OPINION: The fatal flaw that's already derailed Katy Perry's relaunch.

The second coming of Katy Perry is here. Or should we say, the fourth coming? 

Katy Perry has endured a bumpy career trajectory unlike any other artist. From the moment she burst onto the music scene in 2008 with the instant classic 'I Kissed A Girl', Perry proved to be one of this generation's biggest hit makers.

Katy released hit songs and she released a lot of them. 

In the early years of her career, she had a massive nine number-one singles, including five number-one singles from her beloved record Teenage Dream, making her the second artist to achieve this feat after Michael Jackson. 

Throughout the '00s, Perry's music was inescapable. Whether you were bopping along to 'Hot n Cold' in the opening credits of MasterChef Australia, belting out 'Firework' at karaoke, or singing along to 'Roar' on the radio. 

She played the coveted Super Bowl Half Time show on her own in 2015 — no small feat for a female artist, five years before Jennifer Lopez had to share the slot with Shakira.

She even released an autobiographical documentary Katy Perry: Part of Me which screened in cinemas.

This was Katy's world and we were just living in it. Perry's first three studio albums dominated all facets of pop culture. 

But this was a different time in music. 

After a four-year hiatus, Perry released her fourth album in 2017 and its lead single 'Chained To The Rhythm' from Witness. The record marked a dramatic pivot in Katy's sound — away from bubblegum pop and towards 'purposeful pop'. 


Sadly for Katy, the sound was also just... bad. 

The album was a commercial and critical flop, as was her next album Smile in 2020, which despite featuring arguably one of her greatest tracks yet 'Never Really Over', it proved to be another commercial flop. 

The allure of Katy Perry was fading and it was fading fast. 

And now four years after her last album, Perry has announced a return to music... again. This time, she's announced the lead single will be titled 'Woman's World' and will drop July 11 and the music video on July 12.

Katy Perry's KP6 era is here. 


However, Katy's incoming KP6 era has already been clouded by controversy. 

It has been reported that Dr Luke has produced the lead single. For a song which is expected to be about women's empowerment, fans have been left confused that Perry would collaborate with the same man who musician Kesha has had a long legal battle with over allegations of sexual assault. 

After rumours spread that Dr Luke would be involved, Kesha posted a tweet which seems to be a not-so-subtle response to the news. The 'Tiktok' singer simply posted "Lol" on X, shortly after Perry announced her new single. 


Over on X, the two singers' fandoms have been feuding as they try to make sense of this cryptic tweet. 

Kesha first accused Dr Luke of sexual assault in 2014, referring to an alleged incident that took place in 2005. The singer filed a lawsuit that claimed that Dr. Luke had threatened to "shut her career down" if she spoke out publicly about the alleged assault.

Dr Luke denied the allegations and filed a defamation suit. In 2016, Kesha dropped her suit against the producer and his defamation lawsuit was settled in June 2023.

Six months after the suit was settled, Kesha officially parted ways with Dr. Luke’s record label, Kemosabe Records.

Dr Luke worked with Perry on her biggest hits, including 'Teenage Dream', 'California Girls', 'Dark Horse' and 'Roar', but she didn't collaborate with him on any songs from the albums Witness and Smile

Kesha and Katy were friends throughout their early careers in the mid-00s with Kesha even making a cameo in Katy's 'I Kissed A Girl' music video. However, their relationship seemed to sour since.


In a 2016 text message exchange with Lady Gaga relayed in court documents, Kesha claimed Perry had been "raped" by Gottwald. However, Perry later testified that this wasn't true. 

"I need to find sympathy and empathy for her. She’s so mean. It’s hard," wrote Kesha of Perry. 

"I know she’s mean," Gaga responded. "She makes me angry about s**t [but] I just try to have empathy for her." 

Gaga and Perry have since patched up their relationship in a Twitter exchange. However, the same can't be said about the 'Friday Night' singer and Kesha. 

Katy Perry and Kesha in 2010. Image: Getty.


This, of course, isn't the first time that Perry has found herself at odds with another famous singer. 

Like Kesha, Katy became fast friends with Taylor Swift at the beginning of their careers. The two singers boasted about each other on Twitter, Taylor attended Katy's birthday party and they performed together on the 'Love Story' singer's tour. 

This was until Swift did an interview where she spoke about a female artist who "tried to sabotage" her tour, which became the inspiration for her song, 'Bad Blood'. 

"For years, I was never sure if we were friends or not," she told Rolling Stone in 2014. "She did something so horrible. I was like, ‘Oh, we’re just straight-up enemies.’ And it wasn’t even about a guy! It had to do with business. She basically tried to sabotage an entire arena tour. She tried to hire a bunch of people out from under me."

Internet sleuths quickly connected the dots to discover she was referencing a group of backup dancers who quit Taylor's tour to join Katy's shows.  

Shortly after, Katy confirmed the beef as she tweeted "Watch out for the Regina George in sheep's clothing." 


The feud lay dormant for a few years until Perry released Witness and felt the need to drudge up the past again. For someone who largely evaded questions about Swift, she was surprisingly candid about the feud while promoting her album. 

Many critics pointed to Katy's low sales for Witness as the reason she was suddenly grabbing for headlines, including releasing an alleged diss track with a Nicki Minaj collab, 'Swish Swish'. 

Katy Perry's diss track 'Swish Swish'. Image: YouTube. 


"One thing to note is: You can’t mistake kindness for weakness and don’t come for me," she said an interview with Entertainment Weekly. "Let me say this: Everything has a reaction or a consequence so don’t forget about that, okay, honey." 

Katy got even more heated during an appearance on Carpool Karaoke with James Corden. 

"She started it," Perry told the late-night host. 

"And it’s time for her to finish it. I tried to talk to her about it, and she wouldn’t speak to me. I do the right thing any time it feels like a fumble. [I got] a full shutdown, and then she writes a song about me [‘Bad Blood’]… that’s how you want to deal with it? Karma... Trust me daddy, there’s gonna be a reaction." 

Thankfully, the feud fizzled out in 2018 when Katy sent a literal olive branch to Taylor and by 2019, Katy was making a cameo in Taylor's 'You Need to Calm Down' music video. 

Hey there! Listen to The Spill's hosts discuss Taylor Swift's split with Joe Alwyn. Post continues after podcast.

But Katy had bigger concerns than celebrity feuds. 

As Witness proved to be a rare stumble for her, her reputation shifted away from being the pop star everyone loves to the one everyone loves to hate. 


From her over-the-top antics in the 'Swish Swish' music video to an unforgettable Saturday Night Live performance of 'Bon Appetite', where the singer performed upside down before doing some daggy dance moves, Katy became the celebrity who was ripe for mockery. 

Four years before, this was a crown worn by Miley Cyrus, an artist who Katy increasingly began to look like, as she exchanged her long brunette locks for a short blonde cropped hairdo.

For her music video 'This Is How We Do', Perry drew accusations of cultural appropriation for wearing cornrows and eating watermelon.

This isn't the first time the singer has come under fire for her tone-deaf costumes. In 2013, she outraged Japanese communities for dressing as a Geisha to perform 'Unconditionally' at the American Music Awards.

Perry later addressed the controversies. "I’ve made several mistakes," she said Pod Save The People podcast in 2017. "I won’t ever understand some of those things because of who I am. I will never understand, but I can educate myself and that’s what I’m trying to do along the way."

Katy Perry's controversial look in 'This Is How We Do'. Image: YouTube. 


But the controversies for Perry just kept on coming, overshadowing anything she was doing in the music industry. She was sued for trademark infringement by an Australian fashion designer, Katie Perry, over the sale of clothes in Australia.

She became embroiled in a legal battle over a covent with a number of elderly nuns. Perry offered to buy the estate for $14.5 million but the nuns contested the purchase and ended up in court. In 2018, one of the nuns died during the trial with another nun, Sister Rita Callanan, declaring that the pop star had "blood on her hands."

So yep, it's been a busy decade for Perry, who also gave birth to a daughter named Daisy Dove and got engaged to her longtime boyfriend, actor Orlando Bloom.


But professionally, she's a shadow of her former self. She swapped sold-out world tours for a more stable gig as a judge on American Idol, the revamped singing contest she worked on for seven seasons before quitting this year. 

Instead of playing award shows and Super Bowls, she's doing private shows, such as a Tiffany & Co. event, or more recently playing a private concert for Melbourne billionaire businessman, Anthony Pratt.

She was one of only a few performers who agreed to play at King Charles' coronation in 2023, an invitation that was reportedly declined by the likes of Taylor Swift, Adele and the Spice Girls. 

For a performer once considered the most famous woman in the world, the response to her performance was one of confusion. 

But it's not all bad news, she embarked on a Las Vegas residency in 2021, bringing back the chaotic camp brand that set her apart from her contemporaries in the '00s.  

The show received critical acclaim and was extended until November 2023. 

A successful career relaunch can be done, look no further than recent Grammy-winner Miley Cyrus. 

But if Perry plans to begin that rebrand by aligning herself with Dr Luke then this isn't the kind of 'woman's world' that many of us would want to live in.  

Feature image: Getty.