Music Matters

The secret to Katy Perry's popularity: What makes her more special than Xtina, Britney & Gaga

The secret to Katy Perry's popularity: What makes her more special than Xtina, Britney & Gaga

News_Katy Perry
Katy Perry

From the first time I heard Katy Perry's first single "I Kissed A Girl" three years ago I knew that this twentysomething had something extra in her standard pop star starter kit besides the prerequisite beauty, catchy hooks, avant-garde fashion and sassy-smart personality.

(And, nooooo, I am not talking about her measurements. Please, she's 26 years-old. I'm old enough to be her... uncle.)

At first it was hard to put my finger on this intangible that, in roughly 1,000 days, escalated Perry from another, young, doe-eyed Southern California girl looking for her first break in the music biz to a multi-platinum, Grammy nominated uber-star that seems to turn every thing she touches into chart-topping gold.

 Just imagine what Katy Perry could do if given the opportunity to sit between President Barack Obama and Speaker of the House John Boehner as they try to hash out the debt ceiling crisis?  

Katy Perry's debut album (I'm not counting the misguided God-rock album she put out in 2001 under her born name, Katy Hudson), One of the Boys, peaked at No. 9 on the Billboard 200 chart in 2008.

To date this is the biggest career "failure" that Katy Perry has had to endure.

Once club-goers, beach bums, car karaokers and top 40 radio got a hold of early hits like "I Kissed A Girl" and "Hot n Cold," the album became an international success with over six million copies sold.

She bested that with a more polished musical lolli-"pop"  of a follow-up album, Teenage Dream. Beginning with debut single and the defining soundtrack to Summer 2010, former No.1 single "California Gurls," Perry has seen three other singles from the album fly to to the top of the Billboard Hot 100 —"Teenage Dream," "Firework" and "E.T." — which helped make the album a near-unanimous success from the United States to Australia.

This girl is so magic she took Russell Brand, a comedian who not so long ago was more well known for his drug use, womanizing and partying (think Charlie Sheen, but with a British accent), and not only married him, but helped to get his movie career on track and become everybody's new former-bad-turned-angel.

Just imagine what Katy Perry could do if given the opportunity to sit between President Barack Obama and Speaker of the House John Boehner as they try to hash out the debt ceiling crisis? My guess is she would have them holding hands and singing "Love the One Your With" within an hour.

So what it is it about Katy Perry that makes her seem just a little more special than her she-pop peers? She certainly doesn't have the range of Christina Aguilera. She's not impulsive like Britney Spears. She's not a ditzy, but loveable, air head like Jessica Simpson or overtly weird like Lady Gaga.

More than anything, Perry is, well, normal.

I think that's it.

 

Katy Perry, Friday 7:30 p.m. at Toyota Center

Tickets: $37.50-$45