Katy Perry

One wouldn't guess it by listening to the sexually suggestive lyrics in her music, but Katy Perry is actually the daughter of two pastors and grew up singing in church until she was 17. Perry was also a fan of gospel music, and in her freshman year of high school, the California native dropped out to pursue a career in music. Perry's church singing turned the heads of some music veterans, who brought her to Nashville to hone her songwriting skills. Her first album (which she released under her original name Kate Hudson) was rooted in gospel and proved to be an unmitigated failure.

After changing her name and moving to California, Perry recorded a rock album for Island Records with super-producer Glen Ballard, though it was never released. After a continued series of falling outs and shelved projects with a variety of record labels, Perry's undeniable talent and star quality captured the attention of a Capitol Music executive who signed her in 2007.

katy perry kisses a girl and likes it

While the first song released off Katy Perry's debut album called "Ur So Gay" created online buzz and controversy for obvious reasons, it was the official lead single "I Kissed A Girl," that established Perry as a bona fide pop sensation. The racy tale of woman-on-woman love soared to the top of the Billboard charts where it remained for seven weeks, while drawing the ire of gay and lesbian groups across the country. Perry's mother, an Evangelical Christian, was one of the song's most vocal critics, calling it "shameful and disgusting." Still, its injection into the cultural zeitgeist was undeniable, as was its success, earning Perry a nomination for Best Female Pop Vocal Performance at the 51st Grammys. Her debut album One of the Boys featured a string of equally successful singles including "Hot N' Cold" and "Waking Up in Vegas," making it a platinum-selling disc with a 71 week-long stay on the charts.

katy perry saddles up with russell brand

With her professional career progressing full steam ahead, all Katy Perry lacked was stability in her personal life. Ironic, then, that she began a courtship with notorious British bad-boy Russell Brand. After a rocky on-and-off again relationship with Gym Class Heroes singer Travis McCoy, Perry began seeing Brand after the two met at the MTV Video Awards, and their relationship has progressed into a highly publicized engagement under constant scrutiny from the tabloids. Set to marry this October, the couple is very vocal about their love for one another, and often share intimate details with the press. Though Brand -- a former drug addict -- will forgo the bachelor party festivities, Perry's bachelorette is being thrown by her good friend Rihanna. And yes, we're still waiting for our invitation in the mail.

katy perry looks to dominate the summer

When Katy Perry released "California Gurls" -- the infectious first single from her coming sophomore effort Teenage Dream, it instantly became the front-runner for the coveted "Song of The Summer" crown. The Snoop Dogg-featuring electro banger soared to No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100, which certainly bodes well for Perry's latest disc, released in the U.S. on August 24th. Perry claims that the song is a direct response to Jay-Z's Big Apple big-up "Empire State of Mind," igniting the fiercest coast wars since Tupac and Biggie went at it in the '90s.

katy perry takes on lady gaga

Speaking of feuds, Katy Perry must have been looking to shake up the pop landscape when she tweeted "using blasphemy as entertainment is as cheap as a comedian telling a fart joke," which was perceived as a direct shot at Lady Gaga and her controversial video for "Alejandro." Perry immediately clarified that her statement was directed at blasphemous pop stars in general, not just at Gaga, insisting that she's in fact a fan of the megastar. Millions of men around the world hoping for the world's sexiest cat fight just let out a simultaneous groan.