Artist Spotlight: Katy Perry
Not everybody watches the Super Bowl, but just about everybody checks out the halftime show, American television's biggest 12-minute draw. And this year will likely be no exception. After tapping Bruno Mars to successfully draw in younger viewers for Super Bowl XLVIII, the NFL has continued moving away from boomer-approved entertainment acts by selecting teen pop superstar Katy Perry as the headliner for this year's extravaganza.
Perry isn't an obvious choice for a football audience, which is probably the point, given how the NFL royally bungled Ray Rice's domestic assault case. With the league under pressure to prove itself more welcoming to women viewers, picking a young star with an enormous female audience as halftime entertainment suggests one (tiny) attempt at making amends. Cynicism aside, we can at least tune in knowing Ms. Perry will treat us to a wider array of costumes and eye-popping stagecraft than other memorable Super Bowl performers such as Tom Petty and Bruce Springsteen.
So with details for the upcoming event still a bit sparse (Lenny Kravitz will be swinging by, and rumor has it Katy might call out supposed nemesis Taylor Swift mid-performance), why not use this opportunity to look back at Perry's career? Although we've left out her obscure 2001 Christian rock debut from our Artist Spotlight, one can still trace the former Katy Hudson's pop journey from early attention-getting singles (the practically gay-baiting 2007 novelty promo "Ur So Gay") through her savvy collaborations with happening producers (Timbaland's "If We Ever Meet Again") and big names (the Missy Elliott-featuring "Last Friday Night [T.G.I.F.]") to recent dance pop triumphs (admit it, you love "Birthday"). She's even sort of proven herself as a singer, which nobody would have predicted around the time of One of the Boys, when her vocals were the weakest link in the Perry chain. Yet just give a listen to her understated duet with John Mayer on "Who You Love" for confirmation of how much she's grown.
Still, we're not anticipating anything quite so restrained from Ms. Perry come halftime. The lady knows how to put on a splashy show.