Katy Perry is coming clean about her sheltered past — a religious upbringing that once included picketing at a Marilyn Manson concert. That’s right, pop star Katy Perry previously protested a Marilyn Manson show.
Even casual Katy Perry fans are usually aware of the singer’s evangelical adolescence. Katy’s very first album, the eponymous debut under her given surname, Katy Hudson, was a contemporary Christian music effort released in 2001. However, certain unusual quirks of Perry’s fundamentalist childhood had not been revealed until now. As Katy put it, she was raised in a “bubble beyond the bubble” of pious protection.
In a new interview, Katy Perry went deep on the anachronisms of her religious past and the weight such a restricted, reverent education still holds for her in the present. Perry talked about being opened up to the work of artists like Marilyn Manson and Madonna by being forced to picket their concert appearances, and how she was not “allowed to interact with gay people” in her youth. Clearly, Perry’s come a long way.
The Marilyn Manson-protesting past of Katy Perry came up in the “I Kissed a Girl” singer’s recent interview with Vogue magazine; Katy graces the cover of the fashion and lifestyle mag’s May issue.
Speaking to journalist Hamish Bowles, Perry revealed that — even at age 32 — she still “miss[es] references all the time,” an indication of the pop culture shielding put in place by her restricted, religious rearing.
Katy spoke of an early admiration for gospel singer Amy Grant, CCM’s first big crossover star, and an instilled distrust of mainstream artists like Madonna and Marilyn Manson. In fact, Katy said she would protest the concerts of such artists. Can you imagine a young Katy Perry picketing outside of a Marilyn Manson gig?
“Amy Grant was our Madonna. We knew about Madonna and Marilyn Manson in my family because we picketed their concerts.”
While probably less than a few music fans would place Katy Perry and Marilyn Manson in the same sphere of societal influence, the “Roar” chanteuse could most certainly be seen as a modern day Madonna. Both Katy and Madonna are bona fide female pop superstars. Beyond their studio work, as well, Madonna and Katy Perry are both often viewed as cultural icons of the gay community, and endear themselves as such.
All the more shocking is the fact that Katy Perry reveals she was not “allowed to interact with gay people” from a young age. Quite obviously, that youthful restriction is no more, as Perry is often seen as a heroine for gay culture. Katy says that she still works hard to remove the sanctimonious blinds of her sheltered past, and that she still has “conditioned layers dropping off of me by the day.”
To wit, it was a gay rockstar that helped to open Katy Perry’s eyes to the beauty of mainstream music and leave her gospel-influence past behind. Katy said that hearing Queen vocalist Freddie Mercury’s voice for the first time, at the age of 17, was a catalyst in driving her to become a Los Angeles-based pop singer.
“I had never heard such an imaginative explanation of how to live. That was my first perspective on that world, and I just loved it. I felt so free and accepted.”
Katy Perry also implied that her past Marilyn Manson and Madonna picketing actually engendered a personal love for those previously protested artists, rather than a continued repulsion.
It was relayed in the Vogue piece that Perry once handed out evangelical tracts (entitled, “How to Find God”) at a Marilyn Manson concert in Santa Barbara. Obviously, the coerced repression didn’t stick for Katy. Later on, she actually watched the Marilyn Manson performance with her youth pastor. While she initially found the Marilyn Manson performance “really interesting and weird,” she claims that she “got it” from there.
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What do you think about Katy Perry’s Marilyn Manson protest past? Do you identify with the pop star’s sheltered, religious upbringing? What’s your favorite Katy Perry song or album? Let us know what you think about Katy Perry, her hit music, and her previous Marilyn Manson picketing in the comments section below.
[Featured Image by Christopher Polk/Getty Images]