My Pop Star, 'Tis of Thee
Katy Perry is an American pop singer and songwriter.
Real name Katheryn Elizabeth Hudson, Katy Perry
was born as the second child to Christian pastor parents Keith Hudson and Mary Hudson (neé Perry) on October 24, 1984 in Santa Barbara
. Along with her older sister and younger brother, she was raised in a deeply religious family.
Growing up listening to only gospel music, her first experience of performing was singing in church, thus a passion for music grew. At the age of fifteen Perry began visiting Nashville, gaining experience of recording demos and songwriting. At some point, Katy signed on to Christian record label Red Hill, and at the age of 17, she released a Christian pop album under her birth name but wasn't successful.
Perry then moved to Los Angeles
, collaborating with producer Glen Ballard though was unable to secure a lasting record deal. She signed to Columbia Records
in 2004, but was dropped when this proved futile. However, an executive at Columbia recommended Katy Perry to Jason Flom, Virgin Records’ chairmen, resulting in her singing for Capitol Music Group.
She recorded her first album One of the Boys
and in spring of 2008, released lead single I Kissed a Girl
, which proved to be a smash hit at number one slot in several countries where other hit singles followed, the album becoming a commercial success. Her second album, Teenage Dream
spawned more huge hits where many awards and music industry records followed. In 2012, she released the documentary feature film Katy Perry: Part of Me
, and Teenage Dream
was re-released to promote the film.
In 2013, she struck back with the fierce "Roar" and announced that her third album, Prism
, was going to be released in October 2013.
She married English comedian Russell Brand
in 2010, but they divorced in early 2012 and owns a cat named Kitty Purry who has its own blog. Yes, really
. As noted by certain people, she looks like Bettie Page
and Zooey Deschanel
. Katy herself
declared she'd like to make a movie where she and Zooey played Creepy Twins
- Accidental Pun: A line from "I'm Still Breathing":
- The song could be about an insecure girl who's either attempting suicide or "killing off" her relationship and doesn't hope for the guy to remember her for fear of guilt.
- AcCENT Upon the Wrong SylLABle: "UnCONdiTIONally".
- Adorkable: "Last Friday Night."
- Also, her in the behind the scenes of "Last Friday Night". (Along with almost every other star in it.)
- Aesop Amnesia: In-universe, in "Last Friday Night".
Yeah I think we broke the law/Always say we're gonna stop-op/Whoa-oh-oah/This Friday night/Do it all again.
- All Just a Dream: Played with in "Roar". At the end of the video Katy wakes up back in her airplane seat, but it turns out she's turned the wrecked plane into her shelter on the island.
- Amazon Brigade: In "Part of Me".
- Ambiguous Gender: The Littlest Cancer Patient in the music video for "Firework."
- Ancient Egypt: The setting for the "Dark Horse" music video, featuring Katy as a Cleopatra-like pharaoh.
- ...And That Little Girl Was Me: The twist endings in "Pearl" and the "Wide Awake" music video
- Artistic License – Astronomy: Unless she is singing about Space Ghost in "E.T.," the words "extraterrestrial" and "supernatural" don't really have anything to do with each other.
- Ascended Extra: The Kathy Beth Terry character first appeared at the 2010 Teen Choice Awards, which Katy hosted.
- Auto Erotica: Mentioned in "The One that Got Away":
Summer after high school when we first met/We make out in your Mustang to Radiohead
- Bait-and-Switch Lesbians: Katy Perry had a sizable lesbian fan base after the release of "I Kissed a Girl" until they actually listened to the lyrics and realized that the song was about a heterosexual girl's drunken experiments. And, for the more usual use of the trope... in the music video, she never does.
- Big Breast Pride: She is very proud of them and the Fanservice in her videos and concerts is deliberate and intentional.
"I lay on my back one night and looked down at my feet, and I prayed to God. I said, 'God, will you please let me have boobs so big that I can't see my feet when I'm lying down?'"
- Boldly Coming: "E.T."
- Braces of Orthodontic Overkill: Katy wears them as Kathy Beth Terry in the music video for "Last Friday Night".
- Breakup Song: "Part of Me", "Ghost", "Not Like The Movies".
- The Cameo: The video for Last Friday Night has tons: Darren Criss, Kevin McHale, Kenny G, Hanson, Rebecca Black, Corey Feldman, and Debbie Gibson.
- Canon Discontinuity, Retool: How many people actually knew of Katy's first album? It seems to have slipped under the radar of even Christian pop fans.
- Captain Ersatz: See the Germans Love David Hasselhoff section.
- Christian Pop: Her first album.
- Her secular albums also include Christian-influenced songs. "One of the Boys" has "Lost", and "Teenage Dream" has "Who Am I Living For". In particular, some songs from Prism could fall into this, such as "By the Grace of God", "Spiritual", and "Unconditionally"
- Cleavage Window: At the Grammys
- The Cobbler's Children Have No Shoes: She's the daughter of pastors, so naturally, she sings songs about lesbian experimentation, has music videos of her smiling seductively while wearing nothing but cotton candy over her ass, and does dance moves that mimic blow jobs.
- Averted at first, since she started off as a Christian "Rock" singer. Also, she still considers herself to be a Christian, and even has a "Jesus" tattoo on her left wrist.
- Averted a second time, since in recent years, her music, attire, videos, and performances have become significantly more modest.
- Continuity Nod: Her music video for "Wide Awake" starts off at the end to "California Gurls". After the music video ends, she goes onstage at a concert to perform "Teenage Dream". Other less obvious ones includes : the strawberry about One Of The Boys (the album)/the Hello Katy Tour and various nods at the videos for Last Friday Night, Part Of Me, E.T and most obviously Firework.
- The video for "This Is How We Do" features a scene where Katy has a Watermelon (Hot N Cold CD single), Heart shaped glasses (Teenage Dream era) and a Pizza dress (referencing the pizza, It Makes Sense in Context, from the Prismatic World Tour).
- Costume Porn: Her California Dreams tour was a showcase for an array of crazy/cartoonish/candy-themed costumes.
- The video for "Unconditionally" is a more traditional example of this, being inspired by Anna Karenina.
- Darker and Edgier: "Circle the Drain" sounds much darker than her typical upbeat pop music. Also, "E.T" could fall under this.
- Perry herself said that Prism would be this. The album later had a more happier direction, but still, most of the second half of the album (such as "Ghost", "Spiritual" and "By the Grace of God") sound very darker (and at times even sadder) than your average Katy Perry song.
- Contrary to popular belief, "One of the Boys" is not all upbeat pop songs, and includes a lot of serious, dark, or sad songs, such as "Lost" and "I'm Still Breathing". Even "Teenage Dream" has serious songs, such as "Who Am I Living For".
- Dedication: International Smile for Mia Moretti, her muse.
- Does Not Like Men: Some people accused her of being a misandrist after her first album, which contains such pleasantries as "Yeah you... PMS... like a bitch... I would know!" being said to a guy ("Hot 'n' Cold"), a song about how gay a guy is ("Ur So Gay", obviously; emasculating him for being a vegetarian, even), and an Archie Comics-esque song about how a guy must always foot the bill ("If You Can Afford Me"). Katy appears to have averted this trope, though.
- Do Not Taunt Cthulhu: "Dark Horse"
- Double Entendre: "Birthday", the whole thing. Let's just say the song isn't really about celebrating ones birthday party...
- Dream Sequence: "Wide Awake".
- Driven to Suicide: By The Grace Of God she stopped being so depressed.
- Drugs Are Bad: "Circle the Drain," which deals with breaking up with a drug-addicted lover.
- Early-Bird Cameo: Kathy Beth Terry, her nerdy alter-ego from "Last Friday Night", first appeared at the 2010 Teen Choice Awards.
- Prior to "I Kissed A Girl" breaking her into the mainstream, Katy herself is seen as the Last Girl Wins in the music video for Gym Class Heroes' "Cupid's Chokehold".
- Early Installment Weirdness: That Christian pop album.
- Epic Fail: She mentions this trope by name in "Last Friday Night".
- Flipping the Bird: In the "California Gurls" music video, a gummi bear gives Katy the finger (though it's censored).
- Forbidden Fruit: In "I Kissed a Girl"
It felt so wrong. It felt so right."
- Former Friend of Alpha Bitch: Rebecca Black in the Last Friday Night series of promotional videos. She and Kathy Beth Terry reconcile in the actual music video.
- Friend to All Living Things: She becomes one after she ends up in a jungle in the music video for "Roar"; an elephant gives her a shower with its trunk, she brushes the teeth of a crocodile and tames a tiger and makes it her pet.
- Funny Background Event: Many of her videos feature some. "California Gurls" has a sign edited to say Sundae Boulevard instead of Sunset.
- Gag Boobs: Where to start? In her various videos, her breasts have shot out fireworks, whipped cream and glitter. She's worn bras made out of candy, dice, pokeballs and practically everything imaginable. They're practically comedy props by now.
- And, don't forget her guest shot on SNL, when the Elmo T-shirt she wore had some Really Big Eyes.
- Genki Girl: When appearing on talk shows, she's extremely cheerful and excitable.
- Girliness Upgrade: The focus of "One of the Boys" (the song), which is about a Tomboy becoming a Girly Girl as she enters puberty, no longer wanting to be "One of the Boys."
- Girl-on-Girl Is Hot: There's a reason that "I Kissed a Girl" was number one for 8 weeks.
- Hard-Drinking Party Girl: "This is How We Do" and "Last Friday Night".
- Hollywood Nerd: She plays a Type 2 in the video for "Last Friday Night".
- Hollywood Old: In "The One That Got Away" video.
- Hot Witch: Word of God is that "Dark Horse" is inspired by the idea of a witch warning a man not to fall for her. Naturally, her performance of it for the 2014 Grammys went with this to the point of having poledances on broomsticks.
- Hypocritical Humor: The first song she released, "Ur So Gay", emasculates a man for acting stereotypically gay. She followed it up with "I Kissed A Girl", a song about lesbian experimentation.
- Identical Stranger: Zooey Deschanel.
- Ignorant of Their Own Ignorance: People who failed to realize that this supposed fail was a scripted joke she made at multiple shows.
- Also in "Wide Awake": "I wish I knew then, what I know now."
- The Illuminati: Discussed. Dear sweet goodness, there were so many accusations of her affiliation with the illuminati after her video for "Dark Horse" and it got even worse with her live performance at the grammys. The biggest argument toward the connection was the ignorance about the Eye of Horus symbol and pyramid imagery, which are both perfectly legitimate icons of Ancient Egypt.
- Important Haircut: In the Part of Me video, after she breaks up with her cheating boyfriend, she cuts her hair short and joins the Marines.
- Intercourse with You: "Dressin' Up", "Teenage Dream", "Birthday", "Legendary Lovers", "Hummingbird Heartbeat", "E.T.", "Last Friday Night (T.G.I.F.)" (though not all about it).
- Irony: Both parents were highly conservative pastors that didn't allow their children to watch The Smurfs cartoon show, considering it to not be good for Katy and her siblings. Guess which blonde Smurf she voices in the 2011 The Smurfs and its two sequels?
- Jungle Princess: She becomes one in the music video for "Roar".
- Kaleidoscope Hair: Katy is constantly changing her hair color. It's gone from blond to black to red to blond to pink to blue to purple, back to black and now green after a brief orange and black phase. That's not counting purple, pink, blue and now orange wigs.
- Kindhearted Cat Lover: She loves cats as she named her own cat Kitty Purry her mascot, and joked that she wants to make the Crazy Cat Lady persona cool. At the end of the lyric video for "Roar", she holds up Kitty, coos at her, then kisses her on the head.
- Level Ate: The "California Gurls" video.
- Loudness War: Her albums have an average dynamic range of 5 db. That's louder than Megadeth.
- Lyric Swap: When performing Part Of Me, she sings "You let me drown" instead of "you let me down".
- Also the line "We drove to Cali" in Teenage Dream changes according to where she performs.
- Lyric Video Mismatch: For "California Gurls" and "Dark Horse". The latter has received much criticism for the bizarre video choice. Notably, the song refers to Aphrodite, but the theme is Egyptian, an era before Aprhodite was a goddess.
- Madness Mantra: In the music video, "I'm wide awake" is one of denial.
- Makeover Montage: In "Last Friday Night".
- Male Gaze: Her Victoria's Secret performance featured a LOT of cleavage shots.
- The bra she wears in the climax of the "Roar" video can be considered this.
- Meaningful Echo: "Wide Awake" refers to a lot of "Teenage Dream"'s lines in a depressing way but not verbatim. "You make me feel like I'm living a teenage dream" vs "Everything you see/Ain't always what it seems/I'm wide awake/yeah I was dreaming for so long" and "My missing puzzle piece/I'm complete" vs "I picked up every piece", "need nothing to complete myself".
- The Mirror Shows Your True Self: In "Wide Awake", the mirror scene. Katy leads the girl to the mirror, but the girl isn't shown there. In the mirrors, paparazzi are shown, but they aren't actually there. This is obviously symbolic of the constant pressure of the media, and the girl not appearing likely means that (since it's actually her younger self) that some people can't see pieces of yourself.
- Missing Trailer Scene: The "Last Friday Night" video teaser is almost entirely made of scenes that didn't make the final video cut.
- Mondegreen: The official lyrics in "Firework" is gonna leave them all in awe, instead of gonna leave them falling down, which was stated in lyric websites.
- Mood Whiplash: On the Teenage Dream album, "Firework" is immediately followed by "Peacock", which itself is followed by "Circle the Drain".
- On Prism, "International Smile" is followed by "Ghost".
- The Movie: Katy Perry: Part of Me
- Ms. Fanservice:
- Nerds Are Sexy: In the video for "Last Friday Night," she plays a Type 2 Hollywood Nerd who gets a makeover. However even post-makeover, she retains her braces and her nerdy mannerisms, resulting in this trope.
- Non-Appearing Title: Although they come close, "Hot n Cold" and "E.T.".
- No Periods, Period: Not quite to the All Periods Are PMS exception levels, but "Hot N Cold".
You PMS like a bitch, I would know.
- Obligatory Bondage Song: "E.T.", though a mild case. It has the lyrics "Wanna be your victim; Ready for abduction", and the Kanye remix has him boast about being dirty and filthy, but the song as a whole does not focus on the bondage aspect.
- Odd Friendship: Is surprisingly really good friends with Adele and Taylor Swift. She's actually friends with a lot of people in the business including Selena Gomez, Jessie J, Justin Bieber, Robert Pattinson.
- One of the Boys: The name of her debut (pop) album and its title track. The song is about a tomboy becoming a girly girl as she enters puberty and no longer wants to be "one of the boys".
- The One That Got Away: Has a song by this name about this in which she laments about a former lover. This is her only song from Teenage Dream not to go to #1, making it the #1 that got away.
- Or Was It a Dream?: "Wide Awake" blurs the lines of reality pretty well.
- Parallel Porn Titles: Yes, really.
- Peacock Girl:
- A showgirl outfit she wears in "Waking Up In Vegas".
- And a peacock tail for "Peacock".
- Preacher's Kid: Katy's parents are pastors at a church in Santa Barbara, and they refused to let her listen to "secular" music as she was growing up. This may explain her more recent output.
- Precocious Crush: "One of the Boys"
- Product Placement: Subverted. She mentions Chap-Stick in "I Kissed a Girl" and Popsicles in "California Girls", but those trademarks are incredibly diluted.
- Played straight in "Last Friday Night". She and some other people are seen playing Just Dance on a Wii.
- Pun-Based Title: Teenage Dream: The Complete Confection, which a play on words of "Complete Collection". It makes sense in context, taking the candy motif of the album into consideration.
- Punny Name: She named her cat - and, in the "Roar" music video, a tiger - Kitty Purry.
- Prince Charming: Katy meets such a character at the end of the "Wide Awake" music video... and punches him in the face.
- Real Life Chose The Single: "Part of Me" was originally written back in 2010 during the Teenage Dream sessions, but left off the album for unknown reasons. Upon Katy's divorce from Russell Brand in 2012, the song was repurposed as the lead single of Teenage Dream's re-release, with slightly altered lyrics to reflect their separation.
- Rearrange the Song: "The One That Got Away" was released both as synth-pop and as an acoustic song featuring guitar, piano, and upright bass.
- "The Reason You Suck" Speech:
- "Circle the Drain" is this towards Travie McCoy.
- "Hot and Cold" gives one of these to the narrator's boyfriend.
- Refuge in Audacity: "Peacock", full stop.
- "Birthday", which uses a LOT of party-related metaphors to obscure it's an Intercourse with You song. It goes from subtle, to being very unsubtle ("Pop your confetti, Pop your Pérignon / So hot and heavy till dawn"), to being downright Anvilicious ("So let me get you in your birthday suit / It's time to bring out the big balloons").
- Rock Star Song: "Wide Awake" is this in the sense it's about after all the positive press goes away "Falling from cloud nine/In front of the world".
- Pop-cumentary: Part of Me
- Scotireland: Once told an interviewer she was hoping to see the Loch Ness Monster while in Ireland.
- Semper Fi: In the music video for "Part of Me", after Katy breaks up with her cheating boyfriend, she joins the Marines and regains her confidence.
- Sesame Street Cred: She was quite proud of this appearance with Elmo. Sesame Street producers, however, decided not to air the segment after some parents complained about her cleavage. This was, of course, brought up on Saturday Night Live, where Perry appeared in a talk show sketch as a teenage volunteer librarian wearing a low-cut Elmo T-shirt and complaining that the parents and the other librarians don't want her to read to kids because of her cleavage-bearing clothes (with the two talk show hosts [played by Amy Poehler and Maya Rudolph] telling her that she shouldn't be ashamed about her body and that there are worse things kids witness in their formative years than a woman's cleavage). Her appearance on the Simpsons episode, "The Fight Before Christmas" also mirrors this unaired Sesame Street sketch (only Katy's dress was more skintight than cleavage-bearing, though it did get away with a oral sex joke at the end with Moe kissing Perry's "belly button").
- Serial Escalation: She broke her own record for the song with the most spins on Pop radio three times and keeps on extending her make for the most consecutive Dance #1 hits (currently: 13).
- She Cleans Up Nicely: In "Last Friday Night," complete with her descending the stairs in slo-mo and garnering a gobsmacked expression from the Jerk Jock.
- Shout-Out: In her earlier photoshoots, she looked like Bettie Page.
- In "California Gurls", Snoop Dogg mentions that he "wishes they could all be California girls", Also, from the same song: "Daisy Dukes, bikinis on top!", "sippin' gin 'n' juice", and "zucchinis, martinis, bikinis". And from the music video of the same song, a couple of Pretty Cure fans noticed that when she wore the light purple wig, she looked like a short-haired Cure Berry.
- That particular Beach Boys shout-out was taken as so specific that the fans thought the Beach Boys would sue. However, the surviving members had no intention, and took it as a compliment.
- The title of the song was originally spelled "California Girls", but Katy's manager asked her to change it to "Gurls" as a reference to Big Star's "September Gurls" after Alex Chilton died — apparently, he's a huge Big Star fan.
- If one listens closely to the music in the background of "E.T."'s chorus, the sound of an AC-130's 105mm cannon can be discerned.
- "Wide Awake" takes liberal visuals from Alice in Wonderland, Through the Looking-Glass and the Narnia books. It's also deliberately inspired by The Craft.
- The visuals on her first album cover are inspired by Lolita.
- The video for "Unconditionally" takes inspiration from Anna Karenina, right down to the ending.
- The video for "This Is How We Do" features ones to Mariah Crey and Aretha Franklin, the song itself is full of shout-outs.
- Spiritual Successor: To Britney Spears, positive pop with hidden depths. Their personalities are DEFINITELY alike if you watch Part of Me next to For the Record.
- Stage Name: She was born as Katheryn Elizabeth Hudson. Perry is her mother's maiden name.
- Strong Family Resemblance: Katy's older sister Angela Hudson looks and sounds exactly like her except she has blonde hairnote and a more introverted personality.
- Surreal Music Video: "California Gurls", "E.T" (a few people think she out-Gaga'd Lady Gaga in that one), "Wide Awake", and "Dark Horse".
- The VJ Day Kiss: She reenacted the kiss with a Marine when she was giving a show during the New York Fleet Week as well as during a private show for the Navy.
- Three-Way Sex: "Last Friday Night" mentions having a menage a trois.
- Took a Level in Badass: In the music video for "Roar", Katy goes from being a scared out of her wits woman to the queen of the jungle, even managing to tame a tiger and keeping it as a pet.
- Too Sexy For This Time Slot: The entire outcry over her appearance on Sesame Street.
- Torpedo Tits:
- In the "Firework" video.
- "California Gurls", except with whipped cream canisters on her bra.
- Tsundere The premise of Hot-N-Cold.
- Two Decades Behind: Parodied and deconstructed in "Last Friday Night".
- Underwater Kiss: In the music video for "Teenage Dream".
- Unlimited Wardrobe: In the video for This Is How We Do. She wears eleven different outfitsnote (twelve if you count the string of pearls), and the female dancers get a similar variety.
- Unusual Euphemism: In every other song. She's quite creative.
- Vine Swing: As a Jungle Princess, in her music video for "Roar".
- Wearing a Flag on your Dress: See the page picture.
- And this one◊ which she wore when she performed for the troops on New York's Fleet Week.
- We Named the Monkey Jack:
- Type 1. She named her cat "Kitty Purry". In the music video for "Roar", she tames a tiger and gives it the same name.
- And one named Krusty (Katy+Russell/Rusty), with her ex-husband Russell Brand.
- What Did I Do Last Night?: The subject of "Last Friday Night" and "Waking Up in Vegas".
- Wild Teen Party: Occurs in the video for "Last Friday Night".
- A Wild Rapper Appears: A few of her songs on 'Teenage Dream'. "California Gurls" featured Snoop Dogg, "E.T." featured Kanye West, whilst the radio versions of "Last Friday Night" and "The One That Got Away" featured Missy Elliott and B.o.B respectively.
- A remix of "Teenage Dream" exists featuring Drake.
- From Prism we can add "Dark Horse," featuring former Three Six Mafia member Juicy J. Actually rather fitting though given the whole song uses a trap-rap beat. There is also a version featuring Pitbull.
- Xtreme Kool Letterz: "Hot N Cold", "Ur So Gay", "California Gurls"
- You Are Not Alone: The intended message of "Firework".