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Katy Perry mourns devastating death of 'one of my protectors' days after American Idol exit news

He was one of the people responsible for kickstarting her career

AMERICAN IDOL  518 The Top 5 Idol hopefuls travel to The Entertainment Capital of the World, Las Vegas, to be mentored by eight-time GRAMMY® Award-winning country music superstar and 2005 American Idol winner Carrie Underwood from Resorts World Theatre, home of her ongoing REFLECTION: The Las Vegas Residency. Each contestant will perform two songs, leaving it all on the stage in hopes of earning Americas vote and landing a spot in the Grand Finale. GRAMMY and Academy Award®-winning singer-songwriter and producer Finneas will also perform his new single Naked
Ahad Sanwari
Ahad Sanwari - New York
Senior WriterNew York
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Katy Perry is grieving a personal loss, taking to social media to mourn the death of Martin Kirkup, a British-born American music industry executive.

Kirkup, who passed away on February 4 at the age of 75, was one of the founding managers of Direct Management Group in 1984, representing the likes of the B-52's, k.d. lang, Counting Crows, Adam Lambert, and for nearly 20 years, Katy herself.

Katy and Kirkup met in 2004, when she was working with Jagged Little Pill producer Glen Ballard, and she was signed to his team, helping her kickstart her career in 2007 with the release of her hit debut "I Kissed a Girl."

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The singer, 39, shared photos of her time spent with Kirkup, spanning the start of her career to her most recent Las Vegas residency, PLAY, and provided a lengthy statement alongside it.

She wrote: "It's taken me a little while to make this post…something about posting it makes it all feel final… and even though Martin wasn't particularly fond of social media and its sensationalism, I must respectfully take a moment and speak on how special he was and is to me."

Katy then explained more of her trajectory with the longtime manager, adding: "Martin was one of my protectors. He was vigilant about getting me what I deserved and celebrated the headstrong female I am."

Katy Perry shares a photo with her late manager Martin Kirkup© Instagram
Katy looked back on her long and prosperous career with her late manager

She praised the rest of her team as well, saying: "I have been so fortunate to have an INCREDIBLE team by my side for almost 20 years, before I had (as my father from Memphis would say) a pot to pee in or a window to throw it from! Martin, along with all of my managers, have literally fought day in and day out for my voice to be heard, and I have SO much pride, respect and admiration for my team at Direct Management."

While celebrating their journey, Katy recalled some of her final moments with him, sharing that he had sneaked a peek at her new music. "I could tell he was excited for the future, and I was so glad I had that last moment to make him proud in my own little way.

MORE: All about Katy Perry's very religious parents: her strict upbringing, their relationship today, and her mom's political aspirations

"We didn't get to physically say goodbye, but I know he knows how much respect and admiration I have for him, and his hearty chuckles and wicked retorts continue to echo through my mind.

Katy Perry shares a photo from her Las Vegas residency Play© Instagram
She included a photo of his visit to her Las Vegas residency, "PLAY"

Katy continued her statement in the comments, sharing with fans that her favorite number has always been "143" because it symbolized "I love you." 

"It's been a number I have seen many times since the birth of my daughter, Daisy. It's come to me in some of my hardest times to comfort me and is a constant confirmation that whatever I'm doing or path I'm on is the right one to be on." 

MORE: Katy Perry almost lived in a Los Angeles convent – bizarre story unearthed

She found that on the day of Kirkup's passing, the number was "everywhere." "The receipt in the morning was 143, the length of the movie we watched was 143, and to top it off, the one person that came up to me to ask for a picture introduced himself as Martin. What a coincidence, eh?

Katy Perry *EXCLUSIVE*© Getty Images
Kirkup was around since the very start of Katy's career in the mid-2000s

"I believe our angels and loved ones always want to talk with us… if we are willing to listen. The signs are all around, we just gotta be open to them. So, I'm gonna stay open and never forget the love, dedication and protection he gave me all these years. What an honor it was to have Martin Kirkup on my team. I hear you Martin, and 143 back to you."

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