KATY Perry burst on to the airwaves as a saucy pop party girl who apparently enjoyed kissing other girls.
Three years on she makes her debut at Sheffield’s Motorpoint Arena next week as one of the biggest players in chartland.
But the hit-churning star admits she learned some of her abilities to satisfy large crowds from some unlikely touring activities.
Before her cheeky I Kissed A Girl was raising young male pulses here, Katy was playing the multi-artist Warped Tour as one of the opening acts.
“I learned so much because I don’t think the crowd was there to see me,” she recalls. “I had to win them over every single day and I was totally cool with that.
“It’s a bit of a travelling circus and I really fought for people’s attention. I think it’s helped me for where I am today.”
Now sporting three multi-platinum albums – selling five million copies of her Teenage Dream record alone – she’s not supporting anyone except a carefully cultivated if fun image that is constantly in flux.
With hits such as California Gurls, Hot N Cold, Firework and Waking Up In Vegas in her arsenal, there’s little that constitutes a loo break during the current show, which UK debuts here on Wednesday.
“I knew I wanted to be a musician and be a singer since the age of nine,” she says when asked about ambition.
“It’s an amazing feeling. I feel like if I continue to do things with integrity and always nurture my core, then I think I could possibly win.”
False modesty aside, there is a sense that Perry – now famously married to former comedy bad boy Russell Brand – is perhaps coming of age.
She admits it herself with regard to her euphoric 2011 hit Firework. “I am a silly, goofy girl, but when it’s time to be sincere, if someone needs something from me, I’ll be there.
“It’s refocused me in a way where sometimes you just get so distracted by the bells and whistles of Hollywood, and then when you see that you’re actually changing a life with a song like Firework, you’re like, ‘OK. Yeah. This is the reason why I do what I do’.
“I’m so happy that I finally could show this side.”
That’s not to say there won’t be fun to be had on the California Dreams Tour, taking her around the world and back again for an entire year into 2012.
“I want to show people a show can change your life,” says the singer who, as with her recordings, remains very ‘hands on’ trying to create the perfect escape from the outside world for fans.
“It will be a real production, but there will be wonderful moments where I can strip it down to just me and my guitar.
“Yes, people will be able to dance and maybe they will be able to cry, but in a lovely way.
“I might be changing over 20 times in this production.”