Katy Perry

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Katy Perry kissed a girl...and she liked it, too. So goes the chorus to her smash hit "I Kissed a Girl", the super catchy and dance-friendly New Wave-esque track that put pop sensation Katy Perry on the map. Though her scandalous hit single has topped the music charts in twenty countries - even garnering praise from America's reigning queen of pop, Madonna - it wasn't exactly her first attempt at music. Before she began singing about female lip-locking, Katy Perry made her debut as a gospel artist. It's true.

Born Katheryn Elizabeth Hudson in Santa Barbara, California, Katy began her musical career singing in the church choir as a youngster. The daughter of two pastors, she grew up in a very conservative household, originally aspiring to be a gospel singer. Katy made her musical debut at age 16, releasing a gospel album titled Katy Hudson on an independent label in 2001. Though it created some buzz in the Christian music scene, it failed to attract a large amount of attention. As she grew older Katy began to drift away from Christian music, citing Queen, Alanis Morissette, and Incubus as acts that inspired her to try out a new musical sound. She was particularly inspired by Queen's lead singer Freddie Mercury, well known for his energetic stage presence and flamboyant dress.

Though Katy Hudson was her birth name, she soon adopted the stage name Katy Perry - the name she currently uses - to avoid confusion with actress Kate Hudson. After the release of her gospel album, Katy began working on a mainstream pop debut with production trio The Matrix (hitmakers who have worked for Avril Lavigne and Shakira, among others) as early as 2004, though she had difficulty securing a recording contract in her early years. Her music eventually came to the attention of Virgin Records CEO Jason Flom (Tori Amos, Stone Temple Pilots), who secured her a deal with Virgin partner label Capitol in early 2007.

Katy released her first official single in late 2007, a tongue-in-cheek breakup ballad called "Ur So Gay". Making fun of a pretty-boy ex lover, "Ur So Gay" received mixed criticism, with some regarding the track as edgy and playful while others considered it immature and mildly homophobic. Discriminatory or not, "Ur So Gay's" over-the-top ambiguosity put Katy Perry on the map, paving the way for her wildly successful second single "I Kissed a Girl", which saw an early 2008 release. Released just in time for her June 2008 mainstream debut One of the Boys, "I Kissed a Girl" became a hit almost immediately, clogging up the airwaves and receiving heavy rotation on MTV and VH1 in the days after its official release.

Though some were quick to once again accuse Katy of gay-bashing and insensitivity in "I Kissed a Girl", the song only caused her popularity to skyrocket, with Katy embarking as a featured artist on the summer long Vans Warped Tour music festival throughout 2008 alongside her boyfriend Travis McCoy, lead singer of Gym Class Heroes. Currently, Katy has released one additional single in support of One of the Boys ("Hot n Cold"), which is has sold well over 400,000 copies to date. Hey, controversy sells.

From Discogs:

US-American singer-songwriter and musician. She was born 25 October 1984 in Santa Barbara, California, USA.

From Lastfm:

Katheryn Elizabeth Hudson (born October 25, 1984), better known by her stage name Katy Perry, is an American singer-songwriter and musician. Perry rose to fame in 2007 with her internet hit "Ur So Gay", and has since had three number one hits, in the forms of 'I Kissed a Girl', 'California Gurls' and 'Teenage Dream'.

Perry was born and raised in Santa Barbara, California, United States 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. Perry's musical influences include Alanis Morissette, pop rockers Cyndi Lauper, Pat Benatar, Joan Jett, Shirley Manson, and Freddie Mercury.

As Katy Hudson, she released a self-titled gospel album in 2001. In 2004, she recorded an album with production team The Matrix. 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. Her newest album, Teenage Dream, was released on August 24, 2010 in the United States, and went worldwide August 30, 2010.

Katy married UK comedian Russell Brand in India on October 23rd 2010.

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From Wikipedia:

Katheryn Elizabeth Hudson (born October 25, 1984), better known by her stage name Katy Perry, is an American singer-songwriter and musician. Perry was born in Santa Barbara, California, and raised by Christian pastor parents; she grew up listening to only gospel music and sang in church as a child. After earning a GED during her freshman year of high school, she began to pursue a music career. She released a self-titled gospel album in 2001 as Katy Hudson which failed with the closing of its record label that year. She recorded an album with production team The Matrix and completed most of a solo album from 2004-2005, neither of which were released.

After signing on 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 attention but did not chart. She rose to fame with her second single "I Kissed a Girl" in 2008, which topped international charts. Perry's first mainstream album, One of the Boys, followed later that year and was eventually announced to be the thirty-third best selling album of 2008 worldwide. It was accredited platinum certification by the Recording Industry Association of America; "I Kissed a Girl" and her second single "Hot N Cold" both received multi-platinum certifications. Perry was ranked the 97th Artist of the 2000-10 decade by Billboard. She became known for wearing unconventional style of dress, often combining colors and vintage fashion. Her next album, Teenage Dream, is scheduled to be released in August 2010.

Perry had a long relationship with Travis McCoy; she is currently engaged to Russell Brand.

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