Katy Perry’s ‘Dark Horse’ Was Inspired by a Cult Classic 1990s Movie

TL;DR:

  • Katy Perry’s “Dark Horse” was inspired by a 1990s high school movie. 
  • She said the song was a “juxtaposition.”
  • Audiences in the United States responded to “Dark Horse” in a way they didn’t respond to any of her other songs.
Katy Perry performing "Dark Horse" while holding a microphone
Katy Perry performing “Dark Horse” | Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

Katy Perry‘s “Dark Horse” is one of her most famous songs. Perry revealed she drew inspiration from a 1990s cult classic movie while creating the song. In the same vein, she said the movie was one of many movies that inspired her fashion.

Katy Perry revealed some of the movies and singers that inspired her wardrobe

During a 2013 interview with MTV News, Perry revealed she drew a lot of fashion inspiration from movies and other singers. “I got hair inspiration from pictures of Björk and Shirley Manson and wardrobe inspiration from The Craft,” Perry said. 

“But I think my favorite pulls right now are The Craft, Liv Tyler from Empire Records, Clueless — a little bit of stuff like that, or young Courtney Love when she’s in Hole and stuff, like way back in the day, and a little bit of Spice Girls,” she continued.

The Craft is a 1996 cult classic about a group of high schoolers who get involved in witchcraft. During a 2013 interview with Billboard, Perry said The Craft inspired “Dark Horse.” She also said the song reminded her of her earlier hit “E.T.” when she first heard it.

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Why Katy Perry saw ‘Dark Horse’ as a ‘juxtaposition’

During a 2013 interview with MTV News, Perry also discussed “Dark Horse” on a musical level. “It’s kind of a juxtaposition,” she opined. 

“It’s got me, a pop artist, with a little bit of an urban kind of hip-hop-flavored background soundtrack to it, and the lyrics are kind of witchy and dark, as if I was a witch warning this man not to fall in love with me, and if you do know I’m going to be your last,” she continued.

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How ‘Dark Horse’ and its parent album performed on the charts in the United States

“Dark Horse” became one of Perry’s biggest hits in the United States. For four weeks, the song topped the Billboard Hot 100. The track remained on the chart for 57 weeks — a longer time than any of Perry’s other songs. It is Perry’s final No. 1 single on the chart to date.

Perry released “Dark Horse” on her album Prism. The album reached No. 1 on the Billboard 200 for one week, lasting 102 weeks on the chart. Besides her previous album Teenage Dream, none of Perry’s other albums stayed on the chart for more weeks.

“Dark Horse” is one of Perry’s biggest hits — and it wouldn’t be the same without a 1990s cult classic.

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