Flirting with the aplomb of an assassin, Katy Perry created a distinctly new millennial pop persona: a Disney princess as imagined by Madonna. Perry enjoyed tweaking the sensibilities of a straightlaced audience -- she sneered on her first single "Ur So Gay" (punch line: "and you don't even like boys"), she gasped "I Kissed a Girl" and she liked it -- and her stylish provocations certainly put her on the pop culture radar, but the reason she stayed there was her knack for blending classic pop conventions with new trends. This talent reached its apex on 2010's Teenage Dream, a blockbuster sophomore set that generated hits as diverse as its dreamily romantic title track, the cotton-candy summertime pop "California Gurls," and the steely EDM variant "Firework." As her career progressed, she cannily tempered her risqué moves, adding the ...
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