An Elvis Presley-Themed Wedding Helped Inspire a Katy Perry Song

  • Katy Perry co-wrote a song with a major songwriter.
  • People dressing up like Elvis Presley inspired a line from the song. 
  • The song became an international hit.
Elvis Presley with a guitar
Elvis Presley | Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

Elvis Presley‘s songs are very different from Katy Perry‘s songs. Despite this, people dressing up like Elvis helped inspire one of Perry’s hits. Notably, Bon Jovi has a connection to the song.

A famous songwriter told Katy Perry she should write songs that reflect her true self

Desmond Child is a famous songwriter. He’s worked on hits such as Bon Jovi’s “You Give Love a Bad Name,” Kiss’ “I Was Made for Lovin’ You,” and Alice Cooper’s “Poison.” During a 2014 interview with The Tennessean, he said he felt Perry she should write songs that reflected her true self.

He recalled writing an unreleased song called “My Last Cry” with Perry. “It was kind of an angry, Alanis Morissette-type style that she had mastered,” he recalled. “It was very dark and modern. But then when we weren’t writing the song, she was a barrel of laughs. She was so much fun … I said, ‘Why aren’t we writing songs like how you really are?'”

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An Elvis Presley-themed wedding inspired Katy Perry’s ‘Waking Up in Vegas’

Perry and Child co-wrote a pop song called “Waking Up in Vegas” with Andreas Carlsson. “One of the inspirations for the second verse, which is ‘We get married dressed up like Elvis’ — my good friend Obie O’Brien and his wife, Denise, they’re very close with us because he’s Bon Jovi’s engineer,” Child said. “When they got married, Jon [Bon Jovi], behind their backs, flew everybody, including every grandma, everybody in their whole lives, to Vegas, and they all were dressed as Elvis. When they walked into the chapel, everybody was dressed like Elvis, from all different periods, including the littlest kids, with pompadours and all that. That’s where I got the idea.”

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The way listeners in the United States and the United Kingdom reacted to ‘Waking Up in Vegas’

“Waking Up In Vegas” became a hit in the United States. It reached No. 9 on the Billboard Hot 100, staying on the chart for 23 weeks. The track appeared on Perry’s album One of the Boys. One of the Boys reached No. 9 on the Billboard 200, remaining on the chart for 92 weeks.

“Waking Up in Vegas” became a more modest hit in the United Kingdom. According to The Official Charts Company, the song reached No. 19 in the U.K. and remained on the chart for 18 weeks. Meanwhile, One of the Boys peaked at No. 11 there and stayed on the chart for 72 weeks. 

“Waking Up in Vegas” was a hit for Perry and it wouldn’t be the same without the King of Rock ‘n’ Roll. 

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