The ever-changing hair colors, cartoonish stage costumes, celebrity boyfriends and a brief marriage to British comic Russell Brand — it’s all kept the buzz about Katy Perry hot since she became a pop star in 2008.
Recent items about the singer-songwriter include her Muppet-red hairdo.
“It’s Animal-inspired pinky-red!” MTV.com reported. “KP shared the new hue on Instagram late last night, which she called ‘dat hot wheels hurrr/play doe pink do.’”
Perry’s 129-date Prismatic World Tour reaches the Smoothie King Center in New Orleans on Wednesday.
Perry’s rainbow looks are as recognizable a part of her career as her hit songs. Backstage at the American Music Awards, Amy Wallace reported in the February issue of GQ that Perry sat in a director’s chair surrounded by two hairstylists, one makeup artist and a costumer. For that AMA appearance, she appeared in extreme-white theatrical powder, giant false eyelashes, a geisha wig and a pink kimono.
But Perry is a real singer and songwriter who worked at music for years before her breakout hit, “I Kissed a Girl.”
Her larger-than-life pop star persona and sassy, sexy, pleasure-celebrating, girl-powered songs are also the polar opposite of her conservative Christian background.
Perry’s parents, Pentecostal ministers, forbade her to listen to secular music when she was a child. The singer’s 2001 album debut was Christian music.
In 2013, ex-Christian music act Perry told Marie Claire magazine that she no longer believes in heaven, hell or “a man sitting on a throne. ... I’m not Buddhist, I’m not Hindu, I’m not Christian, but I still feel like I have a deep connection with God. I pray all the time, for self-control, for humility. There’s a lot of gratitude in it. Just saying ‘thank you’ sometimes is better than asking for things.”
By 17, Perry had shifted away from Christian music and begun working with Alanis Morissette collaborator Glen Ballard. She later collaborated with the production-songwriting team the Matrix (Avril Lavigne, Shakira). That project went nowhere.
Perry’s pop music album debut, “One of the Boys,” finally appeared in 2008. Its debut single, “Ur So Gay,” failed, but follow-up song “I Kissed a Girl” became the first of many hits to come, including “Hot N Cold,” “Waking Up in Vegas” and “California Gurls.”
Follow-up album “Teenage Dream,” released in 2011, debuted at No. 1 in eight countries. It produced four No. 1 Billboard songs (“California Gurls,” “Teenage Dream,” “Firework” and “E.T.”).
Perry’s latest album, “Prism,” debuted at No. 1 in Billboard last fall. Selling 286,000 copies, it was the biggest first week for an album by a female pop artist since Madonna’s “MDNA” sold 359,000 copies in 2012. “Prism” easily topped debut sales figures for the earlier “Teenage Dream.”
The singer’s Prismatic World Tour’s two-night stand last month at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, The Hollywood Reporter reported, “showcased how a pop star’s irreverent brand can translate into a theatrical spectacle that emphasizes fun over drama.”
Despite the show’s succession of nonsensical segments, the review added, the singer captivated her audience of very young, largely female fans. Perry expressed her gratitude.
“Can I just say with my whole heart thank you for still liking me?” she said. “Thanks for still choosing me. I hope we never break up.”