How Justin Bieber and Madonna Inspired This Katy Perry Project

Katy Perry’s career might not be quite the same if not for Justin Bieber and Madonna. Despite this, she’s been critical of Bieber. In addition, she distanced herself from Madonna in a conversation with Kristen Wiig.

Katy Perry with blue eyeliner
Katy Perry | Jim Spellman/WireImage

These two movies inspired Katy Perry

In 2012, Perry released the film Katy Perry: Part of Me. The movie was one in a long line of documentaries which try to capture a famous musician’s life and one of their tours. Other musicians who’ve been given the documentary treatment include Madonna (Madonna; Truth or Dare) and Justin Bieber (Justin Bieber: Never Say Never). In an interview with Teen Vogue, Lauren Waterman asked Perry if either of those films inspired Katy Perry: Part of Me.

“A little,” she replied “Madonna is everything to me, and that movie is amazing because it caught her at a time when she was a bit more vulnerable. I wanted to do that too, to capture a snapshot of who I am now so that I can remind myself what I’ve lost if I ever do become totally jaded.”

A trailer for Katy Perry: Part of Me

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When Katy Perry shaded Justin Bieber

While Perry drew inspiration from Bieber, J-14 reports Perry had some harsh words for Bieber despite taking inspiration from his film. At the 217 Video Music Awards, Perry had a fake baby. She commented her baby knew the lyrics to “Despacito” whereas other babies did not. Her comment seemed to reference when Bieber sang nonsense lyrics in place of the Spanish lyrics of “Despacito.” Perry’s comment was a particularly biting example of her famous wit.

Katy Perry’s differing statements on Madonna

While Perry shaded Bieber, she had some glowing words for Madonna. “I think Madonna, especially in the beginning of her career when she was laying the foundation, was evolving every single time and giving a new visual and a new idea to the public,” Perry told Vogue Italia. “She kept everybody interested because you never knew what she was going to do next, but whatever she delivered was a solid product. I just hope to be the same. I hope to continually make people interested and hopefully in 10 years look back and have written songs that have become timeless.”


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However, Perry also distanced herself from the Queen of Pop. In a 2012 interview with Interview Magazine, Kristen Wiig likened her music to Madonna’s music — and the work of other 1980s pop acts like The Bangles, The Go-Gos, and Toni Basil. Wiig described Perry’s output as fun and upbeat. Perry noted how her music wouldn’t sound like that for much longer. 

“Yeah, well, my music is about to get real f*cking dark,” Perry replied. She was likely referencing her then-upcoming album Prism, which includes dark themes like relationship troubles. The album draws inspiration from many musical sources — the same as Katy Perry: Part of Me was inspired by Bieber and Madonna.