NEW DELHI - Pop hitmaker Katy Perry is headed to India -- again -- only this time for a different kind of celebration.
In 2010, Perry famously arrived in the state of Rajasthan to marry Russell Brand in a lavish Indian ceremony (they have since divorced). Her upcoming visit will bring the pop star to an Indian stage for the first time as a performer.
The venue: the opening ceremony of cricket's Indian Premier League which will take place in the southern city of Chennai. Dubbed IPL Opening Nite, it will be held on April 3, a day before the fifth edition of the popular cricket tournament gets underway. Teams play at various arenas nationwide until the finals on May 27.
The opening ceremony will be hosted by Bollywood superstar Amitabh Bachchan and feature performances by actress Priyanka Chopra and actor Salman Khan, among others. Sony Entertainment Television's SET MAX channel will air it live, while overseas broadcasters include Neo Cricket in the US, ITV in the UK and Rogers Sports Net One in Canada.
"I'm very much looking forward to performing in India for the first time, to be able to bring some of my California Dreams Tour to India and to be in India for my fans. I'm very excited to meet them and see them, and finally bring them some happiness in the form of music," Perry told DesiHits!, an east-west portal. "I'm very excited to be able to collaborate with some Bollywood stars in India for the IPL. I think Bollywood is amazing and fun and over-the-top, and I love to be involved with a lot of things that are over the top, so I think it's a good match. I really like their spirit, and charm and sense of humor, and I'm hoping that I can bring some Western love to Bollywood and then take home some Bollywood to the Western world. "
Said IPL chairman Rajeev Shukla in a statement: "A performer of her calibre makes the occasion even more special for the IPL family -- players, organisers and fans. The verve and originality of her music matches that of the competition and we look forward to an inspired performance from her."
In a message to her fans in India, Perry added, "I know that everyone in India has waited for a very long time for me to come and perform professionally. I've enjoyed India on my own time personally, and now it's time to give back to the fans. I'm really excited to be a part of something really big in India and to soak up all the culture and beauty that is India, and to learn about the country and the people, and just have an incredible experience."