Katy Perry

Katy Perry

Updated Aug 24, 2014 at 11:21AM EDT by Molly Horan.

Added Oct 24, 2013 at 02:58PM EDT by Don.

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Katy Perry is the stage name of Katheryn Hudson, an American singer-songwriter and actress best known for her chart-topping dance pop singles and colorful music videos. Since her debut in 2008, the pop star has gained a large fan following and her music videos have been frequently parodied, remixed and covered by on YouTube.

Online History

On July 16th, 2003, the official Katy Perry[5] website was launched, which was originally limited to a blog containing news related to the pop star (shown below, left). In 2006, the site was redesigned in Flash to contain biographical information, pictures and other additional information (shown below, right).

On November 3rd, 2007, the official Katy Perry Facebook[1] page was created, accumulating more than 58.9 million likes in the following six years. On June 2nd, 2008, the Katy Perry fan site Katy-Perry.net[4] was created. On October 10th, 2009, the Katy Perry Wiki[3] site was launched, which gathered upwards of 360 pages in the next four years. On December 12th, the KatyPerryVEVO YouTube channel was launched, featuring music videos by the pop star. As of October 2013, the @katyperry[2] Twitter feed has received over 45.8 million followers.

I Kissed a Girl (2008)

On May 16th, 2008, the music video for the song “I Kissed a Girl” released and was uploaded to YouTube the following month (shown below). In the following six years, the video accumulated upwards of 44.2 million views and 128,000 comments.

California Gurls (2010)

On May 11th, 2010, the song “California Gurls” was released as a single for Perry’s third studio album Teenage Dream. On June 8th, YouTuber keepmakingmusic uploaded a mashup of “California Girls” and “Tik Tok” by Ke$ha (shown below), which pointed out the similarities between the two songs. In the first four years, the mashup gained more than 2.91 million views and 9,100 comments.

On June 14th, 2010, the EMI music YouTube channel released the music video for “California Gurls” (shown below, left). On the following day, Barely Political uploaded a parody of the video, which criticizes the attitudes of the women in California (shown below, right). In the first four years, the videos accumulated upwards of 84 million and 45 million views respectively. As of October 2013, there are over 130,000 search results for the keywords “california gurls parody” on YouTube.[8]

Firework (2010)

On October 28th, 2010, the KatyPerryVEVO YouTube channel published the music video for the song “Firework,” gathering more than 394 million views and 763,000 comments in the next three years.

On June 25th, 2011, YouTuber Stephanie Taylor uploaded a remix of the song “Firework” edited with the incoherent ramblings of the character Nigel Thornberry from the animated series The Wild Thornberrys (shown below, left). On February 22nd, 2013, YouTuber MaShitUp2012 uploaded an edited version of the music video for “Firework,” in which videos of goats yelling are spliced into the chorus (shown below). In eight months, the video garnered over 1.19 million views and 280 comments.

Last Friday Night (2011)

On June 12th, 2011, Perry’s VEVO channel premiered the music video “Last Friday Night” by Perry, starring pop singer Rebecca Black (shown below). Within three years, the video garnered upwards of 235 million views and 477,000 comments.

Call Me Maybe Lip Dub

On April 16th, 2012, YouTuber oskrmew12 uploaded a video of Katy Perry performing a lip dub of the song “Call Me Maybe” by Carly Rae Jepsen (shown below), accumulating upwards of 4.06 million views and 3,900 comments in the next two years.

Roar (2013)

On September 5th, 2013, the KatyPerryVEVO YouTube channel posted the music video for the song “Roar” (shown below), garnering more than 147 million views in the first two months.

On the following day, YouTuber Joey Graceffa uploaded a lip dub parody of the music video (shown below, left). On September 18th, YouTuber hoiitsroi uploaded a “Roar” parody, in which a man dressed in drag is dumped by his boyfriend (shown below, right). In next five weeks, the video gained over 2.6 million views and 7,200 comments.

On October 21st, the Children’s Hospital at Dartmouth-Hitchcock uploaded a video featuring patients, parents and hospital staff performing a lip dub of “Roar” (shown below). The same day, Redditor BlinkDaggerOP submitted the video to the /r/videos[9] subreddit. In the first 72 hours, the video received upwards of 1.32 million views and 2,000 comments.


On September 21st, 2010, YouTuber The Showbiz 411 uploaded a video featuring a leaked duet between Perry and the puppet Elmo for the children’s television show Sesame Street (shown below, left). On the following day, TMZ[7]reported that producers on the show decided to not to run the duet after parents began complaining that the pop star’s cleavage was too visible. On September 25th, Perry appeared in a skit on the sketch comedy show Saturday Night Live, in which she parodied the incident by prominently showing her cleavage while wearing a low-cut Elmo t-shirt (shown below, right).

Cultural Appropriation

On February 20th, 2014, Perry’s YouTube channel released a video for “Dark Horse” which has an ancient Egyptian setting and themes. Perry’s critics claimed this was an example of cultural appropriation and disrespecting Egyptian culture.

The video also launched[11] a Change.org[12] petition to have it removed from YouTube because of an image it includes which shows a man wearing a necklace reading Allah being burned, which can be offensive to Muslims. As of August 2014, the petition gained over 60,000 signatures.

On July 31st 2014, Perry’s YouTube channel released a video for “This is How We Do” which features Perry wearing cornrows and affecting a voice which could be seen as an imitation of an african american stereotype.

Several sites ran pieces accusing the singer of cultural appropriation in the video including The Daily Dot[13] and Autostraddle.[14]

Personal Life

Katy Perry was born Katheryn Hudson on October 25th, 1984 in Santa Barbara, California. Perry mother and father were both Pentecostal pastors, who sent their daughter to religious schools as a child. After earning her GED during her freshman year of high school, Perry dropped out of school to pursue a career in music. Perry has had romantic relationships with several actors and musicians, including Justin York of the Christian rock band Tait, Matt Thiessen of the Christian rock band Relient K, actor Johnny Lewis, rapper Travie McCoy and singer-songwriter John Mayer. Perry married actor Russell Brand in October of 2010 and Brand filed for divorced in December of 2011.

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