Katheryn Elizabeth Hudson (born October 25, 1984), known professionally as Katy Perry, is an American singer, songwriter, and television judge. She sang in church during her childhood before pursuing a career in gospel music as a teenager. Perry signed with Red Hill Records and released her debut studio album, Katy Hudson, under her birth name in 2001, which was commercially unsuccessful. After Red Hill ceased operations, she moved to Los Angeles the following year to venture into secular music, adopting the stage name “Katy Perry” from her mother’s maiden name. Perry subsequently began working with producers Glen Ballard, Dr. Luke, and Max Martin on two albums that were later shelved, with much of the material being reworked onto One of the Boys. Prior to signing a recording contract with Capitol Records in April 2007, she was also dropped by The Island Def Jam Music Group and Columbia Records.
Perry rose to fame in 2008 with her second album, One of the Boys, a pop rock record containing her controversial debut single “I Kissed a Girl” and the song “Hot n Cold”, which respectively reached number one and three on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100. Three subsequent albums have topped the U.S. Billboard 200 chart. The disco-influenced Teenage Dream (2010) spawned five U.S. number one singles—”California Gurls”, “Teenage Dream”, “Firework”, “E.T.”, and “Last Friday Night (T.G.I.F.)”—becoming the first album by a solo female artist to do so, and tied her with Michael Jackson’s Bad. A reissue titled Teenage Dream: The Complete Confection (2012) subsequently had the number one single “Part of Me” and number two single “Wide Awake”. Her follow-up record Prism (2013) incorporates pop and dance along with themes of self-reflection, everyday life, and relationships. With the music videos for its chart-topping singles “Roar” and “Dark Horse”, Perry became the first artist to have multiple videos reach one billion views on Vevo. Witness (2017) featured an electropop sound with a political subtext, themes of liberation, and self-described “purposeful pop.” Her sixth studio album, Smile (2020), signaled a return to her previous pop roots. All of her albums released under Capitol have surpassed one billion streams on Spotify.
Perry is one of the world’s best-selling music artists, having sold over 143 million records worldwide. Her music has been recognized for influencing the pop sound and style of the 2010s. She has nine Billboard Hot 100 number one singles and has received various awards, including four Guinness World Records, five Billboard Music Awards, five American Music Awards, a Brit Award, and a Juno Award. Perry has been included in the annual Forbes lists of highest-earning women in music from 2011 to 2019. Her Super Bowl halftime show performance is the most watched in history. Outside of music, she released an autobiographical documentary titled Katy Perry: Part of Me in 2012, and voiced Smurfette in the 2011 film The Smurfs and its sequel in 2013. Perry also began serving as a judge on American Idol in 2018, starting from its sixteenth season.