When it comes to pop princesses, Katy Perry has set the standard for the current decade. In her first five years as a commercial recording artist she's won eight Grammy nominations and released a smash hit movie -- not to mention a string of chart-topping singles and platinum albums -- and is the only artist ever to have spent over 52 consecutive weeks in the Top 10 of the Hot 100. This was a reward for years of struggle when she couldn't afford her rent and was rejected by two major record labels after recording albums for them. Her troubled upbringing in a deeply religious family where pop music was banned, plus a failed marriage to British actor Russell Brand, also make her unique among pop females. Katy's pop videos have been hailed as works of art, taking the medium to new levels of humor and artfulness, and in 2012 she was hailed by music trade magazine Billboard as their Woman of the Year. She appeals to male and female fans from six to 60, changes her hair color and wardrobe at the drop of a hat, and is, as one critic put it, "all five Spice Girls rolled into one." From "Teenage Dream" to "California Gurl" and beyond, the fact and speculation about Katy Perry's past, present, and future make for fascinating reading.
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