Katy Perry’s halftime performance at Super Bowl XLIX, hyped for months and anticipated by millions, did not disappoint. Halfway through the matchup between the Seattle Seahawks and New England Patriots, Perry plowed through her plentiful collection of hits with help from Lenny Kravitz, Missy Elliott and Perry’s wardrobe stylist — a Clinton native — Abby Franklin.
Franklin was backstage during the halftime show, working with the sharks and chess pieces, making sure the costumes were on properly.
Raised by her parents, Leon “Sonny” Franklin and Norma Franklin, down a gravel road in Clinton, Franklin credits a life-saving satellite dish and her MTV-watching habit as her crash course into the fashion and music world.
She said it was at the age of 14 during the Live Aid concert in July 1985 that she discovered her love for music.
Her father, now retired, was the principal of Clinton High School in the ’70s and early ’80s and her mother works at the East Feliciana Clerk of Court’s Office. Her parents still live in Clinton.
She graduated in 1989 from Huntington Academy in Ferriday and later from LSU with a degree in speech and communication.
During college, she spent a semester in Florida working an internship with the Disney Work Program.
With a diploma in hand, Franklin moved to Florida, working as an audience recruiter for MTV, but, she said, her calling came when she worked as a production assistant for a sleeping aid commercial.
“I was supposed to be helping out with production, but the wardrobe stylist didn’t show up and someone on set looked over at me and said, ‘Hey, you look like you like to shop,’ and proceeded to hand me money and told me to purchase a wardrobe for the shoot,” she said.
From there she began working backstage at the House of Blues at Disney until the band Creed came through town.
She said they promised her that if they made it big they would take her on the road with them. In 2000, she went on tour with Creed as their wardrobe stylist.
One twist of fate led to another, and soon enough, she said, she received a call to work with Prince on one of his tours.
For the next several years, Franklin said, she toured with everyone including Bon Jovi, the Smashing Pumpkins, Lenny Kravitz and Madonna.
Kravitz was one of the performers at this year’s Super Bowl halftime show.
With her days jam-packed, Franklin said she takes in as much as she can balancing wardrobe creations and roaming cities front to back, just in case she never has the opportunity to return to them.
She lives in Nashville but likes to come home to Clinton from time to time, she said.
No matter what country she travels across, she said, she can never find the value of it like a small town such as Clinton.
“I love the small-town atmosphere. It gave me a lot of value, kind of like a good friendship. You don’t find that in the big cities,” Abby said.
Franklin will continue to tour with Perry for the next months. She began her next journey with Perry on Feb. 10 as they departed for Europe for seven weeks.