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Katheryn Elizabeth Hudson, better known as Katy Perry, is an American actress, singer, songwriter, philanthropist, and businesswoman. She was born outside of Santa Barbara, California on October 25, 1984 to Pentecostal pastors Maurice and Mary Hudson. She grew up there before moving to Los Angeles to further her career. Katy has a younger brother, David, and an older sister named Angela.

Katy Perry’s Early Years

Katy’s family was poor and had a hard time getting by when she was a child. Katy received a guitar for her thirteenth birthday and played publicly while singing to earn money in her teen years. She also sang in churches with her parent’s ministry from the time she was nine until she was sixteen. Growing up Katy was only allowed to listen to gospel music. She relied on her friends to sneak her CD’s and she would watch MTV at their houses. Through these strategies she was able to discover and enjoy popular music.

In 1999, Katy took her GED test after only completing the first semester of her freshman year of high school. She made the decision to leave school so she could pursue her musical career. Katy went to Nashville to learn how to create songs and play the guitar more skillfully. She began recording demos and eventually signed with Red Hill Records, a Christian music label. Her debut album, Katy Hudson, was released in 2001, but proved unsuccessful when the label closed operations in December of that year.

Katy Perry's Goes Forth

At 17 years old Perry set out for Los Angeles in the hopes of developing her music career. She signed a deal with Island Records, but because she had mostly listened to gospel music, she had little references when she began recording. In 2002 she was introduced to Alanis Morissette’s “Jagged Little Pill” album and subsequently to Glen Ballard the record’s producer. She expressed interest in working with him, and eventually a meeting was arranged for the pair. Ballard helped Perry develop her songwriting further over the next few years.

Birth of 'Katy Perry'

In 2003 she created the stage name Katy Perry so she would not be confused with the actress Kate Hudson. Perry was dropped by her label and signed to Columbia Records in 2004. Later that year she recorded back-up vocals for “Old Habits Die Hard” by Mick Jagger and the song won the Golden Globe Award for Best Original Song in 2005. Her growing music career led to Blender magazine naming her “The Next Big Thing” in 2004.

An album that Perry recorded was supposed to be released in August of 2005 but was canceled. Perry was then dropped from Columbia Records. She was able to post some of her collaborations with Ballard on her MySpace page and the song “Simple,” which she also recorded with Ballard, was released on The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants soundtrack. Also, in 2009 Kelly Clarkson used a song that Perry wrote, entitled “Long Shot,” on her All I Ever Wanted album.

Katy Perry's Rise to Stardom

With a recommendation from an executive at Columbia Records, Perry was signed to Capitol Music Group in the beginning of 2007. The label set-up a collaboration with Perry and another producer, Dr. Luke. The two co-wrote “I Kissed a Girl” and “Hot n Cold. “I Kissed a Girl” was the lead single for her album and was released in April of 2008. By June it reached number one in the U.S. and topped the Billboard ‘Hot 100’ list for seven consecutive weeks. Perry’s second studio album, One of the Boys was released in June of 2008 and reached number nine on the Billboard 200 chart. She launched her first headlining tour in January 2009 called the Hello Katy Tour. The final single off the album, “Waking Up in Vegas” became Perry’s third top ten single in the U.S.

In May of 2010 “California Gurls,” the lead single from her next album was released. It topped the charts and proceeded to stay there for six consecutive weeks. She released the albums second chart topping single, “Teenage Dream” and then released the album itself, also titled Teenage Dream, on August 24th of that year. The album debuted at number one and sold 192,000 copies in its first week. The albums third single, “Firework” became the third consecutive number one off the album and is also her highest selling single in the U.S. to date.

The fifth single off her Teenage Dream album, “Last Friday Night” topped the Hot 100 chart. This made Perry the first female artist in history to achieve five number one songs on the Hot 100 chart from the same album, and the second artist ever to accomplish the feat, finishing only behind Michael Jackson’s Bad. With the release of “The One That Got Away,” the albums final single, Teenage Dream became the third album in history to have six top five hits. By this time Perry had released two fragrances, Purr and Meow!, and in December of 2011 Forbes magazine ranked her at number three on their “Top-Earning Women in Music” list raking in \$44 million and was chosen as MTV’s Artist of the Year as well.

Katy Perry as Entrepreneur

Perry has since created a third fragrance, Killer Queen, released an autobiographical film, had a Sims video game expansion pack inspired by her, and released her newest album, Unconditionally. She will be beginning her third headlining tour, The Prismatic World Tour, on May 7, 2014 to promote her new album. With music, movies, and business ventures under her belt, it is hard to tell what Katy Perry will do next. One thing is for sure, we are sure to see a lot more of the superstar for years to come.

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