Grammy Awards 2017: Katy Perry sparks backlash over Britney Spears mental health jibes

'The only thing left to do is shave my head, which I'm really saving for a public breakdown,' says the pop singer

Katie Forster
Monday 13 February 2017 10:41 GMT
Katy Perry references Britney Spears' head-shaving in joke on red carpet

Katy Perry appeared to take a jibe at Britney Spears over her mental health not once but twice at last night's Grammy Awards.

On the red carpet, the California Gurls singer answered a question about having taken a break between albums by saying: "That's called taking care of your mental health".

When presenter Ryan Seacrest asked her how her time off had gone, she replied: "Fantastic. And I haven't shaved my head yet".

Ms Spears was pictured shaving her head after reportedly leaving rehab almost exactly a decade ago in February 2007.

The pop superstar, who entered a rehab facility after the incident and was later hospitalised and treated on a psychiatric ward, has since opened up about her struggles with anxiety.

She told Marie Claire about how she managed to overcome an ongoing sense of unease and apprehension.

“I moved to Los Angeles when I was very young,” she told the magazine. “I was so under scrutiny. If a hair was out of place, I'd be so anxious. I would get very anxious about so many things.”

Ms Perry, who has been involved in a long-running spat with Taylor Swift, also appeared to reference Ms Spears' public breakdown in another interview.

"It's like the last colour in the spectrum that I can do," she said, talking about her hair.

"I've done all of them and the only thing left to do is shave my head, which I'm really saving for a public breakdown. I'm down for that. I'm almost moments away from that, obviously."

Then when asked by a presenter to talk about her new music, Ms Perry said: "Yes, of course. That's why I'm here – not to stir controversy".

Social media users were quick to criticise the pop star about her jokes. "Ew Katy Perry... have more compassion over what Britney Spears went through," wrote one Twitter user.

Gabriel Zanipatin wrote: "It's funny that Katy Perry makes fun of Britney shaving her head when that moment is more iconic than Katy's whole career".

And another added: “Mental illness isn't funny. Stop trying to be quirky.”

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