Christy Carlson Romano: Katy Perry stole my record deal

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When we last talked about Christy Carlson Romano, I omitted that she was the voice of Kim Possible and many of you called me out on that. I’m sorry. I never know if non-A-listers are recognized for their voice work or not and my explanation of how she was the voice of Kim Possible but Poppy in the live action seemed too wordy. I wasn’t trying to take anything from her, I promise. What was taken away from Christy, however, was her hopes of becoming a recording artist. And according to Christy, they were taken by Katy Perry. After she finished her run in Beauty and the Beast in New York, Christy returned to Los Angeles with the hopes of transitioning into a singing career. Most people wanted to send her down the bubblegum pop route like the rest of her Disney co-stars. But Christy didn’t want to produce that kind of music and set out to find a record company that would let her make her kind of music. On her latest video on her YouTube channel, Christy claims she was this close to securing a record deal, but her contract was given to Katy instead.

One of Christy’s latest videos detailed an early 2000s foray into the music industry, which surprisingly involved Katy Perry.

The video, titled “How Katy Perry Got My Record Deal,” chronicled a contract with record executive Jason Flom that Christy supposedly lost to Katy.

Basically, Christy recorded a track called “Just A Song,” where Katy was the demo singer, while working with Jason and a group called The Matrix. The group was also working with Katy, and it sounds like both young artists were hoping to secure record deals with similar labels at the time.

In the midst of all this, Christy said she and Katy met at a dinner with other musicians, and she told her about Jason, recording “Just A Song,” and the potential record deal. Christy learned a month later that she didn’t have a contract, “but Katy Perry did.”

“So, there you go guys. That’s the tea,” Christy concluded. “I don’t know if she [Katy] was just using her sense to say to herself, ‘Wow Jason is in the market for this kind of voice.’ Or maybe she had a conversation that had already started with him.”

[From Buzzfeed]

Christy’s video is yet another example of how toxic the music industry is. The Katy story is an example of how quickly something you thought was a done deal can disappear. Christy said she has absolutely no ill will against Katy. She compliments her singing and her contribution to the music industry a few times. I mostly believe her. I do believe Christy is telling this story because Katy has become so famous, and that was almost Christy instead. Christy offers many signs that pointed to the fact that they were choosing one of the two women at the time, but Christy didn’t see it then. But it also sounded like Christy might think Katy did know. Which was one of Christy’s points – even if you like them, they are still the competition.

Christy is doing a service putting these videos out. For some reason my husband and I have been watching documentaries on bands lately and OMG the amount of evil in the music industry is unmeasured. Publishing and initial contracts are everything, it seems, and yet no bright-eyed, wet-behind-the-ears hopeful knows that. They give away the farm as soon as they arrive, every time. I think specific examples like Christy’s, and she goes into much more detail in her video, shine a light on what’s going on for those hoping to break into the business. Because it’s never just a simple dinner. You are never just saying hi to someone. If Christy can help someone spot the dealings as they are happening, she’ll help the outcome of their career.

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Photo credit: Instagram

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48 Responses to “Christy Carlson Romano: Katy Perry stole my record deal”

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  1. terra says:

    Stole her record deal? Um, no.

    Not a Katy Perry fan at all – can’t stand her music, actually – but this is a disappointment, as it just pits women against women because, as we all know, only one woman can succeed at a time.

    How about trying to change that instead of buying into and continuing the narrative, Christy? Maybe it’s true, maybe it’s not, but if it is then why isn’t the record company the focus of her story? They could have signed them both, that they didn’t is just another sign of a broken and misogynistic system, which is the true shame here.

    • Hmm says:

      yeah, it’s not like there are a finite number of record deals locked away in an attic somewhere.

      • pottymouth pup says:

        no but, when it comes to women in music, it’s often an either or situation so there was probably an executive decision to only give a deal for one female in that pop category. It wasn’t that long ago that they wouldn’t play songs from two female artists in a row

      • terra says:

        @pottymouth pup: Yes, exactly. If that is indeed how it went down then it is the culture of the music industry that is the core of the story, not potential backstabbing by a then unknown female musician.

        That being said, there is more than one record company in existence and it’s not as if Christy was a nobody with no connections in the industry. If she wanted it that badly she would have kept making music, record deal or no record deal. She could have started a band, worked at developing an internet following, used some of that Disney money to release a single independently, or any number of other possible moves.

        This sounds like a story someone tells themselves so as to pretend the outcome was always fait accompli so there was nothing they could have done to change how things turned out.

      • Becks1 says:

        I’m with @pottymouth, in that it seems unlikely that a record label was going to sign and launch two female artists at once who would have similar sounds and probably appeal to similar fan bases, at least at the start.

        But I’m also with others that it wasn’t a matter of Katy “stealing” the contract, the record label liked her better and gave her the contract, it wasn’t like they crossed out Christy’s name and wrote “Katy” over top of it.

        The record label is at fault for thinking it could only sign one (or only signing one), not Katy Perry for getting a contract.

      • Debbie says:

        The record industry may indeed be toxic but I don’t really see how this is an example of such toxicity. I remember in the 90s(?) when Britney Spears was signed up, so was Christina Aguilera, Jessica Simpson, Mandy Moore, etc. So, the fact that Christy had an audition, or demo out but someone else actually got the contract may just be due to the fact that they liked Katy better, saw more potential w/ her, or both their voices/styles were similar and they just went w/ one.

  2. Noki says:

    She seems to be saying that she loves Katy and heavily insinuating that she was a snake. Anyways the music industry is shockingly unfai. From crappy contracts, not giving publishing and holding peoples masters hostage,social media atleast now helps to give singers a platform.

  3. Millennial says:

    More fuel to my theory that none of these Disney stars turn out okay. Crossing my fingers for Zendaya.

  4. Resi says:

    This is a very weird way to phrase it. Nothing was stolen, she didn’t have a contract yet. If another woman and I interview for the same job and she gets it and I don’t, then that sucks for me, but she didn’t steal it from me.

    • Angelica Schuyler says:

      This, 1000%. The deal isn’t yours until you’ve signed on the dotted line. And even after that, the record companies can find ways to sideline your deal if they don’t like the way your results are showing. The music business is dirty. This is not a new story…..If she wants/wanted it that badly she should keep going. Try other companies, other avenues, be aggressive. That was not the only record label in the world…if you let one setback deter you, then you don’t really want it that badly. I know that’s harsh, but it’s reality.

    • Maria says:

      To be fair, Christy’s exact words were Katy “got” it, not that she stole it — maybe a hair-splitting choice of words but I think it’s significant here. And she did say that maybe Katy and the producer had already had a conversation before Christy.

      • R says:

        The woman named her video “How Katy Perry Got My Record Deal.”

        She’s flatly saying that she thinks Katy Perry took (stole) something that belonged to her.

      • Maria says:

        “Got” and “stole” are not synonymous. People are way projecting, lol.
        The only thing clickbaity is the title which could have been better but still doesn’t say she stole it. The main content doesn’t say anything about her stealing it.
        Like the author of this post said, the point is about how even people you like are your competition in this industry. Maybe she’s salty about that, I wouldn’t blame her although she could de-emphasize Katy’s name a bit more of course.

      • observer says:

        if i said i “got” something from the store would you assume i stole it?

      • Hannah says:

        @observer
        If I said I “got” your man, wouldn’t you assume I stole him?

        There are connotations that are specific to certain situations. They don’t mean the same thing even when they use the same words. Your example doesn’t hold water.

        (Putting aside the fact a partner can’t be stolen)

      • Maria says:

        Correspondingly though, if someone “gets” a gift, they don’t steal it (which is pretty much what happened here with the record deal – one of them got the prize and the other didn’t).

      • molee says:

        Clearly she feels robbed, and the keyword here is “my.” “My” record deal, the deal that was mine, the deal that belonged to me.

      • Maria says:

        Well yeah, I already said above the title was clickbaity and could have been better, lol.
        But I mean if we’re arguing semantics – if someone takes something you feel is yours and gives it to someone else, that still doesn’t mean the recipient stole it. It’s the fault of the person who gives it. I think that corresponds to the main point about the industry – even things you think are a done deal for yourself can end up disappearing at the decision of someone else that views more than one female pop singer at a time as a problem. She could have elaborated that more (and better), of course.
        I don’t think she quite had the drive/ability that Katy did, though.

      • Debbie says:

        She said so-and-so “got MY” record deal. I think her point was made.

      • Maria says:

        Again, it’s a clickbaity title (almost every person on YouTube uses those even if I dislike them, lol). Again, even if she feels it was hers that doesn’t necessarily imply theft on Katy’s part.
        I think she feels the executives stole it from her, not Katy.

    • Meg says:

      this reminds me of an actor from twilight after Jennifer Lawrence won a golden glove she said at the after party that she was offered the role and turned it down. As if she was saying she should get the same recognition and be thought of as talented as Jennifer? It sounded gross
      yeah i fear this is christys way of doing the same?

    • Nikki* says:

      I agree with you totally.

  5. Killfanora says:

    Is this another Katy Perry stole my backing dancers story?

  6. teecee says:

    This is a weird take. If an employer chooses another candidate instead of you, that person did not “steal” your job. It wasn’t yours to begin with.

    I feel the same way about the Goop-Winona Ryder-Shakespeare in Love story. I don’t care if Goopy saw the script on Wino’s table or whatever. The job was the director and producer’s to give, and ultimately they chose to give it to Goop.

    If it’s your job as long as there’s no competition, it’s not your job.

    • Noki says:

      I think with Goop and Wino they were bffs ,so that stung a little different.

    • Maria says:

      I think the Shakespeare in Love thing is a tad different. Gwyneth saw it and had more influence in getting Weinstein to give it to her (he’s a monster and his harassment of her is inexcusable so I’m not implying anything otherwise, and her performance WAS good regardless of how she got it, just stating she had some more clout in that regard than Winona because he produced it and Gwyneth herself stated she felt she was the face of Miramax at the time). And we saw what happened with her Oscar.

    • Susan says:

      Came here to say the same thing about a job interview. And I agree with the previous posters, this is kind of pitting woman against woman and it really wasn’t that Katy “stole” it. Katy just got the contract instead of her. While I don’t doubt there are terrible terrible things going on in the music industry, this gal is putting a very negative spin on this situation —to get clicks and attention, which clearly is working.

      • Jules says:

        Yes… I have no idea who she is, but she seems thirsty for attention and going about it in a victimy way.

      • Maria says:

        Eh. I was her target demographic when she was on TV and I loved Even Stevens and Kim Possible and all her Disney channel movies (Cadet Kelly etc). I remember wondering where she went – she’s been pretty quiet up till now in terms of talking about her experiences. She could phrase a handful of things better sometimes but I don’t think it’s all that bad, considering the larger context of her videos. But that’s just me, and I haven’t watched them all, just a few,

  7. Wiglet Watcher says:

    The music Industry is just as dirty as the theatre industry. Just on a larger scale. It’s never a done deal until the ink is dried and the album is released.

  8. The book “Daisy Jones and the Six” would be a great read for anyone who is interested in the music scene and no the deal isn’t yours until your signature is on the contract.

  9. Michaell says:

    I think The Weeknd set the standard for young artists not getting screwed over by labels. He released all his music for free on you tube and it was so successful the labels were competing to sign him. Thus he was able to not only create his own music label but also own his masters right off the bat. Seems to me when you are going with your hat in your hand they take everything and leave you scraps, Hopefully, her videos now become popular enough that she gets another bite at the apple. Maybe Katy will even help this time

  10. DS9 says:

    You can’t frame a situation as someone having stolen something from you that wasn’t yours, that you weren’t entitled to have, that wasn’t a given and then be all, well, she’s a good person. You’re heavily implying nefarious efforts to a sliding doors situation and I don’t like it.

    I’m not sure this woman deserves the grace people seem to be bending over backwards to give her.

    The industry as a whole is merciless and gross and should change. Full stop. But Katy didn’t take anything from her and framing it that way says something not good about this woman. I guess I’m supposed to be terribly sorry Katy got a big career instead of her?

  11. Mimi says:

    First she won’t stop talking about Shia, now Katy? Get a life

  12. Case says:

    I get the sense that a lot of people are loving these Christy videos, but I find them…thirsty and exploitative. She’s talking about a lot of other people in these videos without their knowledge and it’s just strange to me. I used to love her on Even Stevens when I was young but I’m really disappointed in these videos.

    • AmelieOriginal says:

      She’s been doing a lot of these “confessional” style videos where she talks about various things from her youth, from no longer being in contact with Shia to being a child star, to I guess Katy Perry getting a record contract instead of her. I’ve watched a couple of them and she never badmouths or criticizes really (though I haven’t seen the Katy Perry one), she’s just sharing stories from her perspective as a former child star. It doesn’t mean she gets all the details right of course.

      You may call them thirsty and exploitative but the click baity titles, the eye catching thumbnails, and then the content she is sharing are some of the her best performing videos in terms of views (and I’m assuming sharing and comments). The Shia one has the most at 1.6 million views. I also am not a fan of the click baity titles/thumbnails/stories she shares but she isn’t the only Youtuber using those tactics, literally every single Youtuber uses them and they aren’t as famous as CCR. For people who are influencers and whose livelihood depends on the Youtube algorithm, they’ll do anything they can to get the views on their monetized videos. Youtube is not as lucrative as it used to be so Youtubers do whatever they have to do to make that $$$. Her latest video was about her 9/11 experience which I found interesting as she went to high school in Manhattan and she was actually in the city when the towers were hit. I enjoy these videos, but I also don’t think she’ll do too many of them because viewers tend to get bored when it’s too much of the same.

  13. girl_ninja says:

    I’ve seen her a lot lately and she seems to just be “telling” on everyone in the entertainment industry. I don’t mind the music, theater and movie industries being exposed but blaming Katy for the record label not being interested in you isn’t really cool.

  14. greenmonster says:

    I don’t get how Katy Perry stole her record deal… The record company might have chosen KP over CCR, but that is it. Just move on to another label, maybe?
    Katy Perry also did not steal her career. Katy’s music, combined with her looks and image and personality clicked with the public. It doesn’t mean it would have worked out the same way for CCR.

    • BeeCee says:

      Exactly.

      Even if Christy got the record deal, no one can say that she would have been as popular now as Katy is. It’s not like she would of had the same songs/tracks written for her. She could have very well just crashed and burned (like many before her) once given a deal.

      Katy is a hit for a reason. Her OTT personality just clicks with a lot of people, and she knows how to entertain.

  15. Tchotchke says:

    Jumping in here as someone who works in the record industry: that’s not how record deals work. Full-stop.

    I don’t doubt that in Christy’s mind, that’s how she perceived things going down, but this story is absurd. A&R signings can take (literally) years of vetting, due diligence, analysis, legal negotiation, and chasing. Artists don’t get signed because someone liked the way they sounded on one demo, nor is there ONE contract and artists duke it out for one win.

    The Matrix are an extremely well-known songwriting and production entity, and Katy had had recording contracts and publishing deals prior to her big breakthrough at Capitol. She’s had soundtrack songs; written with high-profile songwriters, and was generally a known quantity.

    I could go on and on, but the long and short of this is that this story is garbage and it makes me question Christy’s grip on reality.

    • Maria says:

      I just researched this out of curiosity after reading your comment, lol.

      I can see this still being truthful. Katy was already making a name for herself in Christian music but Christy was apparently working as a singer too (not nearly to the same degree as Katy in 2004 but yeah) and released a Disney album and was on Broadway. I guess there were talks about a deal for her but the executive who wanted her was fired so it fell through? Anyway, she wasn’t necessarily a non-entity in the music world at that point. Katy definitely was more prolific in writing and performing music, after all she wasn’t also acting and I’m sure that influenced their decision too. But just because she was probably more of a known quantity doesn’t mean Christy wasn’t an entity at all. And if she had Disney backing that was probably one of the things that garnered attention for her.
      I mean, Katy *was* probably the better choice for a number of reasons (which I think Christy sort of implies at times, maybe I’m mistaken). But I think the story still holds water…
      Just speculation here.

      • Tchotchke says:

        I’m not saying Christy wasn’t a known entity. I’m just making the point that the idea of her hearing about Jason Flom looking for a female pop vocalist and then insinuating herself into Christy’s orbit only to get a contract a month later is patently absurd. Negotiating contracts once a label has decided to submit an offer to an artist takes months alone. And Katy being a known quantity, who was already in with major pop writers means it’s extremely unlikely that the A&Rs who worked for Jason at the time were unfamiliar with her. The music industry is small. If you’re working with a big artist, a big writer or a big producer, people are going to hear about you.

        The realistic scenario is that both women had been in the mix for a long time at various labels. Capitol signed Katy and passed on Christy for whatever reason, and in Christy’s head, those things are connected. Is it possible someone said, “Yeah, we don’t need two developing pop vocalists right now”? Yes! Is it likely someone said, “Well, we were going to sign Christy, but this chick Katy popped out of the woodwork just now, so…” No, not really.

      • Maria says:

        Yeah. I think that’s why Christy mentioned that they may have already been having a conversation. But that makes sense.
        I don’t know when they actually signed Katy or anything like that and Christy may not know either since it wasn’t her deal. Maybe this story is intentionally vague, lol, or maybe she is misremembering the timeline.

      • Marcie says:

        just wanted to say that I agree with your takes, and the comments are really weird on this post about someone who is sharing their experience and their side of the story. *shrug*

  16. NicDix says:

    Um…there’s more than one record deal out there.

  17. Mina_Esq says:

    It’s not just the music industry that’s cutthroat. I think it’s a bit strange that these young artists still go into it with the misguided belief that music executives will have their best interests rather than the company’s bottom line in mind. It’s a business, it’s not about the art for them. Of course Katy was her competition. Of course they were only going to pick one of them. Katy didn’t steal anything. She was the successful candidate.