Of course, it's not unusual for musicians to start out in the Christian circuit and later flee for mainstream success. Alternative-rockers Evanescence did it; so did the band Lifehouse and, perhaps most famously, '90s pop princess Amy Grant.
But while all of them maintained a straight-laced image in the music industry — at least compared to their counterparts who didn't cut their teeth in the Christian circle — Perry seems to be jumping at the chance to be a sexpot pop star, the next Britney Spears or Cristina Aguilera.
"The thing about her is that she decided to leave that scene behind," said Joe Levy, editor in chief of Blender magazine. "I don't think she fits in with other Christian music artists who transition to pop success. She didn't transition — she stopped dead, reinvented herself, became an artist who has nothing to do with Christian music. It's a footnote in her career. It looks like who she is now is who she wants to be, slightly outrageous and very cute. And right now that's working."
Indeed it is. "One of the Boys" debuted at No. 9 on the Billboard album charts and sold 47,000 in its first week. But sales figures aside, Breimeier believes that in the long run, Perry might have been better off sticking with her pastors' daughter persona.
"If she had relied on the talent without going for the shock value, that would've been great," he said. "But instead I think she's going to be a flash in the pan."