Cozy Little Christmas Artist: Katy Perry Release Date: November 15, 2018 More Info
Following the November 2007 release of the single "Ur So Gay", which caught the attention of Madonna, Perry saw her career take off with her next effort, "I Kissed a Girl". The song hit the top of the charts in the summer of 2008, propelling Perry's album, One of the Boys, into the Billboard Top 10. A follow-up single, "Hot n Cold", also charted highly.
Along with earning a Best Female Pop Vocal Performance Grammy nomination, Perry became famous for her theatricality. On the Warped Tour, she performed "I Kissed a Girl" with a giant tube of lip balm, referencing a line in the song. Perry has also jumped into a larger-than-life cake and appeared in a number of wild outfits while onstage. Describing her style as "Lucille Ball meets Bob Mackie", she told Esquire, "It's about innuendo. I want everybody to get the joke, but I want them to think about it for a minute."
In 2009, Perry appeared in her own acoustic special on MTV. The soundtrack from the show, Katy Perry: MTV Unplugged, was released around the same time.
Picking up where she left off, Perry released a new single with Snoop Dogg, "California Gurls", in May 2010. The single shot to the top of the charts, paving the way for its accompanying studio album, Teenage Dream, to do the same.
Perry's follow-up singles, "Teenage Dream", "Firework", "E.T." and "Last Friday Night (T.G.I.F.)" all followed the path of "California Gurls", making Perry just the second artist, after Michael Jackson, to have five No. 1 hits from a single album.
In 2012, she released a new edition of her hit album, called Teenage Dream: The Complete Confection. The record had several new tracks, including the successful singles "Part of Me" and "Wide Awake".
Perry continued to dominate the music charts with 2013's Prism. Its lead single, "Roar", climbed to No. 1, and "Dark Horse", her collaboration with Juicy J, also spent several weeks in the top spot, pushing Perry past Mariah Carey for most total weeks with a No. 1 hit (46). The album's fifth and final single, "This Is How We Do", featuring Riff Raff, also performed well.
A few months after the release of "Chained to the Rhythm", with Skip Marley, Perry dropped her latest studio effort, Witness, in June 2017. Witness debuted in the top spot, giving the artist her third straight No. 1 album.
Despite the announcement of the supporting Witness: The Tour, scheduled to run from September 2017 to August 2018, the album's sales dropped in the following weeks; after her previous three albums racked up a combined 17 million in sales, Witness was at a relatively modest total of 840,000 as of January 2018.
Perry had previously served as a guest judge on Idol in 2009, temporarily replacing Paula Abdul. Since then, she had turned down offers to appear on other singing competition shows, like The X Factor.
The pop star immediately made waves for her behavior during the two-part season premiere in March 2018: At one point she fell while dancing on stage in high heels, and at another moment she smooched a shy contestant who said he was saving his first kiss for someone special, drawing the ire of many on social media. Perry later returned with Bryan, Richie and Seacrest for the follow-up season in March 2019.
Fans might be surprised to learn that the singer who writes about sexual exploration in "I Kissed a Girl" grew up in a very conservative family. Both of her parents are pastors, and they refused to let her listen to any rock or popular music. "The only things I was allowed to listen to were the Sister Act 1 and 2 soundtracks," Perry told Entertainment Weekly. She and her two siblings were also not permitted to watch such cable channels as MTV and VH1.
With her mother, Perry made several trips to Nashville to record a gospel album, Katy Hudson, which was released in 2001. "It reached literally maybe 100 people, and then the label went bankrupt," Perry explained to Entertainment Weekly.
As a teenager, Perry was exposed to other musical influences. One friend introduced her to the music of Queen, which remains one of her favorite groups. "I'm very inspired by Freddie Mercury and how flamboyant and theatrical he was," she told fashion magazine WWD.
In high school, she strove to be her own person, choosing not to limit herself to one social group. "I was a hop-around. I hung out with the rockabilly crew, the guys who were trying to be rappers, the funny kids," she told Seventeen magazine.
Focused on her music, Perry got her GED and moved to Los Angeles to work with producer and songwriter Glen Ballard, who had collaborated with such artists as Christina Aguilera and Alanis Morissette. She was only 17 years old at time, and being on her own proved tough. "It was five years of living in L.A. with no money, writing bad checks, selling my clothes to make rent, [and] borrowing money," she told Seventeen.
Perry also experienced a string of disappointments before getting her big break. She and Ballard were unable to find a record company willing to take them on, and her 2004 collaboration with music producers-turned-performers The Matrix was scrapped shortly before the project was to be released. After having three record deals fall apart, Perry finally signed with Capitol Records in 2007.
In 2014, Perry also launched her own music label, Metamorphosis Music, as a subsidiary of Capitol. The label changed its name to Unsub Records in 2016.