“Teenage Dream” by Katy Perry

This is a song that is both nostalgic and present-based at the same time. By design, “Teenage Dream” is meant to harp back to the feeling of falling in love for the first time, which is something most people tend to experience when they’re teenagers. And the lyrics do commence by putting the listener under the impression that Katy is referring to a romance with the addressee that jumped off back in the day.

But once we get to the chorus, it is revealed that the addressee is her current lover. And what she is basically saying is that being with him and the type of carefree fun they enjoy together is essentially making her feel as if she’s falling in love again for the first time. This feeling is buttressed by the fact that her relationship with the addressee is such that she does not have any reservations when around him.

And that particular sentiment also bring us to the notable and intended sexual undertone of this piece. But as for the thesis sentiment, what the vocalist ultimately seems to be speaking to (true to the youth-oriented motif of the lyrics) is being so smitten that there is no concern for this relationship’s tomorrow so to speak, as the present itself is so edifying.


All in all, Katy Perry finds herself in a situation where she is currently enjoying a meaningful romance with her partner. This gives her a sense of joy and carefreeness akin to a teenage love.

Lyrics to Katy Perry's "Teenage Dream"

When was “Teenage Dream” released?

On the 23rd of July, 2010, Katy Perry released “Teenage Dream” through Capito Records as one of the official singles from her album of the same name.

Writing Credits

Perry co-wrote “Teenage Dream” with the following with four other renowned songwriters. The first of them is American record producer and songwriter Dr. Luke. His portfolio includes collaborations with Kelly Clarkson, Pink and Avril Lavigne, just to name a few.

The other writers who contributed to the writing of “Teenage Dream” are:

  • Swedish record producer and songwriter Max Martin. He has worked with many artists including Britney Spears, Backstreet Boys and Celine Dion.
  • American record producer Benny Blanco. Ed Sheeran, Rihanna, The Weeknd and Wiz Khalifa are just some artists Blanco has worked with.  
  • American singer-songwriter Bonnie McKee. Besides working with Perry, she has also written for Taio Cruz, Cher and Christina Aguilera amongst other big names.

Chart Success

“Teenage Dream” is a very important tract in Perry’s catalogue for countless reasons. For example, it earned her her second consecutive #1 spot on US Billboard Hot 100. Her first number 1 hit in the United States was “California Gurls”.

New Zealand#1

Below is how the song fared on the charts in other places.

United Kingdom#2
Czech Republic#8

Grammy Nomination

At the 53rd Annual Grammys, “Teenage Dream” received a nomination in the “Best Female Pop Performance” category. The winner for this category was “Bad Romance” by Lady Gaga.

The other nominees were:

Notable Live Performances of “Teenage Dream”

Since releasing this song in 2010, Perry has performed it countless times. One of her most memorable performances of this hit took place at the 53rd Annual Grammy Awards. Another was at the Super Bowl XLIX halftime show in 2015.


In 2010, American cover band, Boyce Avenue released a piano acoustic cover of this song.

In 2014, Australian band, 5 Seconds Of Summer covered this song at Wembley Stadium for Capital FM’s Summertime Ball.

Niall Horan of 1 Direction fame and Scottish singer-songwriter Lewis Capaldi covered this song together in 2019 at the Jingle Ball at the Allstate Arena in Chicago.

Teenage Dream

The Josh Kloss Controversy

The official music video to “Teenage Dream” stars a model named Josh Kloss.

In 2019, Josh  accused Perry of alleged sexual misconduct after previously being prevented from speaking about it by her representatives. According to Kloss, working with Perry on the video was very uncomfortable for a number of reasons. He alleged that on the music video’s set, Perry said that kissing him was “gross”.

In another incident during a birthday party where both attended separately, Kloss claimed that Perry exposed his genitals to her friends.

Perry once briefly talked about the allegation. However, in doing so, she did not answer if the allegations made by Kloss were true or false. Instead, she chose not to “add to the noise”.

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