomination for Best Female Pop Vocal Performance at the 2009 Grammy Awards. Katy 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 Katy, 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 Katy 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.
During the summer of 2009, Katy Perry filmed a guest appearance for Get Him to the Greek. Her scene was cut, and does not appear in the final film. After the 2009 MTV Video Music Awards, she would begin dating and later become engaged to Russell Brand, who starred in the film. They married on October 23, 2010. He filed for divorce on December 30, 2011, and notified her through text that their marriage was over. The two never spoke to each other again.
In 2009, Katy 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 her 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 Katy 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 in November 2009, and includes both a CD and a DVD.
Her third album Teenage Dream was released August 24, 2010 in North America and August 30 worldwide. The first single from the album is titled "California Gurls". Capitol Records sent the song to U.S. radio on May 7, 2010. The single took only four weeks to reach the #1 spot on the Billboard Hot 100, making it the fastest rising single from a Capitol Records artist since Bobbie Gentry’s «Ode to Billie Joe» in 1967. On July 22, Perry released the cover art for Teenage Dream, a painting by Will Cotton, which resembles the shots of Perry in the "California Gurls" video where she is lying naked on the cotton candy clouds. She also revealed that the booklet of the physical edition of the album will smell like cotton candy. On July 23, 2010, the album’s second single "Teenage Dream" was released.
Katy released her own fragrance named Purr. It comes in a cat-shaped bottle, and is available in many countries including United States, Ireland, Northern Ireland, Scotland, Wales, England, Mexico and Australia.
She performed a version of her song "Hot N Cold" with Elmo from Sesame Street, which was originally scheduled to run on the 41st-season premiere of the educational children’s program on September 27, 2010. Four days before the 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, she was actually wearing a flesh-colored mesh that went all the way to her neck.
Teenage Dream led Perry to nominations four awards at the 2011 Grammy Awards: Album of the Year, Best Pop Vocal Album, Best Female Pop Vocal Performance for "Teenage Dream", and Best Pop Collaboration with Vocals for "California Gurls". Following the Grammys, Perry embarked on an extensive world tour, California Dreams Tour (consisting of 121 shows) and released "[(song)|E.T.]" as the fourth single from the album, the peaked at number one on the Billboard Hot 100 for five non-consecutive weeks. The single was a remixed version featuring Kanye West. The music video for "E.T." was directed by Floria Sigismondi and features Shaun Ross as the main love interest. With "E.T." at number one on the chart of May 12, 2011, Katy became the first artist in history to spend 52 consecutive weeks in the top 10 of the Billboard Hot 100. In June 2011, she released the fifth single "Last Friday Night (T.G.I.F.)". A remixed version featuring American rapper Missy Elliot was released in early August. The single topped U.S. download and radio charts. The song topped the Billboard Hot 100 on August 17, 2011, making her the first female artist ever to have five #1 singles from one album and the peaked at number one on the Billboard Hot 100 for two consecutive weeks. In July 2011, she made her film debut in the 3D family film The Smurfs as Smurfette. The Smurfs had a hit performance at the box office, earning $557,771,535 worldwide during its theatrical run. Katy Perry appeared at the 2011 MTV Video Music Awards on August 28, 2011. She was nominated for ten awards, received the most nominations of the ceremony and was the only singer in history to have four different music videos shown on various categories, eventually winning three of those, including Video of the Year for "Firework", Best Collaboration and Best Special Effects for "E.T.". On September 17, 2011, her 69-consecutive-week streak in the Top 10 ended.
On September 23, 2011, she attended the opening day of the 2011 Rock in Rio festival, which was extended to October 2. Other performers included Elton John and friend Rihanna. In October 2011, she released the album’s sixth single "The One That Got Away". On the week ending October 23, 2011, Katy became the first artist ever to have 3 songs ("Hot N Cold", "California Gurls" and "Firework") sell over 5,000,000 digital copies in the USA. She also is the artist with the biggest 4,000,000-seller amount. On November 8, 2011, she had announced on her twitter that she will release her next fragrance Meow, a following to her previous. The bottle is a cat-shaped bottle (similar to her previous fragrance), but is a more light-pink color with a "M"-shaped collar. She also hosted Saturday Night Live on December 10, 2011.
At the 2012 Grammys, Katy debuted her song "Part of Me". This song and "Wide Awake" (debuted May 2012) would be included in Teenage Dream: The Complete Confection, the re-release of her Teenage Dream album. In June 2012, Perry revealed plans for launching her own record label, which will be an imprint of Capitol Records. She also became the new spokeswoman for Popchips. On September 25, 2012, Billboard named Perry 2012’s Woman of the Year.
In early July 2012, her autobiographical movie Katy Perry: Part of Me was released in theaters. The film focused on her journey to fame as well as how her marriage to ex-husband Russell Brand fell apart. It also contained footage from her California Dreams Tour concerts. The movie received generally positive reviews. Later that month, she became the spokeswoman for Popchips. The following September, Billboard named her "Woman of the Year".
Later Career (Present)[edit | edit source]
Katy released her fourth studio album Prism on October 18, 2013 in Ireland, Italy, Slovakia, and Slovenia, and worldwide on October 22, 2013. The lead single off of PRISM is titled "Roar" and debuted August 10, 2013. The song became Katy’s 8th number one song on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, topping the chart for two weeks. It has also sold over 3.24 copies in the United States. Katy reprised her role as Smurfette in The Smurfs 2, which was released in theaters July 31, 2013. In August 2013, she released her third perfume Killer Queen. Unlike Purr and Meow, the perfume bottle is not cat-shaped. "Dark Horse" was released as the album’s first promotional single on September 17, 2013. "Walking on Air" was released as the second promotional single on September 30, 2013. "Unconditionally" was released as the second official single on October 16, 2013. It peaked at number 14 in the United States. She first performed her Prism tracks on October 22, 2013 at iHeartRadio. She also performed them the next day at the Hollywood Bowl where she hosted the "We Can Survive" concert. On December 17, 2013, "Dark Horse" was released as the third single from PRISM. The song was met with critical and commercial acclaim. "Dark Horse" became Perry’s ninth number one single in the United States; it topped the Billboard Hot 100 for four weeks. She performed the song at the 56th Annual Grammy Awards. Two more singles, "Birthday" and "This Is How We Do", were released after "Dark Horse". Both songs peaked within the top 20 of the Billboard Hot 100. Perry embarked on the Prismatic World Tour on May 7, 2014 to promote the album. The tour is ended in October 2015.
On November 23, 2014, the NFL announced that Perry would perform at the Super Bowl XLIX halftime show on February 1, 2015. Lenny Kravitz and Missy Elliott served as special guests for the show. Two days after the halftime show, the Guinness World Records announced that Perry’s performance garnered 118.5 million viewers in the United States, and became the most watched and highest rated show in Super Bowl history. The viewership was higher than the game itself, which was viewed by an audience of 114.4 million.
The International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI) ranked her fifth on the list of Top Global Recording Artists of 2013. On June 26, 2014, she was declared the Top Certified Digital Artist Ever by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) for certified sales of 72 million digital singles in the United States. In May 2014, a portrait of Perry by painter Mark Ryden was featured in his exhibition "The Gay 90s", and shown at the Kohn Gallery in Los Angeles. Along with several other artists, she also recorded a cover version of the song "Daisy Bell (Bicycle Built for Two)" on a limited-edition concept album titled The Gay Nineties Old Tyme Music: Daisy Bell to accompany the exhibition. That month, a portrait of Perry by artist Will Cotton was included in the United States National Portrait Gallery. On November 23, 2015, Perry starred in H&M’s holiday advertising campaign, for which she wrote and recorded a song titled "Every Day Is a Holiday".
On June 17, 2014, Perry announced that she had founded her own record label under Capitol Records, titled Metamorphosis Music. Ferras was the first artist to get signed to her label, and Perry served as an executive producer on his self-titled EP. She also recorded a duet with him on the EP, titled "Legends Never Die".
In March 2014, she made a guest appearance playing herself in the episode "Blisteritos Presents Dad Academy Graduation Congraduritos Red Carpet Viewing Party" of the Kroll Show. Killer Queen was released as her third fragrance in August 2013 through Coty, Inc. In January 2014, she became a guest curator of Madonna’s Art for Freedom initiative.
In March 2015, she appeared in Brand: A Second Coming, a documentary following her ex-husband Russell Brand's transition from comedy work to activism, and released a concert film titled Katy Perry: The Prismatic World Tour through Epix, which took place during her tour of the same name. Perry also made a cameo appearance in the music video for Madonna's song "Bitch I'm Madonna" in June 2015. The following month, she released another fragrance with Coty, entitled Mad Potion. In September 2015, she appeared in the documentaries Katy Perry: Making of the Pepsi Super Bowl Halftime Show, which followed Perry’s preparation for her Super Bowl performance, and Jeremy Scott: The People's Designer, which followed the life and career of designer Jeremy Scott. Perry released a mobile app titled Katy Perry Pop in December 2015 through Glu Mobile where her character helps players become famous musicians. She described it as "the most fun, colorful world that helps guide your musical dreams".
According to Katy's manager, Steve Jensen, her next studio album was meant to be released by 2016. After Perry appeared as herself in the film Zoolander 2, which was released in February 2016, she started writing songs for a new album the following June. She recorded an anthem for NBC Sports's coverage of the 2016 Summer Olympics titled "Rise", which was released on July 14, 2016. Perry chose to release it as a standalone track rather than save it for an album "because now more than ever, there is a need for our world to unite". NBC also felt its message spoke "directly to the spirit of the Olympics and its athletes" for its inspirational themes. The song went number one in Australia and peaked at number eleven in the United States. In August, Perry stated that she aspired to make material "that connects and relates and inspires" and told Ryan Seacrest that she was "not rushing" her fifth album, adding "I'm just having a lot of fun, but experimenting and trying different producers, and different collaborators, and different styles".
On February 10, 2017, Perry released its lead single with Skip Marley titled "Chained to the Rhythm", which reached number one in Hungary and number four in the United States. Following the song’s release, Spotify announced it would run a promotional campaign leading up to a summer 2017 release of her fifth album. The album's second single, "[Appétit (song)|Bon Appétit]", features Migos and was released on April 28, 2017. In May, YouTube announced that it would broadcast a live listen-along special for the album titled Katy Perry Live Special the day before its release where audiences are taken "inside of her world" and she shall "break it all down". On May 19, 2017, the album's third single "Swish Swish" was released. The song features Nicki Minaj.
Calvin Harris also revealed that month that Perry will be featured on his album Funk Wav Bounces Vol. I, which was released on June 30, 2017. Perry announced on May 15, 2017, that the album's name is Witness and shall be released on June 9, 2017. Its accompanying world tour was titled Witness: The Tour. "Save As Draft" and "Hey Hey Hey" were later made into radio-only singles.
On October 8, 2018, Perry announced that she would be taking a break from music, stating "I've been on the road for like 10 years, so I'm just going to chill. I'm not going to go straight into making another record. I feel like I've done a lot. I feel like I've rung the bell of being a pop star very loudly, and I'm very grateful for that". She recorded a cover of "Waving Through a Window" from Dear Evan Hansen for the deluxe soundtrack, which was released on November 1, 2018.
On May 31, 2019, August 9, 2019 and October 16, 2019 respectively, Perry released three singles: "Never Really Over", "Small Talk" and "Harleys in Hawaii".