Katy Perry (born: Katheryn Elizabeth Hudson; October 25, 1984) is an American award-winning recording artist, businesswoman, philanthropist, and actress from Santa Barbara. She is also the first female artist to have 5 number one singles on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 from one album, (Teenage Dream) and the second artist to accomplish such a feat (the first artist being Michael Jackson with his 1987 album Bad). She is also noted for her fashion, which is often humorous, bright in color, reminiscent of different decades, and has often included food designs. Her philanthropy includes working with UNICEF to assist Madagascar children with education and nutrition.
Early lifeShe 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.
|“||Growing up I wasn't really allowed to listen to a whole lot of what my mom would call, secular music, and so I didn't have a whole lot of references as far as like, when the producer I was doing my demos was with was like, Okay so, who would you want to work with if you could work with anybody? I was like, I really have no idea.||”|
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.
1999—2006: Career beginnings
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 "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.
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 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.
2007—2009: One of the Boys
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.
2010—2012: Teenage Dream
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 "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".
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".
2016—2019: Witness and stand-alone releases
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, "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 March 5, 2020, Perry released a stand-alone single titled "Never Worn White", which she used to announce her pregnancy. She later released "Daisies", the lead single from Smile, on May 15, 2020. She then released "Smile" and conformed the title. Then, she announced the album would be pushed back (due to "unavoidable delays") from the original date to two weeks. She also conformed that "Never Really Over" and "Harleys in Hawaii" are on the album.
Before her pop career hit the big time, Perry dated Sons of Anarchy actor Johnny Lewis for a year until 2006.
Katy Perry had an affair with the singer of the band Gym Class Heroes, Travie McCoy. McCoy and Perry were in a relationship for 2 years before splitting. McCoy told Mass Media that the main reason for their break up was Perry's successful career. She became so rich and popular that he was afraid of it. McCoy began to use drugs and soon became addicted, with Perry attempting to helping him. She later got tired of it and broke up with him, writing about her decision through email.
The second loud love affair Katy Perry had was with Russell Brand. The comedy actor, known by his voice job in Despicable Me 2, and the singer were married in 2010. They split and then divorced in 2012. It was Brand who filed for the divorce. Neither Brand nor Perry spoke about the reason for the split publicly. Their divorce was friendly and calm, however, Perry spoke about having suicidal thoughts following the divorce on the Prism song "By the Grace of God".
After her divorce, Perry hooked up with another infamous ladies man, John Mayer. The music duo began dating in 2012, however, they split and got back together at least five times over the next three years. According to People, the two broke up for good in 2016 for "being too different". Perry later stated that she loved the person who called her 'prism', which was Mayer.
Following this, Perry got together with actor Orlando Bloom after some serious flirting at the Golden Globes after-party. They split around the end of February 2017, with Perry making a statement that the reason for their break up was that on the eve of the Oscars, the actor was taken by another girl. A year later, it was confirmed by Perry that the two had gotten back together following many rumors. They announced their engagement on February 14, 2019. The following year, on March 5, 2020, Perry announced that she was pregnant with her first child through the music video for "Never Worn White", a song about her relationship with Bloom. It was also revealed that she plans to marry Bloom in Japan; however, their wedding has been postponed due to concerns over the COVID-19 pandemic.
During the early stages of her career, Perry's musical style gravitated towards gospel and she aspired to be as successful as Amy Grant. At the age of 15, she heard Queen's "Killer Queen", which inspired her to pursue a career in music. She cites the band's frontman, Freddie Mercury, as her biggest influence and expressed how the "combination of his sarcastic approach to writing lyrics and his 'I don't give a fuck' attitude" inspired her music. She paid homage to the band by naming her third fragrance Killer Queen. Perry described The Beach Boys and their album Pet Sounds as having a considerable influence on her music: "Pet Sounds is one of my favorite records and it influenced pretty much all of my songwriting. All of the melody choices that I make are because of Pet Sounds". The singer also holds the Beatles' album The Beatles in high esteem, and described these two albums as "the only things I listened to for probably two years straight".
Perry cites Alanis Morissette and her 1995 album Jagged Little Pill as a significant musical inspiration, and opted to work with Morissette's frequent collaborator Ballard as a result. Perry stated, "Jagged Little Pill was the most perfect female record ever made. There's a song for anyone on that record; I relate to all those songs. They’re still so timeless". Additionally, Perry borrows influence from Flaming Red by Patty Griffin and 10 Cent Wings by Jonatha Brooke. Perry intends to become "more of a Joni Mitchell", releasing folk and acoustic music. Perry's autobiographical documentary Katy Perry: Part of Me was largely influenced by Madonna: Truth or Dare. She admires Madonna’s ability to reinvent herself, saying "I want to evolve like Madonna", and has credited Madonna for inspiring her to make Prism "darker" than her previous material.
Perry names Björk as an influence, particularly admiring her "willingness to always be taking chances". Other musicians who Perry has cited as influences include ABBA, The Cardigans, Cyndi Lauper, Ace of Base, 3OH!3, CeCe Peniston, C+C Music Factory, Black Box, Crystal Waters, Mariah Carey, Heart, Joni Mitchell, Paul Simon, Imogen Heap, Rufus Wainwright, Pink, and Gwen Stefani. "Firework" was inspired by a passage in the book On the Road by Jack Kerouac in which the author compares people who are full of life to fireworks that shoot across the sky and make people watch in awe. Her second concert tour, the California Dreams Tour, was reminiscent of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. She also credits the 1996 movie The Craft for inspiring her song "Dark Horse", and Eckhart Tolle’s book The Power of Now for influencing Prism.
Musical style and themes
|“||When I am in between records, sometimes I doubt myself. I'll be like 'Did I just get lucky, or did I mass-manipulate the world into thinking that seven songs were worth a number-one position?' And then I go back into the studio and I start writing, and the true essential oil of who I am comes bubbling back up and reminds me that it's always been inside of me, that nobody can take this away no matter what comment anyone makes."||”|
While Perry’s music incorporates pop, rock, and disco, Katy Hudson contains gospel. Her subsequent releases, One of the Boys and Teenage Dream, involve themes of sex and love. One of the Boys is a pop rock record, while Teenage Dream features disco influences. Perry’s fourth album, Prism, is significantly influenced by dance and pop music. Lyrically, the album addresses relationships, self-reflection, and everyday life. Many of her songs, particularly on Teenage Dream, reflect on love between teenagers; W described the album’s sexual innuendos as "irresistible hook-laden melodies". Self-empowerment is a common theme in Perry’s music.
Perry describes herself as a "singer-songwriter masquerading as a pop star" and maintains that honest songwriting is very important to her. She told Marie Claire: "I feel like my secret magic trick that separates me from a lot of my peers is the bravery to be vulnerable and truthful and honest. I think you become more relatable when you’re vulnerable". Kristen Wiig commented that "as easy, breezy, and infectious as Perry’s songs can be, beneath the surface lurks a sea of mixed emotions, jumbled motives, and contradictory impulses complicated enough to fill a Carole King record". According to Greg Kot of Chicago Tribune, "being taken seriously may be Perry’s greatest challenge yet". The New York Times labeled her "the most potent pop star of the day — her hits are relatable with just a hint of experimentation". Randall Roberts of Los Angeles Times criticized her use of idioms and metaphors in her lyrics and for frequent "clichés". Throughout her career, Perry has co-written songs recorded by other artists, including Selena Gomez & the Scene, Jessie James Decker, Kelly Clarkson, Lesley Roy, Britney Spears, Iggy Azalea, and Nicki Minaj.
Perry has a contralto vocal range. Her singing has received both praise and criticism. Betty Clarke of The Guardian commented that her "powerful voice is hard-edged" while Rob Sheffield from Rolling Stone described Perry’s vocals on Teenage Dream as "processed staccato blips". Darren Harvey of musicOMH compared Perry’s vocals on One of the Boys to Alanis Morissette’s, both possessing a "perky voice shifting octaves mid-syllable". Alex Miller from NME felt that "Perry’s problem is often her voice" on One of the Boys, stating that "somewhere along the line someone convinced her she was like, well, a ballsy rock chick". Conversely, Bernadette McNulty from The Daily Telegraph praised her "rock chick voice" in a review of a concert promoting Prism.
Public imagePerry is considered a sex symbol; GQ labelled her a «full-on male fantasy», while Elle described her body "as though sketched by a teenage boy". Vice described her as a "'serious' popstar/woman/sex symbol". She was placed at number one on the Maxim Hot 100 in 2010 as the «most beautiful woman in the world», with editor Joe Levy describing her as a "triple — no quadruple — kind of hot". Men’s Health readers voted her the "sexiest woman of 2013". In November 2010, Perry told Harper’s Bazaar that she was proud of and satisfied with her figure.
Perry’s fashion often incorporates humor, bright colors, and food-related themes such as her trademark spinning peppermint swirl dress. Vogue described her as "never exactly one to shy away from the outrageous or the extreme in any realm", while Glamour named her the "queen of quirk". In February 2009, Perry told Seventeen that her fashion style was "a bit of a concoction of different things" and stated she enjoyed humor in her clothing. She has also described herself as having "multipersonality disorder" for fashion. Perry lists Gwen Stefani, Shirley Manson, Chloë Sevigny, Daphne Guinness, Natalie Portman, and the fictional character Lolita as her style icons.
On social media, Perry surpassed Justin Bieber as the most followed person on Twitter in November 2013. She won the 2015 Guinness World Record for most Twitter followers, and became the first person to gain 90 million followers on the site in July 2016. Forbes writer Dorothy Pomerantz commended Perry on her social media usage, saying "Perry makes excellent use of Twitter, talking to her fans and sharing funny photos and videos in a way that makes them all feel like Perry is their best buddy". Keith Caulfield of Billboard stated that she is "the rare celebrity who seems to have enormous popularity but genuine ground-level interaction with her adoring KatyCats".
In 2011, Forbes ranked Perry third on their "Top-Earning Women In Music" list with earnings of $44 million and fifth on their 2012 list with $45 million. She subsequently ranked seventh on the 2013 Forbes list for "Top-Earning Women In Music" with $39 million earned, and fifth on their 2014 list with $40 million. With earnings of $135 million, Forbes also ranked Perry number one on their 2015 "Top-Earning Women In Music" list as well as the "World’s Highest-Paid Musicians" and declared her the highest earning female celebrity in 2015, placing her at number 3 on the Forbes Celebrity 100 list. In 2016, the magazine estimated her net worth was $125 million, and ranked her number six on the their list of "Highest-Paid Women in Music" with earnings of $41 million.
PhilanthropyPerry has supported various charitable organizations and causes during her career. She has contributed to organizations aimed at improving the lives and welfare of children in particular. In April 2013, she joined UNICEF to assist children in Madagascar with education and nutrition. On December 3, 2013, she was officially named a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador, "with a special focus on engaging young people in the agency’s work to improve the lives of the world’s most vulnerable children and adolescents". She arranged for a portion of the money generated from tickets to her Prismatic World Tour to go to UNICEF. In September 2010, she helped build and design the Boys Hope/Girls Hope foundation shelter for youth in Baltimore, Maryland along with Raven-Symoné, Shaquille O’Neal, and the cast of Extreme Makeover: Home Edition.
She has also supported children’s education and well-being. All profits from sales of the album The Gay Nineties Old Tyme Music: Daisy Bell, which includes her rendition of "Daisy Bell (Bicycle Built for Two)", were donated to the charity Little Kids Rock, which supports musical education in underprivileged elementary schools. In June 2014, she teamed up with Staples Inc. for a project entitled "Make Roar Happen" which donated $1 million to DonorsChoose, an organization that supports teachers and funds classroom resources in public schools. In May 2016, she worked with UNICEF to improve child care quality in Vietnam, hoping to "break the cycle of poverty and drastically improve children’s health, education and well-being". The following month, UNICEF announced that Perry would receive the Audrey Hepburn Humanitarian Award "for her work as a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador in support of the world’s most vulnerable children" at their annual Snowflake Ball in November.
Perry has supported organizations aimed at aiding people suffering with diseases including cancer and HIV/AIDS. During the 2008 Warped Tour, she had a cast made of her breasts to raise money for the Keep A Breast Foundation. She hosted and performed at the We Can Survive concert along with Bonnie McKee, Kacey Musgraves, Sara Bareilles, Ellie Goulding, and duo Tegan and Sara at the Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles, California, on October 23, 2013. The concert’s profits were donated to Young Survival Coalition, an organization aiding breast cancer in young women. In June 2009, she designed an item of clothing for H&M's "Fashion Against AIDS" campaign, which raises money for HIV/AIDS awareness projects. On February 26, 2017, she served as a co-chair alongside various celebrities such as Beyoncé, Lea Michele, Jim Carrey, Jared Leto, and Kevin Spacey for the 25th Annual Elton John AIDS Foundation Academy Award Party, a fundraiser for HIV/AIDS healthcare.
The proceeds from Perry’s single "Part of Me" were donated to the charity MusiCares, which helps musicians in times of need. During her California Dreams Tour, she raised over $175,000 for the Tickets-For-Charity fundraiser. The money was divided between three charities: the Children’s Health Fund (CHF), Generosity Water, and The Humane Society of the United States. On her 27th birthday, Perry set up a donations page for the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Auckland, and set up a similar page benefiting the David Lynch Foundation for her 28th birthday. On March 29, 2014, she helped raise $2.4 million for the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles along with other celebrities such as Ryan Seacrest, Pharrell Williams, Tim Allen, Lisa Edelstein, and Riley Keough.Perry performed at the One Love Manchester benefit concert for the victims of the 2017 Manchester Arena bombing, amongst several other performers including the organiser, Ariana Grande.
Perry is a LGBT rights activist. She supported Stonewall during their "It gets better….. today" campaign to prevent homophobic bullying, and dedicated the music video to her song "Firework" to the It Gets Better Project. Perry told Do Something in November 2008 she was proud to be a gay activist, saying "I’ve always been a very open-minded person, but I definitely believe in equality". She confirmed that she voted against Proposition 8, an amendment (ultimately ruled unconstitutional) that legally defined marriage as a union solely between a man and a woman in California. In June 2012, Perry expressed her hopes for LGBT equality, commenting "hopefully, we will look back at this moment and think like we do now concerning [other] civil rights issues. We’ll just shake our heads in disbelief, saying, 'Thank God we’ve evolved.' That would be my prayer for the future". In December 2012, Perry was awarded the Trevor Hero Award by The Trevor Project for her work and activism on behalf of LGBT youth. On March 18, 2017, she received a Nation Equality Award from Human Rights Campaign for "using her powerful voice and international platform to speak out for LGBTQ equality", with the organization further stating that "Katy’s message of inclusion and equality continues to inspire us and the world".
Perry describes herself as a feminist, and appeared in April 2013 in a video clip for the "Chime For Change" campaign that aimed to spread female empowerment. She has also said that America’s lack of free health care drove her "absolutely crazy". Following the shooting at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando in June 2016, Perry and nearly 200 other artists and executives in music signed an open letter organized by Billboard addressed to United States Congress demanding increased gun control in the United States.
Through Twitter and by performing at his rallies, Perry supported President Barack Obama in his run for re-election and praised his support for same-sex marriage and LGBT equality. She performed at three rallies for Obama, in Los Angeles, Las Vegas, and Wisconsin, singing a rendition of "Let’s Stay Together" as well as a number of her songs. During her Las Vegas performance she wore a dress made to replicate a voting ballot, with Obama’s box filled in. On Twitter, she encouraged her followers to vote for Obama.In August 2013, Perry voiced criticism of Tony Abbott, then-Leader of Conservative Liberal Party of Australia and candidate for Prime Minister of Australia, due to his opposition to gay marriage and told Abbott, "I love you as a human being but I can’t give you my vote". In April 2014, she publicly supported Marianne Williamson in her campaign for California’s 33rd congressional district by attending a political press event. She endorsed Kamala Harris in the United States Senate election in California, and organized a fundraiser for Harris at her home in Los Angeles in November 2016. Perry also publicly endorsed former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton for president in 2016. She performed alongside Elton John at a fundraising concert for Clinton in New York City in March 2016. Perry also spoke and performed at the 2016 Democratic National Convention to endorse Hillary Clinton.
- Main article: List of awards and nominations received by Katy Perry
Perry was declared the Top Global Female Recording Artist of 2013 by the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI). According to Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), she is the third best-selling digital singles artist in the United States, with certified sales of 83.5 million digital singles including on-demand streaming. Her songs "Firework", "E.T.", "California Gurls", "Hot N Cold", "Roar", and "Dark Horse" have each sold over 5 million digital copies. Throughout her career, Perry has sold 100 million records globally and is one of the best-selling musical artists of all time. On June 17, 2016, Perry became the first person to have 100 Million followers on Twitter. Additionally, she is the most followed female on the site.
- Main article: Discography
- Katy Hudson (2001)
(A) Katy Perry(2005)
- One of the Boys (2008)
- Teenage Dream (2010)
- Prism (2013)
- Witness (2017)
- Smile (2020)
- MTV Unplugged (2009)
- Warped Tour 2008 (2008)
- Hello Katy Tour (2009)
- Teenage Dream Tour (2010)
- California Dreams Tour (2010—2012)
- Prismatic World Tour (2014—2015)
- Witness: The Tour (2017—2018)