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How Katy Perry Achieved a Net Worth of $280 Million

Katy Perry

When is Kate Hudson not Kate Hudson? When the former Kate Hudson now more famously known as Katy Perry changes her birth name. The other (real) Kate Hudson is 5 years older than Perry and is the daughter of Goldie Hawn. So how does a singer whose parents aren’t particularly famous and having been brought up in a strict Christian environment manage to achieve a net worth of nearly $300 million? It is one of the more complex journeys an entertainer has traveled, and deserves a walkthrough.

Her upbringing in the Christian home restricted her listening solely to Christian music. So when she took her singing talents to a recording studio, it resulted in the form of a gospel album produced when she was 17 that was unsuccessful. Whether her upbringing stunted her musical growth is open for opinion, but her next decision would be a career changer. After several unproductive years as a singer and having no fallback career position because she dropped out of high school at 15, she decided to seek out a secular (non-Christian) solution to her career ambitions. She would change her name to Katy Perry, distancing herself from her parents, and move to Los Angeles where she could get more exposure. Connecting with established music producers, she would co-write songs, eventually signing with Capitol Records in 2007. One year later she had her breakthrough hit “I Kissed a Girl” released.

That song went Platinum 5 times over, and from that point forward her music career and the money train gained serious momentum. She would earn in the range of $30 and $50 million every year for the next 5 years. On the low end that would bring her up to $150 million in net worth over that 5 year period. Specific financial records have her earning $44 million in 2011, and another $45 million in 2012, totaling almost $90 million for those 2 years alone. We have to think that her net worth at the end of 2014 was closer to $250 million than $150 million. With fame and popularity comes the product endorsements, which only bumped up her total net worth value. She would also do the requisite concert tours and created a line of her own products, including Purr perfume, all which generated consistent revenue. Her product brand endorsements include Proactiv, Adidas, and Ubisoft.

Her success wasn’t without its share of setbacks and pitfalls. Perry married Russell Brand in 2010, a marriage that lasted all of 14 months. Upon reflecting on his marriage to Perry, Brand writes in one of his memoirs, "I'm associated with the very thing I detest: vapid, vacuous, plastic, constructed, mindless celebrity." Whether success had changed her is another point open for debate, but clearly Brand had his reasons for notifying her of his plans to divorce her – by a text message – on the last day of 2011.

Compounding Perry’s problems was a significant financial detail that reduced her net worth. She had married Brand without a prenup. When the divorce proceedings were going through the courts, the estimated hit Perry would take on her net worth was $22 million. That would come out to about $1.8 million for every month she was married. When the dust settled, she had settled for a lower amount, but however low that amount was she gave her money away to someone who despised her existence. To give balance to Brand’s perspective of Perry, he has been diagnosed with ADHD, as bi-polar, and having a history of substance abuse.

She would move on from that setback to produce two more chart-topping albums: Prism in 2013 and Witness in 2017. Of more recent vintage, she has taken to the small screen and accepted the role as an American Idol judge over the last few years. Her reported earnings from that gig is a minimum of $25 million a year. So how did Katy Perry accumulate her $280 million net worth? Mostly through her singing talents making the most of her opportunities, and minimizing the impact of her mistakes. Her considerable talent has been recognized by the major entertainment awards groups, including being nominated for 13 Grammys, winning 5 American Music Awards, 6 Billboard Music Awards, and 5 MTV video music awards. Her performance at the 2015 Super Bowl halftime show got her a nomination for an Emmy award.

While she has redesigned herself in a number of ways, she continues to be a popular entertainment figure and when you check back next you should expect to see that net worth exceed $300 million, or even $350 million.

Garrett Parker

Written by Garrett Parker

Garrett by trade is a personal finance freelance writer and journalist. With over 10 years experience he's covered businesses, CEOs, and investments. However he does like to take on other topics involving some of his personal interests like automobiles, future technologies, and anything else that could change the world.

Read more posts by Garrett Parker

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