2013 saw Katy Perry return to the top of the charts with new music, and a new, more positive outlook on life -- and being "madly in love" with John Mayer certainly helped in that latter regard.
In 2012, Katy had said that her next album would be darker, and reflect the emotional pain that she went through following her divorce from Russell Brand. But after starting work on that disc in November of that year, she postponed the sessions because she felt she was in too dark of a place.
When she resumed working on her album in 2013, she'd undergone a period of self-discovery that led to a change in the tone of the album. In Katy's own words, she "let the light in," which led to her dubbing the disc PRISM. The album, announced with a series of gold-painted tractor-trailer trucks that drove around the country with the album's name and release date emblazoned on them, arrived in October and debuted at #1 on the chart.
PRISM was proceeded by the smash single, "Roar," an anthem of self-empowerment which was lyrically inspired by the songs "Eye of the Tiger" by Survivor, "I Am Woman" by Helen Reddy and "We Are the Champions" by Katy's favorite band, Queen. It shot to #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 and inspired many YouTube covers by fans who'd adopted its message as their own. The song, one of the biggest and most recognizable hits of the year, was also used by NBC to promote its upcoming Winter Olympics. In December, it earned Katy Grammy nominations for Song of the Year and Best Pop Vocal Performance.
One sour note regarding "Roar" was the accusation by some that the tune plagiarized "Brave," by Sara Bareilles, but Sara and Katy are friendly, and Sara told ABC News Radio there's no issue between them over the song. An expert agreed, telling ABC News Radio that he thought the songs weren't similar enough to warrant a lawsuit.
Several of the songs on PRISM, including the hit "Unconditionally,"were at least partially inspired by Katy's boyfriend, John Mayer. The two had broken things off earlier in 2013, but by Memorial Day, they were back together, and seemingly more serious than ever. The two also took their romance into the studio: Katy said that John had helped her come up with the name of her album, and he co-wrote and played on one of the tracks on the deluxe version of the disc. She, meanwhile, co-wrote a song on John's album, Paradise Valley, called "Who You Love," which the two recorded as a duet. The couple also posed together for a series of romantic photographic portraits to promote the collaboration. In various interviews, a besotted Katy called John "an incredible artist and songwriter," as well as, "literally...a genius."
Other highlights of Katy's 2013: she once again voiced Smurfette for the movie The Smurfs 2; she released a new perfume, Killer Queen; she won a People's Choice Award for Favorite Pop Star; she performed at the Kids Inaugural Ball following President Obama's second inauguration; and she announced her Prismatic World Tour, kicking off in May in Ireland.
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