Former Gospel Singer Katy Perry: 'I'm Not a Christian'

Jan 29, 2014 06:30 PM EST

Pop singer Katy Perry caused an uproar of controversy at Sunday night's Grammy Awards when the singer performed a Satanic-themed rendition of her number-one single, "Dark Horse." Many may be surprised to find out that Perry was once an aspiring Gospel singer who wanted to be the "next Amy Grant."

Katy Perry has become a superstar since the release of her 2008 number-one single "I Kissed a Girl" from the album "One of the Boys." Perry would then cement her name as one of Pop music's biggest stars, with multiple number-one albums and singles that have dominated the charts and airwaves. Despite all the glamor and success Perry has achieved, her start in the music business began in her church.

Perry was born in a Christian home under Pentecostal parents who also served as pastors and founded the Keith Hudson Ministries. As a child growing up, she attended religious camps for church and grew up listening gospel music only. Her parents discouraged her from listening to secular music and was forbidden to become engaged with worldly things.

Going by her real name "Katy Hudson," Perry released her first self-titled album as a contemporary Christian artist. "I realized what my calling was at a young age...I sort of felt it in my bones. But God will use a willing vessel and there isn't an age limit on being a willing vessel," said Perry, then known as Katy Hudson.

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However, when Perry did not find success as a Christian artist, she branched out to secular music and was signed on to Capitol Music Group. Her debut as Katy Perry was an instant success and she has continued to advance her career. In the process of reestablishing herself as a pop star, Perry turned away from her religious views. "I don't believe in a heaven or a hell or an old man sitting on a throne," said Perry in an issue of Marie Claire. "I believe in a higher power bigger than me because that keeps me accountable."

Perry has even turned from the Conservative ways of her parents, and has become an activist for LGBT rights. Her support for President Obama garnered her to sing at the inauguration, which she forbade her parents to go because of their Republican stance. "My parents are Republicans, and I'm not," she also told Marie Claire. "They didn't vote for Obama, but when I was asked to sing at the inauguration, they were like, 'We can come.' And I was like, 'No, you can't."

The now-secular pop star can be labeled in the league of Miley Cyrus as devout Christians turning away from their faith in exchange for fame. Cyrus, who was once a considered a role model for young girls and reciting Ephesians 6:10-11 as her favorite passage in the Bible, is now known for her provocative twerking dance moves.

Three secular albums, nine number-one singles and a divorce later, Perry claims that she is not a Christian and no longer believes in God but rather in a higher power. "I believe in a lot of astrology. I believe in aliens. . . . I look up into the stars and I imagine: How self-important are we to think that we are the only life-form?"  With a heap of success, controversial nonetheless Perry's first identifier as "Katy Hudson" will only be known as her legal name, rather than the aspiring Christian singer. 

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