Katy Perry was born Katheryn Elizabeth Hudson in California on October 25, 1984 to born-again Christians, both of whom are Pentecostal pastors. Perry had an extremely religious upbringing, and was forbidden from listening to secular music.
Not surprisingly, she began singing in her parents’ church. After getting vocal lessons as a child and being gifted her first guitar at age 13, Perry left high school as a freshman to pursue a music career. She scored a gospel record deal and released her debut album, “Katy Hudson,” as a Christian artist in 2001.
But the album sold virtually no copies and the label folded, leading Perry to explore secular avenues. She moved to Los Angeles at 17, and took on her now-famous stage name. She was briefly signed to Island Def Jam and Columbia Records before having minor success as a backup singer in the mid-2000s.
Perry’s breakthrough came in 2007, when she was signed to Capitol Records. “One of the Boys,” her second album, was released in 2008 with the smash single “I Kissed A Girl,” and the songs “Hot N Cold” and “Waking Up In Vegas.” Perry’s hugely successful third album, “Teenage Dream,” came in 2009, with the song of the same name, as well as “California Gurls” and “Firework,” which has gone on to become one of her most signature songs.
The album went to number one, further helped by the songs “The One That Got Away,” “Last Friday Night,” and “E.T.” In fact, the record was such a win for Perry and her label that it was re-released in 2012 as “Teenage Dream: The Complete Confection,” along with the new singles “Part of Me” and “Wide Awake.”
As Perry toured the world, she expanded her brand to include fragrances and a role in the animated movie “The Smurfs,” a part she reprised in the sequel. She also filmed a concert documentary called “Katy Perry: Part of Me,” which came out in 2012. Her fourth album, “Prism,” was released the following year. The lead single, “Roar,” became a huge anthem, and the record also included the tracks “Unconditionally” and “Dark Horse.”
Perry spent 2014 once again touring, and kicked off 2015 with a performance at the Super Bowl, where she was the halftime show headliner alongside Missy Elliott and Lenny Kravitz. Despite all her success, she has yet to win a Grammy Award, though she been nominated 10 times throughout her career, including in two categories at the 2015 ceremony.
As Perry rose to fame, she dated singer-rapper Travie McCoy, but they split in 2008. She began dating Russell Brand in 2009, and got engaged just a few months later. The couple wed in India in 2010, but separated after a little more than a year of marriage, the fallout of which was seen in Perry’s concert film. Since Brand, Perry has had an on-and-off relationship with John Mayer, with whom she released the duet, ”Who You Love,” in 2013.