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Katy Perry’s classic breakup bop “The One That Got Away” was released over 10 years ago, but there’s still a degree of mystery behind the inspiration for the song. “The One That Got Away” was part of the singer’s third studio album, “Teenage Dream.” It sees Perry reminiscing about a former lover. To truly uncover the meaning of the song, here’s a look back at some of Perry’s past celebrity romances, one of which might just be her very own “one that got away.”

Katy Perry, The One That Got Away artist, poses at the 2022 Met Gala.
Katy Perry | Theo Wargo/WireImage

Katy Perry’s past celebrity relationships

From 2005 to 2006, Perry dated Sons of Anarchy actor Johnny Lewis before she really started to rise to fame. Sadly, Lewis died in 2012. Shortly after Lewis’ death, a source told Us Weekly that the singer was “devastated” after learning news.

Perry then moved on to Travie McCoy, the lead singer of Gym Class Heroes. The two were together from 2007 to 2008. And at one point, they proved they had gotten pretty serious after McCoy gave Perry a promise ring. The breakup was reportedly tough for Perry, whose career was just starting to take off around the time of their split.

Then, although their relationship was actually unconfirmed until 2018, Perry sparked a romance with Josh Groban in 2009. Reps for both singers actively denied the rumors at the time.

Perry’s perhaps most widely known relationship was with English comedian Russell Brand. They married in 2010 and then subsequently divorced in 2012. 

Other celebrity flings of Perry’s include Florence + The Machine guitarist Rob Ackroyd, singer John Mayer, and DJ Diplo.

Who did Katy Perry write ‘The One That Got Away’ about?

While there are plenty of rumors about which one of Perry’s ex-flames inspired her to write “The One That Got Away,” Perry herself actually answered the question in 2017. She did so while playing a round of “Spill Your Guts or Fill Your Guts” with James Corden.  

“People are like, ‘Who is ‘The One That Got Away’ about?’ That’s Groban,” Perry said of her famous ex. She added, “He’s one of my good friends.”

However, the same Us Weekly report that shared Perry’s reaction to Lewis’ death in 2012 claimed that a lot of Perry’s songs were actually inspired by him — including “The One That Got Away.”

“He was in trouble then and she couldn’t help him. A lot of her songs were partially inspired by him,” the source explained. “I know ‘The One That Got Away’ and ‘Circle the Drain’ are partly about him, as well as Travis.”

Later, on an episode of Watch What Happens Live with Andy Cohen, Groban confirmed that he did, in fact, date Perry. “We did [date],” he told the host. “We were both very private, and so we realized we were better as friends. And we’ve been very, very good friends to this day. She’s the best.”

Groban admitted to being caught off-guard when he learned that he was the inspiration behind a song as heartbreaking as “The One That Got Away.”

“I was not expecting that,” he said. “That was a double take and a spit of my coffee when I saw that.”


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The singer is now with Orlando Bloom

After one divorce and several failed (and very public) relationships, Perry finally found happiness with actor Orlando Bloom. But the couple is seemingly in no rush to get to the altar.

Sparks first started flying back in 2016, when the couple had a flirty encounter at a Golden Globes afterparty. They soon made things Instagram official and dated on and off until their eventual reconciliation in 2018.

Bloom popped the question to Perry on Valentine’s Day 2019. Perry quickly took to social media to show off her stunning flower-shaped ruby engagement ring.

Perry then went on to break the internet after dropping the music video for her single “Never Worn White,” in which she announced that she and Bloom were expecting their first baby together. On Aug. 26, 2020, the couple welcomed their daughter, Daisy Dove Bloom, and have been enjoying their leap into parenthood.