How Katy Perry went from Christian rock to ''I Kissed a Girl''
Her bi-curious pop-rock ditty ”I Kissed a Girl” (not a cover of the ’95 Jill Sobule hit) is currently racing up digital-songs charts, and no less an icon than Madonna publicly justified her love for the previous single, ”Ur So Gay.” But Katy Perry, a sort of Avril-Alanis hybrid in a Betty Boop bustier, swears she’s no one-topic pony. ”It’s supercoincidental!” insists the 23-year-old, whose full-length debut, One of the Boys, arrives June 17. ”When the label wanted to go with ‘I Kissed a Girl’ for a single, I was like, ‘Nooo! I’m gonna come off like that’s the only subject I know how to sing about.”’
Sexuality and rock music were hardly dinner-table talk in the Santa Barbara native’s household. Raised by pastor parents, Perry says with a laugh, ”The only things I was allowed to listen to were the Sister Act 1 and 2 soundtracks.” In 2001, she released a Christian pop-rock album; since then, it’s been a long, windy road to secular success, even after lengthy collaborations in L.A. with famed songwriter-producers the Matrix and Glen Ballard: ”I was signed to Island Records, dropped, signed to Columbia, dropped, and then — just when I was ready to pack my bags and go home — Capitol signed me.”
Now preparing for a summer on the road with the Vans Warped Tour, Perry happily lays out her long-term goal. ”Ultimately,” she declares with the trademark chutzpah of her most famous fan, ”I want Katy Perry to be as much of a household name as Madonna.”