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

SHARE Friday’s musical bout: Katy Perry vs. Britney Spears

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!

BRITNEY

KATY

Age

29

26

Hair

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.

Fragrance

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.

Vocals

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 concertlivewire.com)

Tickets

for Friday’s show

Still

available: $29.50-$350, ticketmaster.com (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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