Katy Perry

A former Christian artist, Katy Perry rebranded herself as a larger-than-life pop star and rose to prominence during the summer of 2008. Before she topped the charts with songs like "I Kissed a Girl" and "California Gurls," though, she spent the better part of a decade recording music under a different name. Katheryn Elizabeth Hudson (or Katy Hudson, as she billed herself on her 2001 gospel album) was born on October 25, 1984, in Santa Barbara, California. Raised in a religious household as the daughter of two pastors, she was forbidden to listen to secular bands as a child, although a childhood slumber party introduced her to the music of Alanis Morissette and Freddie Mercury. Religious music remained at the forefront, however, and Katy released a self-titled Christian album in 2001 under her original name. She would later abandon the genre (and her given surname) in favor of a pop career.

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