Katy Perry is a globally recognizable pop star, but where did she grow up?
Katy Perry, original name Katheryn Elizabeth Hudson, grew up in Santa Barbara, California. Her family was deeply religious and had conservative views.
Read more about Katy Perry’s early years below.
Her family were profound Christians and were keen to instill the same beliefs in the young Perry and her two siblings. Her parents were ministers in the evangelical church.
“I didn’t have a childhood,” she told an interviewer. As a child, she studied the Bible with her mother, with this taking the place of bedtime stories.
She recalls hearing her family discussing Planned Parenthood, which at the time, she believed was solely an abortion clinic. She had an awakening when she used the service herself for contraceptive purposes.
“I went there and I learned about birth control,” she explains.
Her interest in music began at an early age. At just nine, she was attending singing lessons and in her early teens, she learned the guitar.
Perry’s strict upbringing meant that she wasn’t allowed to listen to mainstream music, though she ultimately was able to access friends’ CDs. “The only things I was allowed to listen to were the ‘Sister Act’ soundtracks,” she says.
Though with her friends’ assistance, she began to broaden her musical horizons, seeing Freddie Mercury as a particular inspiration.
With her sexual lyrics and provocative music videos, it’s little secret that Perry has strayed from her conservative upbringing. Despite this, her relationship with her parents appears unharmed.
Perry’s parents, she claimed, “grew with [her].” They accept her career and are pleased that she has achieved huge success, and although it may not be the path they’d choose for their daughter, they recognize that there are far worse alternatives.
“We coexist,” she explains of her relationship with her parents. “I don’t try to change them anymore, and I don’t think they try to change me. We agree to disagree…They’re happy that things are going well for their three children and that they’re not on drugs. Or in prison.”
At first, Perry’s music career was in keeping with her strict religious upbringing. Her first album, released in 2001 under the name Katy Hudson, was a gospel album.
The album was positively reviewed, but was unsuccessful commercially, selling around 200 units. The singer revamped her image and rather than her real name of ‘Hudson’, decided to use ‘Perry’, her mother’s maiden name.
She shed her Christian image and agreed to a deal with Capitol Records. In 2008, she released the breakout single, ‘I Kissed a Girl’ which reached number one on the Billboard Hot 100 chart.
The lyrics of the track were a far cry from her earlier musical efforts. ‘Hot n Cold’ followed, with this track also achieving success, reaching number three on the chart.
In 2010, she collaborated with rapper Snoop Dogg on ‘California Gurls’, which brought her another number one hit. The track was one of a number of highly successful tracks on Perry’s ‘Teenage Dream’ album, which lists hits including ‘Last Friday Night’ and ‘Teenage Dream’.
Her album ‘Prism’ was released in 2013, with the lead track, ‘Roar’, bringing yet another number one. Another album, ‘Witness’, followed in 2017.
Her more recent musical events include the tracks ‘Small Talk’, ‘Harleys In Hawaii’, ‘Daisies’, and ‘Smile’.
As well as releasing a steady stream of hits, Perry has also ventured into other disciplines. Using her knowledge of the industry, she took up the role of a judge on American Idol.
In 2015, Perry achieved the dream of many budding musicians when she performed at the Super Bowl XLIX halftime show. Alongside Lenny Kravitz and Missy Elliot, Perry created a performance that pulled in over 100 million viewers.