Katy Perry (born Katheryn Elizabeth Hudson; October 25, 1984) is an American singer, songwriter and actress. Born in Santa Barbara, California, and raised byChristian pastor parents, Perry grew up listening to only gospel music and sang in her local church as a child. After earning a GED during her first year of high school, she began to pursue a career in music. As Katy Hudson, she released a self-titled gospel album in 2001, which was unsuccessful. She later recorded an album with production team The Matrix and completed the majority of a solo album from 2004–05, the later of which was never released. Perry is the first female artist to get five hits on the Billboard Hot 100 in one year.
After signing with Capitol Music Group in 2007, her fourth record label in seven years, she adopted the stage name Katy Perry and released her first Internet single "Ur So Gay" that November, which garnered public attention but failed to chart. She rose to fame with the release of her second single "I Kissed a Girl" in 2008, which went on to top international charts. Perry's first mainstream studio album One of the Boys followed later that year and subsequently became the 33rd-best selling album worldwide of 2008. It was accredited platinum certification by the Recording Industry Association of America, while "I Kissed a Girl" and her second single "Hot n Cold" both received multi-platinum certifications. In 2009, Billboard magazine named her the 51th-best-selling music artist of the 2000–2009 decade.
Her second studio album Teenage Dream was released in August 2010 and debuted at number one on the Billboard 200. The album included the Billboard chart-toppers "California Gurls", "Teenage Dream", "Firework", and "E.T." and most recently "Last Friday Night (T.G.I.F.)". The album produced five Hot 100 toppers, and was only the second album—after Michael Jackson's Bad—to do so. With "E.T." at number one on the chart of May 12, 2011, Perry became the first artist in history to spend 52 consecutive weeks in the top 10 of the Billboard Hot 100, she remained in total 69th consecutive weeks in the Top 10.
Perry was a guest judge on the seventh series of British television show The X Factor, has released a fragrance called "Purr", and voices Smurfette in the 2011 film The Smurfs. Perry had a long relationship with Travie McCoy; she married Russell Brand on October 23, 2010.
Perry has a contralto vocal range. Perry's first album is of the gospel music genre. 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. Her next album Teenage Dream featured more pop songs in the vein of Boys. 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. In her tribute to Mercury on what would have been his 65th birthday, Perry stated; "Without you I wouldn't be making music or doing what I do because your lyrics inspired me as a 15 year old girl." She was especially inspired by the Queen song, "Killer Queen" to pursue a career in pop music after her first album. She also described Morissette's album, Jagged Little Pill as having influenced her music profoundly; even going on to work with Morissette's collaborator on the album, Glen Ballard because of that.
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 "lez ploitational". 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."
Perry is known for her unconventional style of dress. It is often humorous, bright in color, and reminiscent of different decades, and she frequently used fruit-shaped accessories, mainly watermelon, as part of her outfits. Since the Teenage Dream era, Perry has included more glamorous and food-related outfits in her wardrobe. Having learned dancing at an early age, she fantasized 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 style as "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. 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. She has appeared in FHM Magazine's 100 Sexiest Women poll twice, ranking at No.23 in 2009 and No.37 in 2010.
She was ranked 7th in Rolling Stone's global Queen of Pop poll in July 2011. Perry is also a gay activist. According to Dosomething.org, Perry had stated "I am a gay activist and I say that proudly. I voted no on Prop 8 [California’s Nov. 4, 2008 amendment declaring that marriage is definied as a union solely between a man and a woman], of course."