Photo Annie Leibovitz.
Katy Perry marked her second Vogue cover this week, having first appeared on the cover of the magazine in 2013. The encore arrives just in time for the upcoming Met Gala, which the singer will also be cohosting. Perry’s personal style is already right in line with the Comme des Garçons dress code. “I like more androgynous, architectural lately,” she told Vogue’s Hamish Bowles in the new issue. “I am happy to be another interpretation of myself.” It’s no wonder, then, that the art of design comes easily to the master of reinvention. “Fashion is just a language,” she says. “It’s storytelling. I am so encouraged by the big morph in fashion that’s happening at the moment. Everybody is shape-shifting, changing, adapting.” Change is big for the pop superstar: Here are five things you may not have known about Katy Perry.
1. Before she was famous, Perry picketed Marilyn Manson and Madonna concerts.
Born to evangelical Christian pastors, religion was a heavy influence on her upbringing—even in matters of music. At Manson’s concert in Santa Barbara, a young Perry handed out pamphlets titled How to Find God before she ultimately joined the audience with her youth pastor. To her surprise, she found it “really interesting and weird.” Before that moment, Perry’s relationship to pop culture was strained at best. “I wasn’t able to say I was lucky, because my mother would rather us say that we were blessed, and she also didn’t like that lucky sounded like Lucifer,” she told Rolling Stone in 2010. “Deviled eggs were called ‘angeled’ eggs. I wasn’t allowed to eat Lucky Charms, but I think that was the sugar. I think my mom lied to me about that one.” Asked if she is still religious, Perry said in 2013: “I try and keep my connection with the G-o-d, or with a power that’s bigger than me. It’s important—otherwise, you don’t have any kind of accountability.”
2. She’s making up for lost time.
Perry wasn’t allowed to celebrate Halloween for religious reasons, which may explain her singular affection for wild and wacky costumes, like the life-size Cheeto suit she wore in 2014, or her transformation into Hillary Clinton last October 31. As Perry told Vogue: “[My] house was church on Sunday morning, church on Sunday night, church on Wednesday evening; you don’t celebrate Halloween; Jesus gives you your Christmas presents; we watch [Bill O’Reilly](http://www.vogue.com/article/advertisers-leave-bill-oreilly) on TV. That was my whole childhood and youth and early teens. I still have conditioned layers dropping off of me by the day.”
3. The singer has a strained relationship with the written word.
As Perry told Vogue, she grew up in “a bubble beyond the bubble,” where “education was not the first priority,” she said. “My education started in my 20s, and there is so much to learn still.” It’s also worth noting that Perry has mastered Twitter’s 140-character count, and now holds the title for the most-followed account ever, surpassing Justin Bieber in 2013. “I’ve learned how to ride social media,” she once told USA Today. “I have horrible typos. I use there or your wrong grammatically. But I feel like I’ve learned how to tame that social media dragon.” In 2014, she was even inducted into the Guinness World Records for the social media distinction.
4. Before Katy Perry was, well, Katy Perry, she was Katheryn Elizabeth Hudson.
In 2001 she made her first album, a Christian-music record titled Katy Hudson. (She reportedly took her mother’s maiden name of Perry to distinguish herself from actress Kate Hudson.) She moved to Los Angeles when she was 17 years old and signed a record deal with Jagged Little Pill producer Glen Ballard. The immediate success went to her head, she said. “I was getting a monthly allowance—I had a Louis Vuitton key chain for my Jetta! I thought I was the bee’s knees.” After she was dropped from the label and fell on harder times, Perry said the setback only strengthened her ambition. “As cheesy as it sounds, the rejection built a lot of character in me. It takes strength to stick around in this business.”
5. Perry cites Queen’s “Killer Queen” as the first song that made her want to pursue a career in music.
“My world froze,” she said of first hearing the song. “It was a very cinematic feeling, and it opened up this lyrical world.” In 2013 she named her third fragrance Killer Queen, in honor of the Freddie Mercury song and the influence it had over her. “I feel like, after all this time, it was appropriate to use that name in association with something I did,” she once said. “I feel like I’m falling, finally, into that woman Freddie painted.”
This story originally appeared on Vogue.
More from Vogue: