Katy Perry's Early Life and Career:
Katy Perry was born October 25, 1984 in Santa Barbara, California. Both of her parents were pastors and she grew up listening primarily to Christian music. As a teenager, she recorded a Christian album Katy Hudson released in 2001 on Red Hill Records. Upon discovery of an album by the rock band Queen, Katy Perry adopted lead vocalist Freddie Mercury as one of her top musical influences. Alanis Morissette has also been identified as a key influence.
Work With Top Producers:
In 2004 Katy Perry began working with the production team The Matrix (perhaps best known for work on Avril Lavigne's self-titled debut) as an in-house vocalist. She also soon worked with producer Glen Ballard (the man behind Alanis Morissette's Jagged Little Pill) on an intended solo debut album. Despite being featured in Blender magazine as a "Next Big Thing," both projects fell apart.
The Sound of Katy Perry:
Katy Perry's lyrical wit has been likened to that of British female soloists Lily Allen and Kate Nash. However, her music is closer to the pop-rock of Avril Lavigne. The elements add up to a spunky, sassy approach uniquely Katy Perry.
Katy Perry Reviews:
"Ur So Gay":
Signed to Capitol Records, Katy Perry released a debut EP in fall 2007 titled Ur So Gay. The titled song's cheeky lyrics immediately drew attention. In a radio interview Madonna referred to "Ur So Gay" as her "favorite song right now." However, Perry also received backlash from multiple quarters identifying her song as homophobic and gay-baiting.
Pop Stardom for Katy Perry:
Instead of scuttling Katy Perry's fledgling career, "Ur So Gay" created a buzz around the singer-songwriter. Her first official single "I Kissed a Girl" appeared in May 2008 and quickly became a smash hit. It rose to #1 on the pop singles chart amid more controversy. The song was derided in some quarters for promoting promiscuity and encouraging homosexuality. Katy Perry's first full-length album One of the Boys was released in June 2008. It was a top 10 hit and certified platinum. Follow up singles "Hot 'n' Cold" and "Waking Up In Vegas" also reached the pop top 10.
In May 2010 Katy Perry released the single "California Gurls" with a guest appearance from Snoop Dogg. It was recorded as a west coast answer to Jay-Z's #1 smash "Empire State of Mind." "California Gurls" debuted at #2 on the Billboard Hot 100 selling over 290,000 digital downloads in its first week of release. Soon it was #1 and sold over two million copies in its first week of release. The song has gone to #1 in countries around the world.