A TRANSATLANTIC chart battle has kicked off between LILY ALLEN and KATY PERRY.
Yank newcomer Katy’s first UK-released album, One Of The Boys, is out next month.
And it’s put the wind up Lily so badly that she has shelved her own album launch.
Stuck On The Naughty Step – the follow-up to Lil’s hit 2006 debut Alright, Still – had been expected out this month but will now be held back until next year.
It has been ages since a good chart battle rumbled across the pond. And Lily v Katy is shaping up to be a classic scrap.
They won’t be the only ones coming to blows, either.
SIMON COWELL will be knocking heads together over the decision by his label, Sony BMG, to dump Katy.
She was signed to them when she started out but got binned. Simon must be furious watching rivals EMI, her new label, coining it in.
Katy delivered her first blow in her battle yesterday when single I Kissed A Girl topped the UK charts on downloads alone.
Lyrics to the track, which has been a hit across the globe, include “I kissed a girl and I liked it/The taste of her cherry chapstick”.
Some fans seem to be taking the lyrics a little too literally.
In an interview to celebrate her first UK No1, Katy told me: “The problem is girls now keep asking for a kiss. After every gig on my tour I stay behind to do an autograph signing. But about a dozen women will want a snog. I just sweetly say, ‘No, thank you’.
“If I kissed everybody who asked I’d probably go away with something I don’t really want!”
Before you get all hot under the collar, lads, Katy has a fella — TRAVIS McCOY, frontman of US emo outfit GYM CLASS HEROES.
She continued: “I’m not a lesbian, I love men. As for kissing a girl, I’m holding out for MEGAN FOX.”
I’m afraid she’ll have to get in line to snog the Transformers star.
Katy is the daughter of two pastors but turned her back on her religious upbringing to become a self-confessed “bad girl” of music.
Her other song titles, including Ur So Gay and If You Can Afford Me, have outraged po-faced Yanks.
But Katy reckons they just don’t get the joke.
She said: “I love talking to Brits because you guys actually have a sense of humour. You understand when I’m saying stupid things.”
The singer — whose upbringing was so strict that she wasn’t allowed to listen to rock music or watch MTV — added: “People like to make out that I have gone off the rails and disappointed my parents with my music, but it’s not true.
“I was never a saint. I’m a human being and I mess up sometimes.”
She certainly hasn’t made any mistakes with her album. She worked on it with top songwriters including CATHY DENNIS and DAVESTEWART.
US critics have been raving about it and I reckon Katy is America’s answer to Lily.
That won’t go down well with Miss Allen of north London.
Katy is playing down the comparisons to her English rival, telling me: “I think I sound different to her. She’s in a league of her own.”
I doubt Lily will be as friendly.