Well, not her tribute so much as her manager's, but a tribute nevertheless:
"My manager, Bradford, he's from Mississippi, and he's a huge Big Star fan," Perry told EW. "And with the death of one of their members, I had just written that song, and he's like, 'Katy, just for me, will you please title it 'California Gurls,' with a 'u'? People won't even know!' I don't know the whole catalog of Big Star, but I did it because Bradford is one of my best friends, and I thought it was cool, and you know, the kids like those variations."
It was all lovely until she got to "the kids like those variations."