The Schmooze

Katy Perry Channels Queen Esther

She’s got the No. 1 album in the country — and, apparently, she can relate to the Bible’s Queen Esther.

Katy Perry, who’s dominated radio waves since May with the inescapable pop single “California Gurls,” went straight to the top spot September 1 with the release of her third album, “Teenage Dream.” In addition to singing the praises of women from her home state (“Fine, fresh, fierce/We got it on lock”), the album also makes reference to the heroine of the Purim story. “So I pray for a favor like Esther/I need your strength to handle the pressure,” Perry sings on the album’s ninth song, “Who Am I Living For?”

For those familiar only with the “California Gurls” video — featuring the singer in an instantly famous whip-cream-spewing bra — the biblical reference might come as something of a surprise. But as many of the 192,000 people who bought “Teenage Dream” can tell you, Perry should have more than a passing familiarity with religious texts. The daughter of two pastors, Perry began her musical career in church, even releasing a gospel album in 2001.

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Katy Perry Channels Queen Esther

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