Over the past half-decade, Katy Perry has effortlessly transitioned from an aspiring pop musicians to the ultimate California gurl, leaving an undeniable collection of hit singles in her wake. Those who doubted her staying power after "I Kissed a Girl" became the Song of the Summer in 2008 have watched a unique voice blossom into ubiquity, from setting Hot 100 records to launching her own fragrance starring in her own 3D film. Later this week, Billboard will honor the 28-year-old as its Woman of the Year, bestowing Perry with another career achievement one year after Taylor Swift was given the same award.
It's been a whirlwind few years for Katy Perry -- but which moments have been the most defining? Read all about the various achievements of the singer, and share your own thoughts in the comments section below.
Katy Kisses a Girl and Likes It
As a teenager, Katy Perry tried and failed to develop a lasting pop persona, enjoying a two-year stint on Columbia Records and scooping up some soundtrack appearances while shifting from gospel to pop. Yet Perry finally arrived with "I Kissed a Girl," the salacious lead single from her debut album "One of the Boys" on new label Capitol Records. Released in April 2008 and produced by Lukasz "Dr. Luke" Gottwald and his protege Benny Blanco, "Girl" was the first of many electro-pop collaborations between Perry and the studio whizzes, although its bi-curious lyrics effectively established Perry's dismissal of taboos in a way that none of her other singles could. "I Kissed a Girl" gave Perry her first No. 1 single on the Hot 100, and was named Billboard's 2008 Song of the Summer. "One of the Boys," meanwhile, spawned hits like "Hot n Cold" and "Waking Up in Vegas," on its way to making Perry a household name.