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Friday's musical bout: Katy Perry vs. Britney Spears

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What's a lover of pop starlets to do?

In making plans for this Friday night, Chicago concertgoers had a real dilemma -- likely depending on their age. It's the ultimate pop tart showdown: Britney Spears in concert at the United Center vs. Katy Perry at Allstate Arena.

The two music stars are only three years apart in age, though Spears has nearly a decade on Perry in the pop consciousness. They haven't crossed paths much creatively, though the Internet is currently buzzing with rumors that a remix of Spears' latest single "I Wanna Go" will appear next month featuring guest vocals by Perry.

Here's a look at the match-up ...

UPDATE: Katy Perry's show on Friday night has been postponed due to illness!









Currently recognizably long and blond. She shaved her head in 2007.

Black, but has been blond, bright blue and recently red.

Innocent beginnings

Cast member of the revived "Mickey Mouse Club" in 1992.

The daughter of two pastors, Perry grew up singing in their ministry. Her first album was Christian rock.

Debut album

"...Baby One More Time" in 1999.

Religious: "Katy Hudson" in 2001. Pop: "One of the Boys" in 2008.

Relationship status

Divorced from rapper Kevin Federline. Custody battle continues over their two sons. (In March, K-Fed revealed he's having another child with current girlfriend Victoria Prince.)


Married comedian-actor Russell Brand last October.

Same-sex experimentation

Kissed Madonna at the 2003 MTV VMAs.

First big hit was "I Kissed a Girl," saying she did it "just to try it" and, hey, she liked it.


Radiance -- smells like berries, petals, musk.

Purr -- smells like candy, Juicy Fruit.

Chart success

"Hold It Against Me," from her current "Femme Fatale" album, broke airplay records when it debuted in January and debuted at No. 1 for digital tracks in dozens of countries.

Perry's "Teenage Dream" album is the ninth album in history to score four No. 1 singles (and the first by a female artist to do so since Mariah Carey's 1990 debut). If "Last Friday Night," the newest single, reaches No. 1 (it's No. 4 at press time), she'll tie the record Michael Jackson set with "Bad." In addition, she recently became the first artist ever to stay in the Billboard Top 10 for 52 consecutive weeks.

"Glee" cred

Last fall, the hit Fox series devoted an entire episode to Spears' songs, including "Toxic," "Stronger," "Slave 4 U" and more. Spears appeared briefly in the episode.

Perry has not appeared on the show, but her music has: "Teenage Dream" (by a male choir, even better than Perry's original), "Firework" (by Rachel) and "California Gurls" (by blue-haired cheerios). Payback: "Glee's" Kevin McHale (Artie) appears in Perry's "Last Friday Night" video.

Current protege

Spears has performed with young R&B diva Nicki Minaj, who is an opening act on Spears' current tour.

Perry voiced support for teen phenom Rebecca Black when Internet haters attacked her. Black appears in Perry's latest video, and Perry sings "Friday" in her current concerts.

On the new Selena Gomez album, "When the Sun Goes Down"

Spears co-wrote the dance song "Whiplash" -- which is obvious.

Perry co-penned "That's More Like It," a cheeky teen-pop number.

Guests in latest video

The video for "Hold It Against Me" spoofs product placement, showing off Spears' perfume, cosmetics line Make Up Forever, online dating site Plenty of Fish, and Sony. Perry previously tweeted a criticism of this.

The video for "Last Friday Night" features cameos by Corey Feldman, Debbie Gibson, Hanson, Rebecca Black, even Kenny G.


Current tour's stage gimmicks

Spears climbs on, saddles or straddles a lot of items: a giant guitar, two thrones, an Egyptian boat, colorful speaker stacks, an airborne platform, a motorcycle, a Mini Cooper, various dancers and one lucky guy pulled from the crowd.

The theme of Perry's show is candy candy candy: Oversized lollipops, gumdrops and iced cakes decorate the stage, and cotton-candy vendors throughout the crowd. Perry cavorts with a giant slot machine and an Elvis impersonator, dresses as Catwoman, Dorothy (from "The Wizard of Oz"), plumes herself in peacock feathers and winds up costumed as a large Hershey's kiss.


Spears, an active dancer, has been frequently criticized for her reliance on "support vocals," particularly during the Circus tour. Perez Hilton attended a rehearsal for the current tour and estimated that Spears actually sings 40 percent of the songs.

Reviews of the current tour report that Perry appears to sing all her songs.

Questionable moments in current show

The cage-dancing, the lap dancing, the S&M hoods -- it all seems so quaint now.

"This is a PG-13 show," Perry says. She mimes fellatio with her microphone. She also eats a brownie that causes things to go wacky, before smirking, "Stay in school, don't do drugs."

Reviews of her last Chicago-area concert

Allstate Arena, April 2009: "Now here she was in the flesh in Rosemont in the midst of her second comeback attempt, once again staggering zombie-like through a carefully planned, rigidly controlled and relentlessly marketed  show based on the familiar commodity she's been peddling throughout her career: S-E-X." (Jim DeRogatis for the Sun-Times)

House of Blues, March 2009: "Perry could stand out in the current female pop company of Fergie, Lady Gaga and even Madonna's recent material, while also possessing the retro quirkiness of Cyndi Lauper, the guitar charged sensibilities of Pat Benatar and occasional club grooves a la Blondie." (Andy Argyrakis for


Tickets for Friday's show

Still available: $29.50-$350, (concert capacity appx. 22,000)

Sold out (concert capacity appx. 18,500)


The verdict: If you had to choose, I hope you chose Perry. She actually sings, she's fresh, and her current album is chock full of catchy tunes that put Brit-Brit to shame. See you Friday at Allstate!


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1 Comment

No thank you. Just bought tickets for Britney's concert in zurich, and it's sold out. Even after years of lypsinching she's proving she can still sing, and sing good. Perry can't sing at all. My ears couldn't stand it.

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This page contains a single entry by Thomas Conner published on July 4, 2011 6:00 AM.

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