Katy Perry

Katy Perry’s 10 Most Iconic Music Singles

By Waddie G. September 22, 2023

Let’s celebrate the musical discography and legacy of pop music superstar Katy Perry.

Katy Perry has mesmerized audiences with her iconic music singles throughout her illustrious career. With her impressive vocal range and ability to create catchy melodies, Perry has emerged as a standout performer within the 21st Century music industry.

Her tracks speak volumes to audiences worldwide, as her lyrics convey her personal struggles and triumphs in a relatable manner that has connected with countless fans. Perry established herself as a musical force with an astounding track record of chart-topping hits and sold-out shows worldwide.

In this article, we will deep dive into Katy Perry’s music career and explore her 10 most iconic music singles to date. Each song has been selected based on its impact on pop culture, the music industry, and Perry’s fans. So, sit back, relax, and journey through Katy Perry’s musical legacy.

In ranking the list of the 10 Most Iconic music singles recorded by Katy Perry, the following factors are considered in eligibility and ranking order.

  • A song has to be a defining and iconic tune for the recording artist according to fans, music enthusiasts familiar with the music act, and the talent.
  • Songs that have the most success on music sales, internet streaming, and radio airplay charts, past and present, influence rankings.
  • Songs that have carried popularity into recent years through film, television, commercials, song samples, modern recording covers, karaoke gatherings, pop culture lists, and modern radio and streaming playlists are heavily considered.
  • Songs that can be widely identified through lyrics or instrumentation influence rankings.

Before I share the top 10 list, here are the honorable mentions.

“Chained To The Rhythm”
“Wide Awake”
“This Is How We Do”
“If We Ever Meet Again”
“The One That Got Away”
“Part Of Me”

Let’s get into my top 10 iconic songs recorded by Katy Perry.

10. “Unconditionally”

Katy Perry’s “Unconditionally” is a stunning ballad that shows the pop star in her element as both a masterful vocalist and a skilled songwriter. Released in 2013 as the second single from her fourth studio album Prism, the track’s soaring vocals, lush orchestration, and heartfelt lyrics make it one of her most powerful compositions. Its message of complete and unconditional love resonated with fans worldwide, and the accompanying music video featuring stunning cinematography and poignant storytelling cemented its status as one of Perry’s most beloved songs. “Unconditionally” showcases Perry’s remarkable range as an artist and her talent for crafting emotionally resonant music that touches the hearts of listeners.

9. “Last Friday Night (T.G.I.F.)”

Katy Perry’s “Last Friday Night (TGIF)” is often considered one of her most memorable and infectious songs. Released in 2011, the track features a catchy and upbeat melody with playful lyrics that evoke everyone’s excitement for the weekend. The song’s music video features a fun and comedic portrayal of a wild and party-filled Friday night, with Perry as herself and Kathy Beth Terry, her alter ego. The video also starred a bevy of celebrities, making for a memorable experience to watch. “Last Friday Night (TGIF)” earned several accolades, and the single climbed to the top of the charts worldwide. With its fun and lively energy, “Last Friday Night (TGIF)” remains a fan favorite and a significant part of Perry’s musical legacy.

8. “Waking Up In Vegas”

Katy Perry’s “Waking Up in Vegas” is a sassy and energetic pop anthem that has stood the test of time as one of her most celebrated songs. Released in 2009 as the fourth single from her debut album One of the Boys, the track exemplifies Perry’s trademark blend of catchy, tongue-in-cheek lyrics and infectious pop-rock hooks. Its relatable theme of letting loose and making mistakes in Vegas resonated with audiences of all ages, and its accompanying music video featuring Perry’s wacky hijinks and over-the-top Vegas shenanigans made it an instant classic. “Waking Up in Vegas” represents some of Perry’s most fun and dynamic work, and it continues to be a fan favorite and karaoke staple.

7. “Hot N Cold”

Katy Perry’s “Hot N Cold” is an irresistibly catchy pop tune that has become one of her most widely recognized and beloved songs. Released in 2008 as the second single from her debut album One of the Boys, the track’s explosive chorus and playful lyrics made it an instant hit, reaching the top five on charts worldwide. Its memorable music video featuring Perry’s zany antics and colorful costumes cemented its place in pop culture history. “Hot N Cold” showcases Perry’s signature blend of humor and heart, and it remains a fan favorite, beloved for its infectious energy and spirit of fun.

6. “Dark Horse” (featuring Juicy J)

Katy Perry’s “Dark Horse” is often regarded as one of her most significant and memorable songs. Released in 2013, the song features a hypnotically southern hip-hop beat, exotic instrumentals, and Perry’s trademark vocals, creating a catchy and unique sound that resonated with audiences worldwide. The song’s music video features an elaborately animated Egyptian-themed set. It showcases Perry’s mesmerizing looks and the director’s amazing imagination, underscoring the song’s infectious energy and creating a perfect visual accompaniment. The track topped the charts globally and earned several accolades, including a Grammy nomination. With its distinctive style and memorable production, “Dark Horse” has become a fan favorite and a significant part of Perry’s musical legacy.

5. “Teenage Dream”

Katy Perry’s “Teenage Dream” is a quintessential pop classic representing her at her best. Released in 2010 as the second single from her album of the same name, the track’s dreamy, synth-laden production, and Perry’s sweet yet sultry vocals, helped it to become an instant hit. The song perfectly captures the universal experience of first love and teenage infatuation with its romantic and nostalgic lyrics. Its accompanying music video is a lavish, whimsical tribute to youth and romance, and it remains one of Perry’s most visually stunning works. “Teenage Dream” has become synonymous with Perry’s career and remains a fan favorite today, demonstrating her lasting impact as a pop icon.

4. “Roar”

Katy Perry’s “Roar” is one of her most significant and memorable songs. Released in 2013, the song features empowering lyrics that inspire listeners to stand up and speak their truth. The upbeat and catchy melody, combined with Perry’s powerful vocals, make “Roar” an empowering anthem for anyone who needs a boost of confidence and self-assurance. The song’s music video shows Perry persevering through a perilous jungle and emerging victorious, underscoring the song’s central message of strength, resilience, and empowerment. “Roar” has become a quintessential part of Perry’s discography, inspiring countless listeners worldwide to find their voice and believe in themselves.

3. “California Gurls” (featuring Snoop Dogg)

Katy Perry’s “California Gurls” is often regarded as one of her most significant and memorable songs. Released in 2010 as the lead single from her Teenage Dream album, the track’s carefree lyrics and upbeat melody perfectly capture the spirit of California. The iconic opening hook and catchy and vivid lyrics about the California lifestyle make for a fun and easy-to-sing-along pop hit. The song’s music video showcased a colorful and playful California dreamscape, with Perry leading a cast of dancers and fellow pop stars. “California Gurls” became an instant hit, topping charts worldwide and earning multiple awards and nominations. With its enduring popularity and infectious energy, the track remains a seminal part of Perry’s musical legacy and a tribute to California’s vibrant and sunny culture.

2. “I Kissed A Girl”

Katy Perry’s “I Kissed A Girl” is often considered one of her most memorable and influential songs. Released in 2008, the song’s lyrics and provocative subject matter challenged social norms and sparked a conversation about sexuality and self-expression. The infectious melody, playful composition, and Perry’s unique and powerful voice created a catchy and memorable pop hit. The song’s music video captured Perry’s rebellious and unapologetic spirit, further establishing her as a bold and fearless performer on her breakthrough hit. “I Kissed A Girl” quickly rose to the top of the charts, solidifying Perry’s place in the music industry and inspiring a new generation of artists to push boundaries and empower themselves.

1. “Firework”

Katy Perry’s “Firework” is an inspirational and uplifting anthem that has resonated with fans worldwide, cementing its place as one of her most enduring songs. Released in 2010 as the third single from her album Teenage Dream, the track’s soaring chorus and powerful vocals have made it a pop radio staple and a popular choice for motivational playlists. With its message of self-love and empowerment, “Firework” has become synonymous with the themes of positivity and resilience that Katy Perry has often championed throughout her career. Its accompanying music video, featuring stunning visuals and a message of inclusion and acceptance, further amplified the song’s impact. “Firework” represents the best of Katy Perry’s music and has become an iconic emblem of empowerment and self-love for generations of music fans.

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Written By

Waddie G. is the Founding Editor of The G-Listed. Based in New York City, Waddie G.’s writing shows off his biggest passions for pop and gay cultures. Born in Sacramento, raised in Kansas City, developed in Atlanta, and matured in Chicago, Waddie G. is an unabashed foodie, proud R&B junkie, adventurous traveler, serial scribbler, and textbook Virgo. Waddie G. and his content has been featured on the "Wendy Williams Show," TMZ, Grindr, Vice, I-D, Windy City Times, and The Gothamist.