Katy Perry is getting candid on a variety of topics.
Dressed in a floral dress with sheer black tights, the 33-year-old singer covers the August issue of Vogue Australia. In her accompanying interview with the magazine, she opens up about love, mental health and returning to her religious roots.
Perry (real name: Katheryn Hudson) grew up in Santa Barbara, California, the daughter of Pentecostal pastors Keith and Mary Hudson. She tells the outlet that her mother hasn’t always been the biggest fan of her music over the years, specifically calling out her first hit, 2008’s “I Kissed a Girl.”
“My mom has prayed for me my entire life, hoping I’d come back to God,” Perry admits. “I never left Him, I was just a little bit secular. I was more materialistic and more career-driven.”
She adds that ever since she’s entered her 30s, she’s become “more about spirituality and heart wholeness.”
Back in April, Perry met Pope Francis in Rome, Italy, during the Vatican’s “United to Cure” international conference, which she attended with her mother and boyfriend, Orlando Bloom. She says she’s now a “big fan” of the pope, for many reasons.
“It’s a combination of compassion, humility, sternness and refusal. He is rebel — a rebel for Jesus,” she explains. “He is bringing the Church back to humility and connecting with people. He’s very humble and not frivolous.”
During another part of the interview, Perry admits that 2017 was a difficult year for her, as she had “bouts of situational depression” following the release of her fifth studio album, Witness, which received mixed reviews from fans and music critics.
“My heart was broken last year because, unknowingly, I put so much validity in the reaction of the public, and the public didn’t react in the way I had expected to,” she confesses. “Which broke my heart.”
She also reveals to the outlet that she attended a week-long, personal growth retreat at the Hoffman Institute in California last January, which gave her “a new foundation.”
“For years, my friends would go and come back completely rejuvenated, and I wanted to go, too,” she says. “I was ready to let go of anything that was holding me back from being my ultimate self.”
“Music is my first love and I think it was the universe saying, ‘OK, you speak all of this language about self-love and authenticity, but we are going to put you through another test and take away any kind of validating ‘blankie,'” she continues. “Then we’ll see how much you do truly love yourself.’ That brokenness, plus me opening up to a greater, higher power and reconnecting with divinity, gave me a wholeness I never had.”
She says she now recommends the program to other friends she feels may be struggling.
“I recommend it to everyone, my good friends and other artists who are looking for a breakthrough,” she adds. “There are a lot of people who are self-medicating through validation in audiences, through substances, through continually running away from their realities — denial, withdrawal. I did that for a long, long time too. … The biggest lie that we’ve ever been sold is that we as artists have to stay in pain to create.”
As for her relationship with Bloom? Perry tells the outlet things are going good — but she never wants her romance to be the center of attention.
“It’s extremely misogynistic,” she says. “Of course, I love my relationship, but that is one part of me, and I don’t want any part of what I do to be diminished.”
“[They are] doing really well and enjoy their time together when they can get it,” a source told ET in June.
“Katy wants to make sure they are seeing each other as much as possible despite both having busy careers, so she meets with Orlando wherever he is working and she expects the same from him. They have an understanding now of each other and what will make this work,” an additional source said. “They are happier than they’ve ever been and feel in time they will be ready to be more public about their love for one another and can plan for a future.”
Hear more in the video below.