Pop star's parents chart Christian life
Evangelists stress love, but note discomfort with Katy Perry's lyrics
By Colette M. Jenkins
Beacon Journal religion writer
Published on Friday, Sep 03, 2010
The Rev. Keith (right) and Mary Hudson (left), parents of rock sensation Katy Perry (center) will be speaking this weekend at Legacy Church in Springfield Township.
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The Rev. Keith Hudson may not always agree with his children's choices in life, but he finds peace in knowing that they are covered in prayer.
''We have a daughter who is known worldwide and there are times when we'd rather her not have some of those lyrics that she sings, but what do you do? you pray and pray and keep a good attitude and love her,'' said Hudson, who travels the world with his wife, Mary, to evangelize.
The Hudsons, who are the parents of international rock star Katy Perry, will speak at 6 p.m. Saturday and 9 a.m. and 11 a.m. Sunday at Legacy Church, 2445 S. Arlington Road in Springfield Township. The California couple is devoted to offering help and support to teens and parents for building stronger relationships through Keith Hudson Ministries.
''What we try to do is share what the Lord has revealed to us through scripture and prayer and spread the love of Christ and motivate the church [the body of Christ],'' said Hudson, a minister for 38 years. ''We simply minister the Gospel and try to help mend the brokenness of families. Life is tough as it is. If we can help families build loving relationships, it makes things easier.''
Hudson declares that he and his wife have unconditional love for their three children, Angela, 27; Katy, 25; and David, 22. He admits that having one of them in the international spotlight isn't always easy for them or for her.
''The Hudsons will be able to share with young people that the rock-star life is not as glamorous as they may think. It has its downside, but life with Jesus is full of advantages,'' said the Rev. Todd Hearnsberger, senior pastor at Legacy Church. ''As parents, the Hudsons will have a heart-to-heart conversation about how no matter what decisions your children make, you must continue to love them and pray for them.''
The couple's middle child, Katy, has drawn controversy over some of her racy lyrics. The singer-songwriter and musician grew up listening only to gospel music and singing in the church choir. Her first album, a self-titled gospel production, was released in 2001.
Six years later, she adopted the stage name Katy Perry and released her first Internet single, Ur So Gay. Her rise to fame came in 2008 with the release of her second single, I Kissed a Girl, which topped international charts. Her first pop album, One of the Boys, followed later that year and become the 33rd best-selling album of 2008 worldwide. I Kissed a Girl and another single, Hot 'n' Cold, both went platinum. Her newest release, Teenage Dream, debuted this week in the No. 1 spot on the Billboard 200 albums chart, and its single California Gurls has been a huge summer hit.
''She has a great deal of notoriety, but she's still our daughter,'' Hudson said. ''We have a great relationship with her, we love her and pray for her and want the best for her.''
The Rev. Daren Hearnsberger, who serves as executive pastor at Legacy with his brother, is hopeful that the singer's name will pique the interest of youth and draw them to the church this weekend.
''I expect the Hudsons to inspire our youth with the message that the family unit does not have to be shaken by disagreements or differences of opinion. It will be very clear that even though the Hudsons may not agree with everything that their daughter sings in her songs, they still love her. That will give hope to others that no matter how bad it gets, parents still love their children,'' Daren Hearnsberger said. ''The overall message here is that we may stray, but God still loves us. No matter how terrible our lives get, we can never outrun the love of God.''
Hudson, too, is hopeful that he and his wife will be able to draw the parallel between their love for their daughter and God's love for his children.
''Sometimes when you bring children up in a good environment, they want to try something different. We might not always agree with what they're doing, but they're still our children,'' Hudson said. ''We just want to encourage people to continue to love their children, keep the doors open and keep speaking into their lives because if you don't, someone else will.''