Before she kissed a girl and liked it, Katy Perry – then known as Katy Hudson – released an eponymous Christian album in 2001 that failed to gain any commercial success. Perry has said that the album “reached, literally, maybe 100 people.”
That Christian rock sound was part of a style Katy spent her teenage years developing. Her parents, both Pentecostal pastors, prohibited her from listening to nearly all secular music growing up. Instead, she listened to gospel standards like “Oh Happy Day,” “His Eye Is on the Sparrow” and “Amazing Grace.” She also began her singing career by performing in churches.
At the age of 15, she started working on her debut album. And though she’s changed just slightly since then, Perry remains proud of the effort, describing Katy Hudson as “My world. All those songs I wrote were very important to me at the time. I wrote about everything I knew then.”
In this Flashback, taken from March 2002, she performs one of those songs, “Search Me,” on the Trinity Broadcasting Network. As Perry would explain, it was written during a time when she was struggling with her faith, and felt like being “a slacker…I kinda want[ed] to go to high school, I want[ed] to experience everything.”
And she’d get the chance to do just that. Red Hill, the label that released Katy Hudson, went bankrupt, and she headed in a decidedly different musical direction. Her next album, 2008’s One of the Boys launched her career with its lead single “I Kissed a Girl,” propelling her to pop stardom.