Katy Perry‘s fourth album PRISM is available for purchase today, promising to be the aural light that will brighten any gloomy autumn. More or less a part of our lives since 2008, Perry is an interesting artist with an even more interesting background that now seems contradictory to the candy-coated persona she’s crafted.
With her name in the record books, Perry is a bankable Star with a successful team known for creating pop perfection. From her former flames to her fragrances, industry feuds, and the porn names she’s inspired, check out everything you need to know about KP, below.
A: Alter Ego
Like her contemporaries Lady Gaga and Beyoncé, Katy assumed the role of Kathy Beth Terry, an awkward yet enthusiastic high school student with an intense piece of headgear and dreams of hosting the party of the year. Terry was used as a stand-in for Perry in 2011’s “Last Friday Night (T.G.I.F.)” music video, which featured appearances by Glee stars Darren Criss and Kevin McHale, viral sensation Rebecca Black, Kenny G, and ’80s icons Corey Feldman and Debbie Gibson. Prior to the release, Perry launched a social media campaign for Terry, tweeting and replying to fans as her alter ego. Kathy Beth Terry should not be confused with adult film parody “Katy Pervy”–although imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.
B: Brand, Russell
Perry’s always had a taste for men in showbiz, dating actor Johnny Lewis and musician Travie McCoy during the nascent days of her career (and even starring in the “Cupid’s Chokehold” music video by McCoy’s band Gym Class Heroes). Perry met British comedian Russell Brand while filming a cameo for Get Him To The Greek in 2009, and he made his intentions known during hosting stint at the MTV Video Music Awards that September: “Katy Perry didn’t win an award and she’s staying at the same hotel as me, so she’s gonna need a shoulder to cry on. So in a way, I’m the real winner tonight.” The two were married in India in December 2009, and seemed to be the ideal, if not slightly misfit, unofficial dark-haired couple of pop. After 14 months of marriage, Brand filed for divorce in December 2011. While Perry insists post-divorce songs like “Part Of Me” and “Wide Awake” were not inspired by Brand, their relationship–including conflicts and the dissolution of their marriage–is chronicled in her 2012 documentary, Katy Perry: Part of Me.
C: Cherry Chapstick
Perry’s 2008 breakthrough single, “I Kissed A Girl,” bragged about girl-on-girl action and pleasantly recalled the specific brand AND flavor her subject was wearing on her lips (“I kissed a girl and I liked it, the taste of her cherry Chapstick”). Whether or not listeners saw Perry’s exploits as attention-grabbing, it’s safe to say they remembered her preference for lip balm.
Perry recruited both Kanye West and Snoop Dogg for her seminal album, Teenage Dream, both of whom are greatly lauded hip-hop/pop crossover acts with monstrous solo careers. But she’s also the object of other artist’s desires. Perry is featured on boyfriend John Mayer‘s “Who You Love,” off his 2013 album Paradise Valley. The couple that sings together…
Like other 21st century acts, Perry uses technology to her advantage, but there’s one form of modern technology that’s clearly her favorite: the emoji. Her love for the tiny, creative texting additions can be seen in the lyric video for “Roar” and frequent tweets to BFF Rihanna.
Throw it????throw it????, that’s how we ???? out. #immacomintogetyouRiRi
— Katy Perry (@katyperry) May 8, 2013