Katy Perry made news earlier this month when she said she was living in Kentucky while her fiancé, Orlando Bloom, finishes his upcoming film, Red Right Hand.
“I’m like, living in Kentucky, and I have for almost a month now, and that’s quite an amazing experience because it reminds you that Hollywood is not America,” Perry told Chelsea Handler on Handler’s podcast, Dear Chelsea.
The statement prompted an immediate overreaction by many who took this to mean the “Firework” singer had permanently left her home in Beverly Hills for a life in the Bluegrass State.
More recently, Perry set the record straight in an interview with Extra TV, indicating her time in Kentucky was more like an extended stay than a long-term move, but that she did love the experience.
Still, there are several celebrities who have either grown up in Kentucky or called it home at one point in their lives — some of whom may come as a surprise. Below is a list of just a few of the A-list celebrities who have lived in Kentucky.
The “WHAT’S POPPIN” rapper was born in Louisville and raised on a horse farm near Shelbyville. At age 12, Harlow moved back to Louisville, where he discovered a passion for rap, even making a CD in seventh grade with a friend and selling copies to classmates at Highland Middle School.
Even as a student at Seneca High School in Louisville, Diane Sawyer was wildly successful, serving as the editor-in-chief for her school yearbook and winning first place in the national America’s Junior Miss scholarship pageant. Born in Glasgow, Sawyer would remain in the Commonwealth even through her first job in news as a weather reporter for WLKY-TV.
Jennifer Lawrence is widely regarded as one of the most down-to-earth movie stars, and this may be due in part to her Kentucky roots. Growing up, the “Hunger Games” actress loved visiting a local horse farm and horseback riding near her home. Lawrence was born in Indian Hills and attended Kammerer Middle School in Louisville, where she participated in cheerleading, softball and field hockey, and even played on a boys’ basketball team coached by her father.
Wynonna Judd only spent a few years in the Commonwealth, but it would prove a formative time and place for her. Born in Ashland, Kentucky is where she received her first guitar for Christmas, and where she began to take inspiration from the country music that her mother listened to.
Although his aunt was a well-known singer and actress, George Clooney’s rise to fame would take a longer, more winding route. Before taking on the role of Danny Ocean, Clooney was born in Lexington and moved around the state growing up, eventually attending Northern Kentucky University to study broadcasting before working several jobs. He even spentsome time cutting tobacco on a farm.
Billy Ray Cyrus
Billy Ray Cyrus did not know he wanted to be a musician until he attended a Neil Diamond Concert in his twenties. His musical influences, though, can be traced back to his earliest days in Flatwoods, Kentucky, where he was surrounded by bluegrass and gospel music from his family. After leaving Georgetown College, where he had earned a baseball scholarship, Cyrus set a ten-month goal to start a career in music.
We would be remiss if we did not include the late Muhammad Ali, whose legacy continues to shape the city of Louisville in major ways. Often referred to as the greatest athlete who ever lived, Ali’s boxing journey began at 12 years old after his bike was stolen. When he suggested to Louisville police officer and boxing coach Joe E. Martin that he wanted to fight the thief, Martin told Ali he had better learn how to box first, introducing Ali to the sport he would go on to define in his adulthood.