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Katy Perry's International Fame on the Rise


Katy Perry has quickly become an international music star. But, as VOA's Mary Morningstar tells us, her success in the pop field has surprised some who knew Perry in her younger years.

"One of the Boys" is the title track from 23-year-old singer-songwriter Katy Perry's new album.

She was born Katherine Hudson in Santa Barbara, California. Both of Katy's parents were pastors, who raised her in a strict religious home. Katy wasn't allowed to listen to secular music, but began traveling to Nashville in her early teens to record some gospel songs. She was only 15 when her self-titled Christian album was released.

A few years later, Katy moved to Los Angeles, where she met producer Glen Ballard. Ballard is best known for producing Alanis Morissette's Grammy-winning album Jagged Little Pill. Katy also worked with The Matrix, a songwriting and production team responsible for hits by Avril Lavigne, Britney Spears, Christina Aguilera and many others.

Several years ago, Katy changed her last name from Hudson to Perry to avoid being confused with American actress Kate Hudson. Perry recorded her first pop album in 2005, but lost her label deal and any chance for its release.

Last year, Katy recorded the controversial track "Ur So Gay." While she says the song wasn't meant as a derogatory statement, the lyrics could explain why she's receiving glowing reviews as well as criticism. Blender magazine once called her "the next big thing." A Christian website, however, wrote, "What a sad picture of a lost child who has been swept away by the carnal pleasures of the world."

As a songwriter, Katy feels it's important to keep her songs emotionally balanced. She says, "The whole angst thing is cool, but if that's all you've got, it's just boring. Everything I write, whether it's happy or sad, has a sense of humor to it."

Katy will spend the next two months appearing on North America's Vans Warped Tour.

The first official single released from One of the Boys is "I Kissed A Girl," which is currently a smash hit in the U.S., Australia, New Zealand, Canada, Venezuela and Brazil.

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