Katy Perry is this week's Billboard cover star, and in the interview, she reveals some pretty dark thoughts from her past. "By the Grace of God," a track from her upcoming album PRISM, opens with Perry on the bathroom floor, contemplating suicide. "That song is evident of how tough it really was at a certain point," Perry tells Billboard. "I asked myself, 'Do I want to endure? Should I continue living?'" On "Ghost," the lyrics discuss how Russell Brand told her he wanted a divorce: "You sent a text/It's like the wind changed your mind." Says Perry, "All the songs are real-life moments. I can only write autobiographically. I put all the evidence in the music. I tell my fans if they want to know the real truth about stuff, just listen to the songs."
Perry has been warning fans since last year that PRISM, out Oct. 22, would be darker than past albums thanks to the divorce. But things are looking up in the love department; at one point during the interview, Perry gets giggly about John Mayer, whom she calls her boyfriend and "literally ... a genius." An amusing tidbit from the sit-down: She reveals that, as she was facing the end of her marriage, she showed up late for a TV interview with Barbara Walters. Walters' reaction: "You know, I've only ever waited for one other person this long, and you know who that person was? Judy Garland. You know how she turned out, right?" Says Perry, "I think it's the coolest thing that Barbara Walters shaded me."