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Launching a successful pop career usually relies on creating a big impact early on. Katy Perry missed that trick when her debut solo album almost went unnoticed in 2001, but she eventually seized upon a sure-fire strategy that led to the then risqué breakthrough single ‘I Kissed A Girl’ in 2008. Born in 1984, Katheryn Elizabeth Hudson was brought up in a devout Christian household and moved across the US with her parents while they set up Pentecostal churches, before finally settling back in Santa Barbara, California. It was the church that offered an early introduction to the gospel music that was to become Katy’s first entry into the business. Growing up, she had been exposed to many genres of music and she joined her ministry’s choir, but she also took dancing lessons, suggesting that it would prove hard to pin down her artistic interests in the years to come. Nashville was where her career truly started to gain momentum with her first album, the gospel project Katy Hudson, released in 2001 on a tiny record label that subsequently went bust. Undeterred by this false start, Katy approached hitmaker Glen Ballard, who today says he was impressed by her clear determination to succeed. They started writing together and she signed with him, but two subsequent deals with major labels fell apart, despite one of them funding work for what was to become much of her first hit album.
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