Saucy pop singer Katy Perry (who’s documentary movie Part of Me 3D debuted at number 8 at the box office this weekend) has been very vocal about her strict Christian upbringing. She wasn’t allowed to read any books or listen to any music that wasn’t Christian, and couldn’t even use words her parents considered to be associated with the devil, like “Lucky Charms” (Lucifer) or “Dirt Devil.” Katy even told Vanity Fair last year that she didn’t feel like she’d had a childhood.
In fact, as a teen, she had to rock music in her bag to avoid being “strip searched” by her strict parents. At 15, Katy actually put out a gospel album, hoping to become the next Amy Grant, but that career didn’t take off. She was, however, bitten by the music biz bug, and once she expanded her horizons, she set her sights on being the next pop mega-star.
Katy’s parents Keith and Mary Perry Hudson (above), who have been traveling evangelist preachers for almost 40 years, are now using their high profile status as a pop star’s parents to ramp up their ministry.
Katy’s parents actually were into the hippie scene when they were young adults, but by 23 they had turned their back on “the world,” to embark on a evangelical Pentacostal ministry. It seems clear that in general they don’t approve of her music, especially “I Kissed a Girl,” but they are enjoying their heightened profiles. Katy has even said that both she and her parents have now become more open and tolerant of each other in recent years. While they spent most of their adult lives trying to shield their children (Katy, and siblings Angela and David) from just about everything, now they seem to be preaching acceptance (at least more acceptance than they used to.)
Keith and Mary Hudson embrace their daughter’s fame, even if they aren’t always keen on the lyrics. Keith Hudson openly tells his congregations that Katy Perry’s music (and divorce headlines) happened in order to help bring people to God. After news of Katy’s divorce broke, Keith told an Ohio congregation:
“I’m sure Katy is trending on the internet just to get you to church tonight… I mean, all over the world, who knows how God is bringing them in? The most important thing is you are here and God wants to put the fire in you in 2012.”
They also use their daughter’s music and imagery to promote their traveling preaching appearances.
Here’s a “Night of Fireworks” promo from November 2011:
When “I Kissed a Girl” first came out, mom Mary Perry, who once briefly dated Jimi Hendrix, reportedly didn’t hide her feelings, apparently telling The Daily Mail:
“I hate the song. It clearly promotes homosexuality and its message is shameful and disgusting. Katy knows how I feel. We are a very outspoken family and she knows how disappointed her father and I are. I can’t even listen to that song. The first time I heard it I was in total shock. When it comes on the radio I bow my head and pray.
We cannot cut her out of our lives as she is our child but she knows we disagree strongly with what she is doing and the message she is promoting regarding homosexuality which the Bible clearly states is a sin.
But the Bible also promotes understanding and forgiveness, which I keep reminding myself.
Katy is not a homosexual but I fear she has been led astray by the Hollywood crowd. I pray all the time that God will work through her and help her find salvation.”
After that interview came out, Keith told Sand Diego radio station 101.5 KGB that The Daily Mail (who directly quoted Mary Hudson,) had twisted her words to make the couple sound like “religious bigots.” He went on to say: “We love our daughter and we have nothing against her. We may not like what she does at the moment as far as the lyrics, but ‘I Kissed a Girl’ is not something about homosexuality. We have nothing against homosexuals. We love people.”
Although they attend her shows, they also regularly their “fallen daughter” into their sermons. Even putting their own spin on her lyrics, Keith Hudson is fond of the line “I kissed God, and I liked it.” Keith preaches that he worried that his ministry was over when IKAG came out, but as we can see now, he had nothing to worry about.
Here’s an excerpt from a 2011 sermon:
“I understand the burden of having a daughter or son that is not serving God. When my daughter came out and sang that song, ‘I kissed a girl, and I liked it.’ I said, ‘My ministry is over.’
“We get people all the time saying, ‘How? How, that you’re a minister all these years and you raised Katy in the church, how could she come out with a song like that?’ I look at them and I say, ‘I don’t know.’”
Keith came under fire for giving anti-Semitic remarks in the same Ohio church where he said Katy’s headlines had brought them into the church. Here’s what he said:
“You know how to make the Jew jealous?” he said at the Church on the Rise, a nondenominational church in Westlake, Ohio. “Have some money, honey. You go to L.A. and they own all the Rolex and diamond places. Walk down a part of L.A. where we live and it is so rich it smells. You ever smell rich? They are all Jews, hallelujah! Amen.”
Keith later apologized for his “ugly language: “I deeply regret the hurtful and ugly language I used in my message in Ohio. We can do lots of harm even to those we love simply by using words irresponsibly. … I apologize for the hurt that I caused my Jewish friends.”
It seems that Katy and her parents don’t agree about everything, but they still love each other, and have a tolerance for their differences.
Katy told The Hollywood Reporter:
“People love the idea of a good girl gone bad, thinking that my parents were so strict and disowned me, but that actually wasn’t the case. Even though they don’t necessarily agree with some of the things I do, they love me as their daughter. That’s always been their perspective. I still have a spiritual base and a spiritual foundation. And my conversation with God is very open-ended. I pray for humility, honestly, because it’s very easy to be caught up in this world.”
UPDATE: As of November 2012, Keith Hudson’s daughter from his first marriage has accused him of “abandoning” her. CLICK HERE to read more.