In 2008, Katy Perry proclaimed she was One of the Boys, going around town kissing girls and "Waking Up in Vegas." Then two years later, Perry released her triumphant sophomore effort, Teenage Dream, a spirited mix of sugary love ballads and feisty anthems.
Many artists have fallen victim to the dreaded sophomore slump, delivering fans and critics a disappointing second album. Instead, Perry stuck to her pop guns and gave everyone what they wanted: fun, quirky pop songs.
While her contemporaries were busy rapping, like Ke$ha, or making grandiose political statements, like Lady Gaga, Perry just wanted to have fun. She wanted her fans to dance around in daisy dukes, and it paid off: She had a string of #1 hits including "California Gurls," "Teenage Dream" and her empowerment anthem "Firework."
So, when MTV News asked a few critics just what it is that helped solidify Perry's pop star status in 2010, they had this to say:
Perry looks like a pop star, but isn't as polished as most of them. Elliot Wilson of RapRadar.com explained, "She has a rock-chick kind of attitude, but at the same time she can pass for a pop princess.
"What I like about Katy Perry is that she seems kind of rebellious. People want to peg what the artist should be, and then you see the artist's growth, and I think that she's challenging. I think she's brash and bold."
Plus, over the course of the past 12 months, she's used that persona to sell herself and her music. "She's very good at the marketing side of things," Noah Callahan of Complex explained. "She has a very clear aesthetic. It's very digestible and understandable, and it doesn't hurt that she's very easy on the eyes."
Writer Julianne Esobado Shepard credits Perry's kooky persona as one of the reasons why she's been so embraced by pop lovers.
"She's got hooks. Again, [her producer] Dr. Luke just kind of murdered it, especially with 'Teenage Dream,' " she said. "She's sort of a blank slate in a way. She's like an avatar of what people think they want, which is again like boobs. The fact that she likes shooting things out of her boobs so much has really gone a long way for her career."
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