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Katheryn Elizabeth Hudson (born October 25, 1984), known by her stage name Katy Perry, is an American singer-songwriter and musician. Born in California to pastor parents, she grew up listening to gospel music and singing in church. Perry rose to fame in 2008 with her breakthrough single "I Kissed a Girl".
Perry began with an on-and-off recording career, having been dropped three times by record labels. After signing to Capitol Music Group in 2007, she released her first mainstream album, One of the Boys. It contains the worldwide hits "I Kissed a Girl" and "Hot N Cold".
Perry was born Katheryn Elizabeth Hudson on October 25, 1984 in Santa Barbara, California, United States. The middle child of two pastors, she has an older sister and younger brother. She was a born again and sang in their church. Her Evangelical mother, Mary Hudson, grew up in Southern California, and had "a tempestuous first marriage in Zimbabwe". Her dad was a West Coast scenester in the 1960s. She grew up listening to gospel music and was not allowed to listen to secular music.
She graduated from Dos Pueblos High School, in Goleta, California, in 2003, and immediately moved to Los Angeles at age 18. Among her musical influences are Alanis Morissette, and pop rockers Cyndi Lauper, Pat Benatar, Joan Jett and Shirley Manson.
Perry dated Gym Class Heroes frontman Travis McCoy on and off for several years. After more than a year of friendship and casual dating, they became serious with their relationship right before they embarked into the 2008 Warped Tour. Perry and McCoy broke up in December 2008.
Perry's songs, particularly "Ur So Gay" and "I Kissed a Girl", have generated controversies upon their release. The songs have have received reactions from religious groups and gay periodicals. Perry responded to the controversy surrounding "Ur So Gay": "It's not a negative connotation. It's not, 'you're so gay,' like, 'you're so lame,' but the fact of the matter is that this boy should've been gay. I totally understand how it could be misconstrued or whatever … I wasn't stereotyping anyone in particular, I was talking about ex-boyfriends."
In June 2008, Perry emerged in a publicity photo in which she pose clasping a switchblade. Anti-knife campaigners criticized her for glamorizing knives. The shoot was defended as an effort to give Perry a "sexy, harder edge".
In December, Perry apologized to British singer Lily Allen for remarks in which she called herself a "skinnier version" of her, saying she meant it as a joke. Allen retaliated and told a British radio station that she "happen to know for a fact that she was an American version" of her because their record company needed "to find something controversial and 'kooky'" like her.
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