Wait up! Who Is Katy Perry? And Who Is Russell Brand?
Katy Perry is one of the best-selling singer-songwriters of all time. For many years she was among the highest-paid singers in the world, and she’s won a diverse selection of the biggest awards in music.
Born in Santa Barbara, California on October 25, 1984, Katy Perry grew up in a very religious household and started singing at an early age in church. She even pursued a career in gospel music.
Many people remember Katy for her wildly successful 2008 pop debut album, which included the iconic ‘I Kissed a Girl’, but her career actually began in 2001 when she was 16. She released a gospel album, ‘Katy Hudson’, titled after her birth name, Katheryn Elizabeth Hudson.
The album didn’t do too well, and she moved to Los Angeles in 2002 for a more mainstream career, which turned out to be the right choice. In 2008 she released One of the Boys, reaching the ninth spot on the Billboard 200 and earning her two Grammy nods. In all, the album sold 9 million copies, catapulting her to widespread fame.
Russell’s Road to Renown
Russell Brand is an English comedian and actor whose career began in stand-up in 2000. His career and fame grew rapidly, giving him a series of roles in movies and TV shows that culminated in him landing his iconic role in the 2008 American romantic comedy Forgetting Sarah Marshall. Eventually, he starred in a 2010 spin-off, Get Him to the Greek.
But in recent years, Russell has been less a comedian and more a political activist. In 2012, he was chosen to host an event by the Dalai Lama in Manchester. In the following year, the October 24, 2013 issue of political publication New Statesman was guest-edited by Russell, and it featured an essay by him entitled ‘Before We Can Change The World, We Need To Change The Way We Think’ that railed against political apathy amongst the general populace.
In 2014, he launched a YouTube series called The Trews, in which he analyses the news along with an array of politically-oriented guests.
Spoiler alert: These two wildly divergent lifestyles would ultimately be the undoing of the duo’s relationship.
How Did Katy And Russell Meet?
Katy and Russell met at the 2008 VMAs, where Russell and director Nick Stoller asked Christina Aguilera, Pink and Katy if they could shoot some celebrity cameos for Get Him to the Greek. Katy played herself in the cameo; in an interview with MTV, she said, “My scene called for me to make out with him. And on the way down the stairs after the scene, I was hopping like a bunny. I hop like a bunny when I'm happy — I get a bit childlike.”
The two met again at the 2009 VMAs and got along famously. Just a month later in October, they came out publicly as a couple at Paris Fashion Week.
On New Year’s Eve 2009, some three months into their relationship, Russell proposed to Katy in India while they were on vacation. And on October 23, 2010, they got married in a Hindu ceremony just next to the tiger sanctuary where Russell had proposed the year before. There are few details about the actual ceremony, and not a single photo, but a source told Us that she wore a beautiful Elie Saab haute couture wedding dress that was actually grey, not white!
How Long Did Their Relationship Last?
Sadly, their relationship ended almost as quickly as it began.
On April 7, 2011, Russell admitted on Live With Regis and Kelly that though their new husband and wife team was doing great, the constant media attention was a pain point in their relationship.
By November 30, 2011, there were rumours that the two were getting divorced. Katy had to debunk the rumours with a tweet: “First I'm pregnant & then I'm divorced. What am I All My Children?! #ericakane #pshhh #ifihadadollarforeverytime …”
A couple of days later on December 2, 2011, Russell also issued a statement on an appearance on The Ellen Degeneres Show: “Yeah. I am really happily married. I'm married to Katy. Perpetually, until death do us part was the pledge."
But towards the end of the year, Russell filed for divorce, giving ‘irreconcilable differences’ as the reason. Katy later recounted in a Vogue interview that Russell informed her via a rather impersonal message: “Let’s just say I haven’t heard from him since he texted me saying he was divorcing me December 31, 2011.”
In July 2012, the divorce was finalised, putting an end to their whirlwind romance. Their relationship lasted just 14 months.
Why Did They Break Up?
Shortly after their divorce, Russell appeared on The Howard Stern Show and talked about his marriage. “We did work it out, she’s happy, I’m happy. I was really, really in love with her, but it was difficult to see each other, it mostly didn't work for practical reasons.”
The 2012 documentary Katy Perry: Part of Me saw Katy saying that schedule conflicts damaged her relationship with Russell, seemingly confirming Russell’s statement.
Russell Brand on Katy Perry And Their Life Together: Vapid, Vacuous Celebrity
But in the 2015 documentary Brand: A Second Coming, which chronicles Russell’s changeover from entertainer to activist, he talked candidly about the things that ruined his marriage to Katy.
You can see him in the trailer for the documentary saying, “Oh my f*****g God. I’m living this life of the very thing I detest. Vapid, vacuous celebrity. Fame and power is b*****”, all while clips of his life with Katy are overlaid.
In the full documentary, Russell said, “It's definitely good I'm with someone I love. But it's not a resolution to anything spiritual…This is my suspicion, that at some point, to be happy, I'm going to have to walk away.”
In the years since, though, Russell has been singing a different tune. In a 2017 interview, he said, "Katy was obviously very, very occupied and busy. I was occupied and busy but not to the same degree. The marriage didn't last for a very long time and I think that is due to the undulating nature of fame, living in those conditions."
He also said, “‘I have come away from that experience and I still feel very warm towards her.” That’s a far cry from “vapid, vacuous celebrity” which almost seems like he was talking about his ex wife!
While some rumours initially pointed to Russell’s history of drugs as one possible reason why the two split up, it’s important to note that Russell has been clean since 2002.
What Songs Has Katy Written About Russell?
Katy has written a song about her divorce with Russell, 'By The Grace Of God', whose lyrics seem to point to Katy’s practically suicidal thoughts after the marriage ended. Speaking to Billboard, Katy said of the song: “That song is evident of how tough it really was at a certain point. I asked myself, 'Do I want to endure? Should I continue living?’”
Katy also wrote ‘Wide Awake’ and ‘Part of Me’ in 2012 following her divorce, both featuring emotionally-charged lyrics, but she has never confirmed that they were about her ex husband.
Do Katy And Russell Have Any Collaborations Together?
Katy and Russell don’t have any collaborations. Katy’s cameo in Get Him to the Greek was actually removed from the film because it “[would seem] too much of a literal movie then,” according to Katy.
When asked if the two would ever have a film collaboration, Russell joked in 2010 that they could do a sex tape together.
New Beginnings – For Both Of Them
Since the divorce, the two have moved on.
Russell might have been Katy’s first husband, but he wouldn’t be her last love. She and Orlando Bloom have been dating since 2016, with a short break in 2017. And sometime around Valentine’s Day 2019 they got engaged! Currently, there’s no wedding date, as a source told Entertainment Tonight: “Katy and Orlando are both very busy, and when things slow down they will get married, but right now there is no set date."
Meanwhile, Russell married Scottish blogger Laura Gallacher in 2017. They began dating in 2015, and he proposed to her in 2016. Very much unlike his marriage to Katy, the whole relationship has been pretty low-key.
In 2019, a source told The Sun that Russell wants to apologise to Katy “for his moods and jealousy” and “for the way it ended which was mostly his doing.” If this is legitimate, it would be great to see the two make amends after their torrid romance!
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