HOLLYWOOD — She asked the world "What's going on?," made Christina Aguilera feel beautiful, got the party started with Pink and discovered James Blunt, who made us feel beautiful. Now Linda Perry has a new mission.
"My dedication right now is to bring back the queen of rock and roll, and that's Courtney Love," Perry said at Thursday's "I Create Music" Expo for songwriters, put on by the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers. "That woman is brilliant, and I can't allow myself as a music lover and someone who really respects that artist to go down with America's Sweetheart. That record sucked. She knows it. The world knows it. It was a horrible, crap-ass record."
Perry, the former 4 Non Blondes singer who has also written and produced for Gwen Stefani and Kelly Osbourne, is in the early stages with the former Hole frontwoman, but she says she's confident nonetheless.
"She's really focused, pleasure to be around, looks great, sounds great, really great ideas, great songs she's written ... so rehab was really good," Perry said, laughing. "My job now is to make that [Courtney Love] rock and roll record that everybody's gonna love."
Perry's certainly got her hands full with Love, but that's hardly her only job. She also has her own label, Custard Records, and living up to the success of the label's first release, James Blunt's Back to Bedlam, will be no easy task.
"I was telling people about James three years ago when I signed him," Perry said. "And now it's like James is [high] on the charts ... and to me, it's still just the beginning."
Perry has since signed another singer/songwriter, Ben Jelen, whom she is also producing, and a rock band called Big Elf.
"When Big Elf comes out next year, everybody's gonna think I'm a genius," Perry said. "They are the Black Sabbath of today. Nobody's doing old-school rock and roll, like with the vibe, the look, the whole thing. So Big Elf is that band."
Next on the Custard Records release schedule is Sierra Swan, whose Ladyland is due May 23.
"Sierra is just really sexy. She's like today's chanteuse, like a lounge singer but a very alternative lounge singer with this very husky, sexy voice and dark charisma," Perry said. "Some people don't like her when they first meet her because she's very blunt, no pun intended. She's very in-your-face, but after you hear her voice — I'm telling you, it's like chocolate. It's just rich and good."
Last year, Perry re-released her 1996 solo album, In Flight (see "Beneficiaries Of The Linda Perry Makeover: Christina, Gwen, Now Kelly Osbourne"), and even toured behind it, but said Thursday her career as an artist is over.
"I wouldn't know how to write a song for myself to save my life, to be quite honest," she said. "I'm really good at collaborating with people and for people, but Linda is too complicated to even dive into. It'll never happen. I love, love, love my job, and I own a record company. ... I own my own studio, I have just a great life, so why would I f--- with that?"