Global pop superstar Katy Perry once started her singing career through the lens of Christian music, using her real name Katy Hudson. However, ever since she transferred to the world of secular music, she has publicly wrestled with her Christian background on many occasions, which has at times drawn the ire of her evangelical Christian parents.
According to Amy Zimmerman of the Daily Beast, Perry's rise in the pop music world has put her at odds with her parents throughout the years. Perry has insisted that she can "coexist" with her parents, but Keith and Mary Hudson, who are both evangelical ministers, have expressed strong views about her conduct through the years.
"She is our daughter and we love her and can't cut her out of our lives," Mary said. "But we strongly disagree with how she is conducting herself and she knows how disappointed we are."
Perry's mother contended that some of Perry's music promoted "homosexuality, which the Bible clearly states is a sin."
"Some of her outfits are too revealing, and her father has had words with her about it," Mary said.
According to Zimmerman, Perry's father, Keith, once called his daughter a "devil child," urging people to "pray for Katy."
"I was at a concert of Katy's where there were 20,000. I'm watching this generation and they were going at it," Keith said. "It almost looked like church... I stood there and wept and kept on weeping and weeping."
Keith added that her fans are "loving and worshipping the wrong thing."
In her defense, Perry said in a 2011 Vanity Fair interview that her strict Christian upbringing didn't allow her to "have a childhood." She claimed that she wasn't allowed to listen to other music, read books outside of the Bible, and say things like "deviled eggs" or "Dirt Devil."
"Growing up, seeing Planned Parenthood, it was considered like the abortion clinic," Perry said. "I was always scared I was going to get bombed when I was there."
Perry told Vanity Fair that even though her parents may disagree with her, they were somewhat at peace with her success in the music world.
"Mine grew up with me. We coexist," Perry said of her parents. "I don't try to change them anymore, and I don't think they try to change me. We agree to disagree. They're excited about [my success]. They're happy that things are going well for their three children and that they're not on drugs. Or in prison."
Even though she has publicly stated her distance from the Christian faith, Karishma Sarkari of Britain's Daily Mail reported that Perry credited God's help in overcoming depression back in 2014. She talked about the meaning of her song "By the Grace of God" within the context of her failed marriage to controversial British comedian Russell Brand, which ended in 2012.
"Then there's 'By the Grace of God,' which is the first song that I wrote coming to make this record, when I was in a different place, I was in a darker place," Perry said.
Perry later admitted that she had thoughts of suicide, which was implied in the song's lyrics.
"Sometimes you can be blinded by your extreme emotion," Perry said. "I definitely was looking for answers and during that time, yeah I was depressed and sad and there were thoughts but there were never actions, thankfully. But I wanted to share that side of my story because I know that there are so many other people out there that have gone through things like that."
According to Mark Kellner of Deseret News, Perry stated that although she's "not Christian," she added that "I still feel like I have a deep connection with God."
Regardless of where her current stance is on Christianity and the belief differences within her family, Perry's father insisted that they "will always love her" and urged others to "stop being judgmental and critical."
"Do not close the doors to your loved ones, especially your children," Keith said of his relationship with Perry back in 2012. "Just because they do not like what you do or what you are, they are still praying that you stay in the race. They are counting on you."