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Katheryn Elizabeth Hudson (born October 25, 1984), better known by her stage name Katy Perry, is an Americanmarker 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".

Perry was born and raised in Santa Barbaramarker by Christian pastor parents and grew up listening only to gospel music. After earning a GED during her freshman year of high school, she began to pursue a music career.

As Katy Hudson, she released a self-titled gospel album in 2001. In 2004, she recorded an album with production team The Matrix, but it was never released. After signing on with Capitol Music Group in 2007, she took on stage name Katy Perry and released her first mainstream album, One of the Boys.

Early life

Katy Perry was born Katheryn Elizabeth Hudson in Santa Barbaramarker, California. The second 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 Zimbabwemarker". Her father was a West Coast scenester in the 1960s. Perry's uncle and aunt were director Frank Perry and screenwriter Eleanor Perry.

Baptized a Christian, Perry was incorporated to her parents' ministry, and she started singing in their church from the age of nine; she continued singing in the church until she was 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 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 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 it to 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.

Recording career

2001–07: 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 Nashvillemarker, 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. 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, 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 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.

2008–09: One of the Boys



After signing to Capitol Recordsmarker, 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 Arizonamarker. 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. 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, and poses 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, 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 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, 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 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 "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.

On May 16, 2009, Perry performed at the opening ceremony of the annual Life Ball in Viennamarker, Austriamarker. 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.

2009–Present: MTV Unplugged and second studio album

On August 28, Coloradomarker-based band 3OH!3 released a remix of their song "Starstrukk" which features Perry as guest vocalist; 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.

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.

Perry recorded a track titled "If We Meet Again" with Timbaland, which is to appear on his upcoming album, Shock Value 2.

Perry began working on her second studio album in October 2009. It has been announced that she is working with Greg Wells, Dr Luke, Max Martin, Calvin Harris, The Dream and Christopher "Tricky" Stewart, so far.

Music and themes

Katy Perry performing in August 2008
Perry 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 singing


Perry is known for her unconventional style of dress. It is often humorous, bright in color, and reminiscent of different decades, and frequently uses fruit-shaped accessories, mainly watermelon, as part of her outfits. Her dark hair is signature to her look, but, as the music video to "Ur So Gay" shows, her hair is naturally blonde and she dyed her hair and eyebrows a darker color. 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 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.

Philanthropy

On November 14, 2009, Perry will be headlining the biggest fund-raising event for the typhoon survivors of Typhoon Ondoy. Guest performers are Arnel Pineda and Neal Schon of Journey, American rock band MAE, and Jed Madela.

All net proceeds from the concert will be donated to the Philippine National Red Cross, the concert’s sole beneficiary. The concert will also be an avenue for people to drop off their donations as it will have house booths specifically intended for it.

Personal life

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. The two began dating again in early 2009 and broke up again a few months later. Perry is currently dating UK comedian Russell Brand as of September 2009.

Discography

Studio albums
Live albums


Awards and nominations

References

External links




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