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Katy Perry – real name Katheryn Elizabeth Hudson – was born on Oct. 25, 1984 in Santa Barbara, California. Having two pastors as parents, Perry grew up in a strict and conservative household with two other siblings. The singer attended Christian schools and participated in the school and church choir throughout her youth. Perry began taking singing lessons when she was nine years old, and picked up the guitar at around 13. Once the star hit her teen years, she rebelled against her strict upbringing and eventually decided to pursue her music career.
After traveling to Nashville, the singer planned to release her first album, but it reportedly “went nowhere,” and her label The Island Def Jam Music Group dropped the artist in 2004. Shortly afterward, Columbia Records signed Perry, though after multiple complications, the label decided to let Perry go by 2006. Within the next couple of years, Perry's work was scattered as she worked with an independent company, Taxi Music.
After Columbia let the singer go, she was referred to the chairman of Virgin Records. Through negotiations, Perry signed with the Capitol Music Group, which was a company merged from Virgin and Columbia. Eventually Perry finished recording her first album, One of the Boys, and released her first hit, “I Kissed a Girl” in May of 2008. With its controversial lyrics, many thought that the single would not be successful. However, in a twist of fate, Perry's “I Kissed a Girl” exploded with popularity worldwide, and the singer reached her breakout moment. The song took the number one spot on the US Billboard Hot 100 for seven weeks and went on to top charts in over 30 different countries. Perry released her first album One of the Boys in June 2008.
Perry released her next single “Hot n Cold” after her album release, and again the song went viral. The star started her first headlining tour, the "Hello Katy Tour" in 2009 and also won countless awards that year. Both of her first two singles are now certified three-time platinum. Later that year, Perry met British comedian and actor Russell Brand, and the two started a romantic relationship. The couple married in October of 2010. During these successful years, Perry became well known for her quirky and provocative outfits.
Earlier in 2010, Perry released her sophomore album, Teenage Dream, which had multiple successful singles, including “California Girls,” “Teenage Dream,” “Firework,” and “ET.” In total, the album went two-times platinum, and had a total of eight incredibly successful singles. Perry became the first female artist to have five number-one hits from one album. In 2011, the now-superstar went on a world tour, released her first fragrance, “Purr”, and made her film debut as the voice of Smurfette in the animated film The Smurfs in 3D.
With such raging success and popularity, Perry's career was on a hot streak, though her personal life went the opposite direction. After being married for 14 months, Perry and her husband decided to get divorced on Dec. 30, 2011. While no statement was ever officially given, the pair sited irreconcilable differences. It is speculated that the two argued over the topic of starting a family. The pair became officially divorced in July of 2012.
During this time, Perry's career did anything but slow down, as she re-released her Teenage Dream album under the name The Complete Confection. The album had more hit singles that topped the charts such as “Part of Me” and “Wide Awake.” In July of 2012, Perry released a “part bio-pic, part-concert” film titled Katy Perry: Part of Me. The film received positive reviews from audiences and critics alike, and made $30 million worldwide. In September of 2012, Perry was named “Woman of the Year” by Billboard.
Katy is currently said to be working on her fourth album, which is rumored to be released in the summer of 2013. As of June 2012, Perry has had an on-and-off relationship with singer John Mayer.