Katheryn Elizabeth Hudson (born October 25, 1984), known professionally as Katy Perry, is an American singer, songwriter and television personality. She is known for her influence on modern
pop music and her
campy style. Pursuing a career in
gospel music at 16, Perry released her debut album, Katy Hudson, under
Red Hill Records in 2001, which was commercially unsuccessful. She moved to Los Angeles at 17 to venture into
secular music, and later adopted the stage name "Katy Perry" from her mother's maiden name. She recorded an album while signed to
Columbia Records, but was dropped before signing to
Katheryn Elizabeth Hudson was born on October 25, 1984, in
Santa Barbara, California, to
Pentecostal pastors Mary Christine (née Perry) and Maurice Keith Hudson. Both of her parents turned to religion after a "wild youth". Perry has English, German, Irish, and Portuguese ancestry. Through her mother, she is a niece of film director
Frank Perry. She has a younger brother named David, who is also a singer, and an older sister, Angela.
From ages three to 11, Perry frequently moved across the country as her very strict parents set up churches before settling again in Santa Barbara. Growing up, she attended religious schools and camps, including Paradise Valley Christian School in
Arizona and Santa Barbara Christian School in California during her
elementary years. Her family struggled financially, sometimes using
food stamps and eating food from the food bank which also fed the congregation at Perry's parents' church.
Growing up, Perry and her siblings were not allowed to eat the cereal
Lucky Charms as the word "luck" reminded their mother of
Lucifer, and were also required to call
deviled eggs "angeled eggs". Perry primarily listened to
gospel music, as non-religious music was generally discouraged in the family's home. She discovered popular music through CDs she sneaked from her friends. Perry later recalled a story about how a friend of hers played "
You Oughta Know" by
Alanis Morissette, which impacted her songwriting and singing.
While not strictly identifying as religious, she has stated, "I pray all the time – for self-control, for humility." Wanting to be like her sister Angela, Perry began singing by practicing with her sister's cassette tapes. She performed the tracks in front of her parents, who let her take vocal lessons like Angela was doing at the time. She began
training at age nine and was incorporated into her parents' ministry, singing in church from ages nine to 17. At 13, Perry was given her first guitar for her birthday, and publicly performed songs she wrote. She tried to "be a bit like the typical Californian girl" while growing up, and started rollerskating, skateboarding, and surfing as a teenager. Her brother David described her as a "
tomboy" during her adolescence, which Perry talks about on her song "One of the Boys". She took dancing lessons and learned how to
Lindy Hop, and
jitterbug. Perry completed her
General Educational Development (GED) requirements early at age 15, during her first year of high school, and left
Dos Pueblos High School to pursue a music career.
2000–2006: Career beginnings, Katy Hudson, and Fingerprints
Perry briefly had music lessons in facilities rented from the Music Academy of the West. Her singing caught the attention of rock artists Steve Thomas and
Jennifer Knapp from
Nashville, Tennessee, who brought her there to improve her writing skills. In Nashville, she started recording
demos and learned how to write songs and play guitar. Perry signed with
Red Hill Records and recorded her debut album, a
contemporary Christian record titled Katy Hudson, which was released on March 6, 2001. She also went on tour that year as part of
Phil Joel's Strangely Normal Tour and embarked on other performances of her own in the United States.Katy Hudson received mixed reviews from critics and was commercially unsuccessful, selling an estimated 200 copies before the label ceased operations in December. Transitioning from gospel music to secular music, Perry started working with producer
Glen Ballard, and moved to Los Angeles at age 17. She opted to work with Ballard due to his past work with Alanis Morissette, one of her major inspirations. In 2003, she briefly performed as Katheryn Perry, to avoid confusion with actress
Kate Hudson, and later adopted the stage name "Katy Perry", using her mother's maiden name. In 2010, she recalled that "
Thinking of You" was one of the first songs she wrote after moving to Los Angeles. Perry would also perform at the
Hotel Café, performing new music while she was between record labels.
In 2004, she signed to Ballard's label, Java Records, which was then affiliated with
The Island Def Jam Music Group. Perry began work on a solo record due for release in March 2005, but the record was shelved after Java was dropped. Ballard then introduced her to
Tim Devine, an
A&R executive at
Columbia Records, and she was signed as a solo artist. By November 2006, Perry had finished writing and recording material for her Columbia debut titled Fingerprints (with some of the material from this time appearing on One of the Boys) which was planned for release in 2007. Some of the material from Fingerprints that did not make it on One of the Boys was given to other artists, such as "
I Do Not Hook Up" and "
Long Shot" to
Kelly Clarkson and "
Rock God" to
Selena Gomez & the Scene.
After Columbia dropped Perry,
Angelica Cob-Baehler, then a publicity executive at the label, brought Perry's demos to
Virgin Records chairman
Jason Flom. Flom was convinced that she could be a breakthrough star and she was signed to
Capitol Records in April 2007. The label arranged for her to work with Dr. Luke to add an "undeniable smash" to her existing material. Perry and Dr. Luke co-wrote the songs "
I Kissed a Girl" and "
Hot n Cold" for her second album One of the Boys. A campaign was started with the November 2007 release of the video to "
Ur So Gay", a song aimed at introducing her to the music market. A
digital EP of the same name was also released that month.Madonna helped publicize the song by praising it on the JohnJay & Rich radio show in April 2008, stating "Ur So Gay" was her "favorite song" at the time. In March 2008, Perry made a cameo appearance as a club singer in the Wildfire episode "Life's Too Short" and appeared as herself during a photo shoot that June on The Young and the Restless for the show's magazine Restless Style.
Perry released her first single with Capitol, "I Kissed a Girl", on April 28, 2008, as the lead single from One of the Boys. The first station to pick up the song was
WRVW in Nashville, who were inundated with enthusiastic calls the first three days they played it. The track reached number one on the US
Billboard Hot 100. "I Kissed a Girl" created controversy among both religious and
LGBT groups. The former criticized its homosexual theme, while the latter accused her of using
bi-curiosity to sell records. In response to speculation that her parents opposed her music and career, Perry told
MTV that they had no problems with her success.One of the Boys, released on June 17, 2008, garnered mixed critical reviews and reached number nine on the US
Billboard 200. The album went on to sell 7 million copies worldwide. "Hot n Cold" was released the following September and became the album's second successful single, reaching number three on the Billboard Hot 100 while topping charts in Germany, Canada, the Netherlands and Austria. Later singles "Thinking of You" and "
Waking Up in Vegas" were released in 2009 and reached the top 30 of the Hot 100. The Matrix's
self-titled debut album, which Perry had recorded with the band in 2004, was released onto
iTunes on January 27, 2009, as a result of her solo success.
After Perry and Travie McCoy split up in December 2008, they briefly reconciled before she ended their relationship in 2009. Perry met her future husband
Russell Brand in the summer of 2009 while filming a cameo appearance for his film Get Him to the Greek. Her scene, in which the two kiss, does not appear in the film. She began dating Brand after meeting him again that September at the
2009 MTV Video Music Awards. The couple became engaged on December 31, 2009, while vacationing in
Kanye West was released as the fourth single from Teenage Dream on February 16, 2011. It topped the Billboard Hot 100 for five non-consecutive weeks, making Teenage Dream the ninth album in history to produce four number one singles on the chart. "
Last Friday Night (T.G.I.F.)" followed as the fifth single in June, and Perry became the first female artist to achieve five number-one Billboard Hot 100 songs from one album when the single topped that chart on August 17, and the second artist after
Michael Jackson with his album Bad. For this record, she received an honorary
American Music Award in November 2011 and a 2013 Guinness World Record. On September 7, she set a new record by becoming the first artist to spend 69 consecutive weeks in the top ten of the Hot 100. After "
The One That Got Away" was released as the album's sixth single in October, Teenage Dream became the third album to spawn six top-five songs on the Billboard Hot 100 after Rhythm Nation 1814 by
Janet Jackson and Faith by
George Michael. The song peaked at number three in the US and number two in Canada.
On January 5, 2012, Perry was named the sixth best-selling digital artist in the United States, with sales of 37.6 million units according to
Nielsen SoundScan. That month, she became the first artist to have four songs sell over 5 million digital units when "E.T." reached that mark along with "Firework", "California Gurls", and "Hot N Cold". On February 13, Capitol released the lead single from Teenage Dream: The Complete Confection, "
Part of Me", which debuted at number one on the Billboard Hot 100 and became Perry's seventh single overall to top the chart.Teenage Dream: The Complete Confection was released on March 23, and serves as a reissue of Teenage Dream. "
Wide Awake" was released on May 22 as the re-release's second single, peaking at number two on the Billboard Hot 100 and number one in Canada and New Zealand.
Perry attending the Sydney premiere for her 2012 documentary Katy Perry: Part of Me, which grossed $32.7 million
Perry began to venture into business when she endorsed her first fragrance, Purr, in November 2010. Her second fragrance, Meow!, was released in December 2011. Both perfumes were released through
Nordstrom department stores.Electronic Arts recruited her to promote their new expansion pack for The Sims 3: Showtime, before releasing a separate
stuff pack featuring Perry-inspired furniture, outfits, and hairstyles, titled The Sims 3: Katy Perry's Sweet Treats, in June 2012. The following month, she became the spokesperson and ambassador for
Popchips and made an investment in the company.Billboard dubbed her as their "Woman of the Year" for 2012.
She married Russell Brand on October 23, 2010, in a traditional
Hinduceremony near the
Ranthambhore tiger sanctuary in
Rajasthan, India. On December 30, 2011, Brand announced that they were divorcing after 14 months of marriage. Perry later stated that conflicting career schedules and his desire to have children before she was ready led to the end of their marriage and that he never spoke to her again after sending a text message that he was divorcing her, while Brand asserted that he divorced her due to her commercial success and reluctance to engage in activism. She was initially distraught over their divorce and said that she contemplated suicide. After the marriage ended in 2012, Perry began a relationship with singer
John Mayer that August.
2013–2015: Prism and Super Bowl XLIX halftime show
In November 2012, Perry began work on her fourth album, Prism. She told Billboard, "I know exactly the record I want to make next. I know the artwork, the coloring and the tone" and "I even know what type of tour I'm doing next. I'll be very pleased if the vision I have in my head becomes a reality." After initially telling L'Uomo Vogue in June 2012 that she planned to have "darker elements" in Prism following the end of her marriage, the singer revealed to MTV during the
2013 MTV Video Music Awards that she changed the album's direction after periods of self-reflection. Perry commented "I felt very prismatic", which inspired the album's name. "
Roar" was released as the lead single from Prism on August 10, 2013. It was promoted at the MTV Video Music Awards and reached number one on the Billboard Hot 100. "
Unconditionally" followed as the second single from Prism on October 16, 2013, and peaked at number 14 in the United States.
Prism was released on October 18, 2013, and has sold 4 million copies as of August 2015. It received favorable reviews from critics and debuted at number one on the Billboard 200 chart. Four days later, Perry performed the songs from the album at the
iHeartRadio Theater in Los Angeles. "
Dark Horse" with
Juicy J was released as the album's third single in December, and became her ninth U.S. number-one single the following month. In 2014, "
Birthday" and "
This Is How We Do" respectively followed as the album's fourth and fifth singles, and reached the top 25 on the Hot 100. Prior to ending her relationship with Mayer in February 2014, she recorded and co-wrote a duet with him titled "
Who You Love" for his album Paradise Valley. The song was released on August 12, 2013. Perry's third headlining tour, the
Prismatic World Tour, began in May 2014 and concluded in October 2015. It sold almost 2 million tickets and grossed $204.3 million worldwide and won Perry the award for "Top Package" at the 2014
Billboard Touring Awards. She also performed at the 2015 Rock in Rio festival on September 27, 2015.
On November 23, 2014, the
NFL announced that Perry would perform at the
Super Bowl XLIX halftime show on February 1, 2015.Lenny Kravitz and
Missy Elliott served as special guests for the show. Her performance was critically acclaimed, and the Guinness World Records announced two days after the singer's halftime show that it garnered 118.5 million viewers in the United States, becoming the most watched and highest rated show in Super Bowl history. The viewership was higher than the game itself, which was viewed by an audience of 114.4 million.
Outside of her music career, Perry reprised her role as Smurfette in The Smurfs 2, which was released in theaters on July 31, 2013. Like its predecessor, The Smurfs 2 was a financial success but was panned by critics. In March 2014, she made a guest appearance playing herself in the episode "Blisteritos Presents Dad Academy Graduation Congraduritos Red Carpet Viewing Party" of the Kroll Show. Killer Queen was released as her third fragrance in August 2013 through
Coty, Inc. In January 2014, she became a guest curator of Madonna's
Art for Freedom initiative. In March 2015, she appeared in Brand: A Second Coming, a documentary following her ex-husband Russell Brand's transition from comedy work to activism, and released a concert film titled Katy Perry: The Prismatic World Tour through
Epix, which took place during her tour of the same name. Perry also made a cameo appearance in the music video for Madonna's song "
Bitch I'm Madonna" in June 2015. The following month, she released another fragrance with Coty, entitled Mad Potion. In September 2015, she appeared in the documentaries Katy Perry: Making of the Pepsi Super Bowl Halftime Show, which followed Perry's preparation for her Super Bowl performance, and Jeremy Scott: The People's Designer, which followed the life and career of designer
Jeremy Scott. Perry released a mobile app titled Katy Perry Pop in December 2015 through
Glu Mobile where her character helps players become famous musicians. She described it as "the most fun, colorful world that helps guide your musical dreams".
2016–2018: Witness and American Idol
Perry started writing songs for her new album in June 2016, and recorded an anthem for
NBC Sports's coverage of the
2016 Summer Olympics titled "
Rise", which was released the following month. Perry chose to release it as a standalone track rather than save it for her album "because now more than ever, there is a need for our world to unite". NBC also felt its message spoke "directly to the spirit of the Olympics and its athletes" for its inspirational themes. The song reached number one in Australia and number eleven in the United States.
In August 2016, Perry stated that she aspired to create material "that connects and relates and inspires" and told
Ryan Seacrest that she was "not rushing" her fifth album, adding "I'm just having a lot of fun, but experimenting and trying different producers, and different collaborators, and different styles". On February 10, 2017, Perry released the album's lead single "
Chained to the Rhythm" featuring
Skip Marley. It reached number one in Hungary and number four in the United States. The track was also streamed over three million times on
Spotify within 24 hours, breaking the music streaming service's record at the time for the highest first-day streaming for a single track by a female artist. The album's second single, "
Bon Appétit" with
Migos, was released that April. Its third single, "
Swish Swish", featured
Nicki Minaj and followed the next month. They respectively peaked at numbers 59 and 46 in the United States, and made the top 15 in Canada.
Outside of recording music, Perry appeared as herself in the film Zoolander 2, which was released in February 2016. In February 2017, the singer launched a shoe line titled "Katy Perry Collections". Her shoes are available on her website, Katy Perry Collections, and at retailers such as
Walmart. The following August, she hosted the
2017 MTV Video Music Awards. Perry was signed for a $25-million salary to serve as a judge on
ABC's revival of American Idol, which premiered in March 2018. Perry began a relationship with
Orlando Bloom in early 2016, and the couple got engaged on February 14, 2019.
In June 2019, Perry appeared in the music video of
Taylor Swift's "
You Need to Calm Down". In July, a jury in California returned a verdict following a week-long trial that Perry's song "Dark Horse" had copied
Flame's 2008 song "Joyful Noise" after he filed a
copyright lawsuit alleging that it used his track's beat without permission; the verdict was later overturned. After the initial verdict, the jury ordered her to pay him $550,000. The next month, Josh Kloss, Perry's co-star in the "Teenage Dream" music video, accused her of sexual misconduct. In an
Instagram post, Kloss alleged that, during a party at a skating rink, Perry pulled on his sweatpants and underwear, exposing his penis to her male friends. He also said her management prevented him from speaking about his time with the singer. However, Johnny Wujek, the creative director of said party defended Perry, saying that she "would never do something like that" and accused Kloss of having an "ongoing obsession" with her. After initially refraining from responding to this, believing it would have detracted from the
Me Too movement, Perry has also denied Kloss's claims.
Following the release of her single "
Never Worn White" in March 2020, Perry revealed in the accompanying music video that she was expecting her first child with Bloom. "
Daisies", the lead single from her sixth album, was released on May 15, 2020. Its second single "
Smile" followed two months later. The album, also titled Smile, was released on August 28, 2020. Two days before its distribution, she gave birth to a daughter named Daisy Dove Bloom. The album received mixed reviews, and debuted at number five in the United States. Perry further promoted the album with four compilation EPs: Camp Katy,Empowered,Scorpio SZN, and Cosmic Energy. These EPs were followed by the single "
Not the End of the World" in December 2020, which had a music video in which
Zooey Deschanel impersonates Perry. Additionally she collaborated with various artists to create two remixes of Smile album tracks.
Tiësto remix of "Resilient" featuring
Aitana was released in November 2020, while Bruno Martini remix of "
Cry About It Later" featuring
Luísa Sonza was released in April 2021.
In September 2021, Variety paid tribute to and honored Perry on their "Power of Women" issue, where she discussed her career, motherhood, and philanthropy. As a nominee, she attended the Variety 2021 "Power of Women" dinner. On her 37th birthday the next month, Perry guest hosted The Ellen DeGeneres Show and starred in a holiday advertisement for
Gap Inc. which featured her singing "
All You Need Is Love" by
the Beatles. A full version of her cover was released on streaming platforms the same day. Two months later, Perry followed this with "
When I'm Gone", a collaboration with Swedish DJ
Alesso that made her the third person to reach number one on Croatia's ARC 100 list across three different decades following
Lady Gaga and
Coldplay. In January 2022, she and Morgan McLachlan established De Soi, a company which produces and sells
non-alcoholicapéritifs. Both wanted a beverage that "would mellow the mind, minus the buzz" when creating it.
Thomas Rhett, Perry recorded a country pop duet titled "Where We Started" for his
album of the same name that was released three months later. That May, it was announced Perry would create music for the soundtrack to Jeremy Zag's animated musical film Melody and voice its title character. She also became the new face for
Menulog's advertisements and created a new remix of their jingle. On June 8, 2022, Perry was awarded with the Key to
Las Vegas, the same day it was marked as Katy Perry day.
Perry collaborated with the tech company
Apple Inc. starring in advertisements for their
GarageBand music software where users could have "Remix Sessions" featuring her song, "Harleys in Hawaii". On the collab, she stated in August 2022: "'Harleys in Hawaii' has lived so many different lives [...] There is so much opportunity to remix this song, and I can't wait to hear all the GarageBand evolutions with this Apple collab." Perry performed at the
Coronation Concert of
Charles III the following May at
Perry cites her sister Angela as the woman who has had the most influence on her. During the early stages of her career, Perry's musical style gravitated towards gospel and she aspired to be as successful as
Amy Grant. At age 15, she heard "
Killer Queen" by
Queen, which inspired her to pursue a music career. She cites the band's frontman,
Freddie Mercury, as her biggest influence and expressed how the "combination of his sarcastic approach to writing lyrics and his 'I don't give a fuck' attitude" inspired her music. She paid homage to the band by naming her third fragrance Killer Queen. Perry described
the Beach Boys and their album Pet Sounds as having a considerable influence on her music: "Pet Sounds is one of my favorite records and it influenced pretty much all of my songwriting. All of the melody choices that I make are because of Pet Sounds." The singer also holds the Beatles' album The Beatles in high esteem, and described these two albums as "the only things I listened to for probably two years straight."
She cites Alanis Morissette and her 1995 album Jagged Little Pill as a significant musical inspiration, stating in 2012: "Jagged Little Pill was the most perfect female record ever made. There's a song for anyone on that record; I relate to all those songs. They're still so timeless." Additionally, Perry borrows influence from Flaming Red by
Patty Griffin and 10 Cent Wings by
Jonatha Brooke. Perry's autobiographical documentary Katy Perry: Part of Me was largely influenced by Madonna: Truth or Dare. She admires Madonna's ability to reinvent herself, saying "I want to evolve like Madonna".
"When I am in between records, sometimes I doubt myself. I'll be like 'Did I just get lucky, or did I mass-manipulate the world into thinking that seven songs were worth a number-one position?' And then I go back into the studio and I start writing, and the true essential oil of who I am comes bubbling back up and reminds me that it's always been inside of me, that nobody can take this away no matter what comment anyone makes."
Although Perry's music incorporates pop, rock, and
disco, Katy Hudson contains gospel. Her subsequent releases, One of the Boys and Teenage Dream, involve themes of sex and love. One of the Boys is a
pop rock record, while Teenage Dream features disco influences. Perry's fourth album, Prism, is significantly influenced by dance and pop music. Lyrically, the album addresses relationships, self-reflection, and everyday life. Her fifth studio effort Witness is an
electropop album that she described as a "360-degree liberation" record, with themes including political liberation, sexual liberation, and liberation from negativity. Many of her songs, particularly on Teenage Dream, reflect on love between teenagers; W magazine described the album's sexual innuendos as "irresistible hook-laden melodies". Self-empowerment is a common theme in Perry's music.
Perry possesses a
contraltovocal range. Her singing has received both praise and criticism. Betty Clarke of The Guardian commented that her "powerful voice is hard-edged" while
Rob Sheffield from Rolling Stone described Perry's vocals on Teenage Dream as "processed
staccato blips". Darren Harvey of
musicOMH compared Perry's vocals on One of the Boys to Alanis Morissette's, both possessing a "perky voice shifting octaves mid-syllable". Alex Miller from NME felt that "Perry's problem is often her voice" on One of the Boys, stating that "somewhere along the line someone convinced her she was like, well, a ballsy rock chick". Conversely, Bernadette McNulty from The Daily Telegraph praised her "rock chick voice" in a review of a concert promoting Prism.
On social media, Perry surpassed
Justin Bieber as the most followed person on
Twitter in November 2013. She won the 2015 Guinness World Record for most Twitter followers, and became the first person to gain 100 million followers on the site in June 2017. Keith Caulfield of Billboard stated that Perry is "the rare celebrity who seems to have enormous popularity but genuine ground-level interaction with her adoring KatyCats." With over 108 million Twitter followers, she is the most followed woman on the site, and the sixth most followed musician across social media with a combined total of over 375 million followers across
Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. In June 2017, Time magazine listed Perry among its "25 Most Influential People on the Internet" of the year, writing that her live-stream for Witness was "blazing a trail" for being "the closest any major entertainer has come to giving fans the kind of 'real' intimacy that social media purports to provide".
Perry has been described as a
sex symbol; GQ labeled her a "full-on male fantasy", while Elle wrote her body looked "as though sketched by a teenage boy".Vice called her a "'serious' popstar/woman/sex symbol". She was placed at number one on the Maxim Hot 100 in 2010 as the "most beautiful woman in the world", with editor Joe Levy describing her as a "triple – no quadruple – kind of hot".Men's Health readers voted her the "sexiest woman of 2013". In November 2010, Perry told Harper's Bazaar that she was proud of and satisfied with her figure.
Perry's fashion often incorporates humor, bright colors, and food-related themes such as her characteristic spinning peppermint swirl dress.Vogue described her as "never exactly one to shy away from the outrageous or the extreme in any realm", and called her the "Queen of
Camp", while Glamour named her the "queen of quirk". In February 2009, Perry told Seventeen that her fashion style was "a bit of a concoction of different things" and stated she enjoyed humor in her clothing. She has also described herself as having "
multipersonality disorder" for fashion. Perry lists Gwen Stefani,
Natalie Portman, and the fictional character
Lolita as her style icons. In 2022, Elle dubbed her as "the
kitsch-loving pop star renowned for her uniquely experimental style", while Vogue described her style as "synonymous with outrageous, eye-catching ensembles that lean towards the theatrical".
During the 2017 launch of her shoe collection, Katy Perry Collections, she said about shoes: "When I first got to L.A., I cultivated my style on a budget, always shopping at thrift stores or vintage stores. … Once, I found these flats that looked like
Dalmatian dogs. They had ears that moved and a tongue that stuck out. They were such a conversation piece. That's what is so great about fashion. … It's a form of communication. You don't have to start a smoking habit to start talking to someone. You can just wear cool shoes. It's an icebreaker."
Several media outlets such as Billboard and Glamour have referred to her as the "
Queen of Pop", while Vogue and Rolling Stone have dubbed Perry the "Queen of Camp". Andrew Unterberger of Billboard described Teenage Dream "one of the defining LPs from a new golden age in mega-pop" while Christopher Rosa of Glamour named her as an influence to the
pop sound and style of the 2010s, adding that her singles are "some of the most recognizable, iconic, and impactful hits in pop history." Perry was named "one of the last decade's most reliable and successful hitmakers" by the
Official Charts Company in 2022.
Additionally, Perry was included in Glamour's "104 Women Who Defined the [2010s] in Pop Culture" list, saying: "[Perry] did more than just break chart records. She was one of the driving forces behind the sound of pop radio in the 2010s. [...] glossy, booming, sugary-sweet, and undeniably catchy."Variety included Perry in their Variety 500 list of the most influential business leaders, calling her a "global phenomenon" and a "dedicated artist and tireless self-promoter who has leveraged chart-topping hits, sold-out stadium shows, and staggering endorsement deals to become one of the richest and most influential pop stars alive." A 2017 journal published by Psychology of Aesthetics, Creativity, and the Arts studying structural patterns in the melodies of
earworm songs compiled lists of
catchiest tracks from 3,000 participants, in which Perry's "California Gurls" ranked number six. She has been called a "
gay icon" by Taylor Henderson of Out, noting how "I Kissed a Girl" helped fans explore their sexuality and how Perry openly embraced the
Perry became a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador in December 2013
Perry has supported various charitable organizations and causes throughout her career. She has contributed to organizations aimed at improving the lives and welfare of children in particular. In April 2013, she joined
UNICEF to assist children in Madagascar with education and nutrition. On December 3, 2013, she was officially named a
UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador, "with a special focus on engaging young people in the agency's work to improve the lives of the world's most vulnerable children and adolescents." She arranged for a portion of the money generated from tickets to her Prismatic World Tour to go to UNICEF. In September 2010, she helped build and design the Boys Hope/Girls Hope foundation shelter for youth in Baltimore, Maryland along with
Shaquille O'Neal, and the cast of Extreme Makeover: Home Edition. In 2010, Perry and
Nicki Minaj performed a cover of "
Girls Just Want to Have Fun" for service members during the 2010
VH1 Divas Salute the Troops concert.
She has also supported children's education and well-being. All profits from sales of the album The Gay Nineties Old Tyme Music: Daisy Bell, which includes her rendition of "
Daisy Bell (Bicycle Built for Two)", were donated to the charity
Little Kids Rock, which supports musical education in underprivileged elementary schools. In June 2014, she teamed up with
Staples Inc. for a project entitled "Make Roar Happen" which donated $1 million to
DonorsChoose, an organization that supports teachers and funds classroom resources in public schools. In May 2016, she worked with UNICEF to improve child care quality in Vietnam, hoping to "break the cycle of poverty and drastically improve children's health, education and well-being". The following month, UNICEF announced that Perry would receive the
Audrey Hepburn Humanitarian Award "for her work as a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador in support of the world's most vulnerable children" at their annual Snowflake Ball in November. All Spotify streams of her 2021 cover of "All You Need Is Love" will generate $1 in donations for the charity
Nicki Minaj (right) performing for service members during the 2010 VH1 Divas Salute the Troops concert
Perry performed at the
One Love Manchester benefit concert for the victims of the 2017
Manchester Arena bombing, among various performers including its organizer
Ariana Grande, which was broadcast live on June 4, 2017, on radio and television stations around the world. In March 2018, Perry announced Witness: Coming Home, a benefit concert that was held in her hometown of Santa Barbara on May 19, 2018. The concert benefited those recovering from the aftermath of the
2017 California wildfires and
2018 Southern California mudflows. Perry partnered with the Santa Barbara Foundation, the 93108 Fund and The 805 UndocuFund, organizations which help in assisting members of the community in the Santa Barbara area through grants and various philanthropic efforts.
Perry has publicly advocated for
LGBT rights and admitted that she wrote "I Kissed a Girl" about her own
bisexual experiences with other women. In 2017, she received a Nation Equality Award from
Human Rights Campaign for "using her powerful voice and international platform to speak out for LGBTQ equality". In her acceptance speech, she discussed having bisexual experiences, her fluid sexuality, and thanked the
LGBTQ+ community. In an Out interview in 2021, she was heralded as a "
gay icon" with "I Kissed a Girl" being called a "bonafide queer anthem". She continued to thank the LGBTQ+ community in the same interview, saying: "I came from a very sheltered upbringing where it wasn't okay to be friends with anyone from that community. And now that is my community, [...] I wouldn't have survived without the community and it's amazing how full circle it's come and how much growth has happened since I started." Tomás Mier of Rolling Stone remarked Perry "championed queer folks, especially
drag queens, throughout her career."
Stonewall during their "It gets better..... today" campaign to prevent
homophobic bullying, and dedicated the music video to her song "Firework" to the
It Gets Better Project. In 2008, Perry told
Do Something she was proud to be an LGBT rights activist, saying "I've always been a very open-minded person, but I definitely believe in equality." In June 2012, Perry expressed her hopes for LGBT equality, commenting "hopefully, we will look back at this moment and think like we do now concerning [other]
civil rights issues. We'll just shake our heads in disbelief, saying, 'Thank God we've evolved.' That would be my prayer for the future." In December 2012, Perry was awarded the Trevor Hero Award by
The Trevor Project for her work and activism on behalf of LGBT youth.
Through Twitter and by performing at rallies, Perry supported President
Barack Obama in his run for re-election and praised his support for
same-sex marriage and LGBT equality. She performed at three rallies for Obama, in Los Angeles, Las Vegas, and Wisconsin, singing a rendition of "
Let's Stay Together" as well as a number of her songs. During her Las Vegas performance she wore a dress made to replicate a voting ballot, with Obama's box filled in. On Twitter, she encouraged her followers to vote for Obama.
Billboard also named her the 15th most successful dance club artist of all time. The magazine additionally ranked her fourth on its "Greatest of All Time Pop Songs Artists" list, included Teenage Dream and Prism among its "Greatest of All Time Billboard 200 Albums by Women" list, and ranked "Dark Horse" at number 100 on its "Greatest of All Time Hot 100 Songs" as well as one of its "Greatest of All Time Hot 100 Songs by Women" along with "E.T.", "Firework", and "California Gurls". In June 2015, her music video for "Dark Horse" became the first video by a female artist to reach 1 billion views on Vevo. The following month, her music video for "Roar" reached 1 billion views on Vevo, making her the first artist to have multiple videos with 1 billion views.
Perry was declared the Top Global Female Recording Artist of 2013 by the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI). According to Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), she is the fifth
top digital singles artist in the United States, with 109.5 million certified song units in the country including on-demand streams and also has 17 million certified album units, totaling 126 million certified units in the United States. She also became the first artist to have three songs receive Diamond certifications from the RIAA with "Dark Horse", "Firework", and "Roar". All three of them and "E.T.", "California Gurls", and "Hot n Cold" have each sold over 5 million digital copies. With more than 18 million albums and 125 million singles sold globally, Perry is
one of the best-selling music artists of all time.
In 2011, Forbes ranked her third on their "Top-Earning Women In Music" list with earnings of $44 million and fifth on their 2012 list with $45 million. She subsequently ranked seventh on the 2013 Forbes list for "Top-Earning Women In Music" with $39 million earned, and fifth on their 2014 list with $40 million. With earnings of $135 million, Forbes also ranked Perry number one on their 2015 "Top-Earning Women In Music" list as well as the "World's Highest-Paid Musicians" and declared her the highest earning female celebrity in 2015, placing her at number 3 on the Forbes Celebrity 100 list. In 2016, the magazine estimated her net worth was $125 million, and ranked her number six on their list of "Highest-Paid Women in Music" with earnings of $41 million. The following year, she was ranked number nine on the list with $33 million. In 2018, she topped its "Highest-Paid Women in Music" listing and ranked at number four on the "Highest-Paid Female Celebrities" list, with earnings of $83 million. Perry subsequently was placed at number four on the 2019 "Highest-Paid Women in Music" listings, with $57.5 million. Later that year, with earnings of $530 million throughout the 2010s, the magazine also ranked her as the ninth-highest-earning musician of the decade.
^Choppin, Damien; Bourdon, Megan; Moynihan, Qayyah (November 20, 2019).
"These are the 10 highest-paid female singers of 2019". Business Insider. Retrieved March 13, 2022. Never Really Over earned the singer considerable critical acclaim, positioning her in the top 15 of the Billboard 100."
^Donelan, Charles (February 1, 2022).
"Pano: Santa Barbara's Katy Perry Brings Down the House in Las Vegas". Santa Barbara Independent. Retrieved October 3, 2022. In the spring of 2021, Perry signed a deal worth $168 million to appear at the new Resorts World Theater, a splashy, 5,000-seat venue located in the Conrad Las Vegas. She opened her run on December 30, 2021, as reported by the Montecito Journal's intrepid star spotter Richard Mineards, along with the usual array of celebrity media outlets.