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by Dan Weiss

October 26, 2013

Artist Spotlight: Katy Perry

by Dan Weiss  |  October 26, 2013

Katy Perry rose to the top of the world in just five years because, simply, she puts fun first. The only time Perry tried to be anything resembling cool was on her first single, "Ur So Gay," where she told a paramour to hang himself with his H&M scarf. Her excellent debut, One of the Boys, is full of winking wordplay ("You're not a man/ You're just a mannequin") and provocations ("I kissed a girl and I liked it/ Hope my boyfriend don't mind it"). Since, "Firework" has become her Glee-certified anthem for bullied youth, though "Teenage Dream" and "Last Friday Night (T.G.I.F.)" have resonated for just as many people -- anyone who's ever tried to socialize should find something to relate to in these songs. Then there's the throwback-disco hit "California Gurls," whose video has her famously donning a whipped-cream shooting bra. But her ballads are just as potent -- like "The One That Got Away," where she wants to reach people who make out to Radiohead, too, and anthems "Part of Me," "Wide Awake" and the new, Olympic-bound "Roar" -- all of which only serve to widen her appeal to Cher levels. Perry's the embodiment of old-model runaway success with a classic Hollywood smile on its face.

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