Katy Perry

While it might seem like pop princess Katy Perry became an overnight success, her musical aspirations began when she was very young. Perry started singing at church when she was 9, and picked up the guitar at age 13. Perry began to seriously pursue a music career when she was 15, heading to Nashville to work with professional songwriters and hone her own skills. She released her first record under her birth name, Katy Hudson, an album geared toward the Christian/inspirational demographic. In search of bigger success, Perry moved to Los Angeles and switched her focus to pop music. She also decided to part ways with her original surname to avoid confusion with actress Kate Hudson, opting for her mother's maiden name instead. After years of perseverance, Perry made it to the top of the Billboard Hot 100 in 2008 with her provocative single, "I Kissed a Girl," said to be partially inspired by actress Scarlett Johansson. A series of additional hit songs cemented Perry's popstar status, which was buoyed further by her follow-up album "Teenage Dream," an international hit that featured five consecutive number one singles. She became the first female artist to reach this achievement, and was the first artist since Michael Jackson to have so many successful singles from one album. She was named Woman of the Year by Billboard in 2012, and wrote songs for other major popstars, including Selena Gomez, Kelly Clarkson, Britney Spears, Iggy Azalea and Ashley Tisdale. After the release of her third pop album, "Prism," Perry performed a sampling of her monster hits at the Super Bowl XLIX halftime show. Featuring fireworks, an animatronic lion and guests Missy Elliott and Lenny Kravitz, the performance won two Emmy Awards. Perry was a part of another major sporting event when her motivational single "Rise" was named as the official anthem of the 2016 Rio Summer Olympics. The release of a new single, "Chained to the Rhythm," in early 2017 predated the release of her fourth album later that year.