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 Katy Perry

Katy Perry
Katy Perry

AGE: 29 BORN: Oct. 25, 1984

Katy Perry is now famous for "Firework"-like performances, whipped cream bras and that deliciously catchy kiss-off to ex Russell Brand, "Part of Me." So it's easy to forget that the Billboard Music Award winner couldn't get the industry's attention until she "Kissed a Girl."

In fact when she was 15, the daughter of two Evangelical pastors released a self-titled gospel album under her given name, Katy Hudson, which received no attention. A second attempt two years later with producer Glen Ballard went nowhere, either.

Three didn't prove a charm, either for the "Hot n Cold" singer, as Columbia Records dropped her from the label before her third album's release.

While the rest of us thought One of the Boys was the hot sound of a fresh new artist, the "Ur So Gay," performer had actually been pounding on the music industry's door for six years before it was thrown wide open for her with the Sapphic chart topper "I Kissed a Girl."

By comparison, the rest of Perry's career has been a cakewalk.

Realizing every air guitarists' wildest Teenage Dream, the American Music Award winner has tied Michael Jackson with five No. 1 singles from one album. And when Teenage Dream was rereleased in March 2012 with the single "Part of Me," the sexy chanteuse watched that song hit No. 1, too.

With her wild wigs and outrageous costumes, the tattooed lady is every much a visual artist, too. From singing atop a giant lip balm to festooning herself with oversized pieces of candy, Perry brings visual pop, color and fun to all her performances.

Katy's love life has proven equally vivid. The sweet voice of Smurfette married British bad boy Russell Brand in 2010, in a lavish ceremony in India, only to be handed divorce papers a year later.

If the singer's path to stardom informs her journey to true romance, it could be a while before she finally finds love–perhaps she'd speed things up if she "kissed a girl" on the way.

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