Katy Perry: In Full Swing

updated 08/30/2010 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 08/30/2010 AT 01:00 AM EDT

Katy Perry perches precariously on a custom-made swing at The Box, a late-night burlesque club in downtown Manhattan. "Is it scary?" asks the photographer, as Perry whizzes by high above the stage. "I'm not scared of anything," the singer replies, pointing her stiletto-covered toes. "Except maybe airplanes. And my hairstylist," she adds, drawing laughs from the crew. "He's got really hot tools!"

That's Perry for you: fearless, intentionally campy, crowd-pleasing. Her second album, Teenage Dream, which drops Aug. 24, has already produced the song of the summer, "California Gurls." ("That song is so annoying," she jokes of its pervasiveness.) Still, she's refreshingly aware of how fleeting fame can be. "I know there are 500 girls behind me waiting for a spot," says Perry, 25. "I do not feel entitled whatsoever. But this is my time, and I can't believe how much fun it is."

Especially when she's also planning her wedding to British actor-comedian Russell Brand, 35, who popped the question in January after just four months of dating. She's particularly psyched for her bachelorette party, complete with all the embarrassingly shaped accessories that come with it. "I can't wait for that," she says. "I'm gonna look like an idiot!"

Though she first made it big singing about kissing a girl, Perry may be a more traditional bride than fans expect. "I'm definitely not going to get married in latex," she says of one rumor. "When I wear latex onstage, I sweat. I could wring out those dresses-and I don't want to do that at my wedding." At least that's one thing checked off her list. "I really have to learn to breathe and delegate," she says. "Most people have breakdowns just over weddings, and I'm planning mine and my tour." She's not the type to be floating on some bride-to-be cloud anyway. "There are love songs on Teenage Dream, but it's not too mushy," she says. "You've still got 'You Oughta Know'-type songs."

Though she's an MTV mainstay, Perry was once banned from watching the network herself. "I came from a very sheltered household," she says of growing up with strict pastor parents, who even called deviled eggs "angel eggs." And because music videos were off-limits, she says, "the first thing I'd do at friends' houses was turn on MTV, smuggling pop culture into my life. I was so entertained by that world."

Now she's the one doing the entertaining. And not just with her music: "I love for my clothes to have a sense of humor," she says of her buzzworthy wardrobe, which she stores in her three-car garage turned closet. "I want people to see me and say, 'I want to hang out with that girl. She looks like a ball of fun.' "

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