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Over Memorial Day weekend, the "Daisies" singer will be performing for healthcare workers and military heroes as part of Northwell Health's Side by Side: A Celebration of Service event, airing May 31 at 7 p.m. EST on the healthcare provider's YouTube channel.
"[Being pregnant] was the first time I had ever experienced nurses because I'd never been to the hospital. I had no idea how to surrender, but you definitely have to surrender after you have a baby. I didn't know what I was surrendering into — I just did, and I was like, 'Wow, these nurses are literally angels," says Perry, 36, who welcomed daughter Daisy Dove last August with fiancé Orlando Bloom.
Normally "a bit of a control freak" and the "caretaker" amongst her loved ones, Perry says seeing the care her healthcare team put into assuring she had a healthy pregnancy and delivery was an eye-opening experience.
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"I really thought it was amazing that there were actually such incredible selfless angels out there that are working in healthcare. It was so positive," she says. "They've been under a lot of intense stress."
Earlier this month, Perry also virtually met "a couple of Marines" as part of the benefit concert, and the star says she is passionate about helping veterans gain access to mental health tools.
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"On tour I work with the Navy, the army or the Marines, and I've seen some effects of [serving]," she says. "In my own way, I have tried to help in providing tools like transcendental meditation and stuff like that. [Northwell Health] actually also provides that, and it's now nice to know I can help direct [veterans] to this resource."
After more than a year of performing virtually, Perry says she's ready to get back on stage — safely in front of a live audience.
"I really enjoyed being with my family, and every day when you have a baby they've changed," she says of her slower pace in the last year. "You come home, and if you've gone away from them a whole day when I get to work, I come home and her face has changed. I'm like, 'What?!' These moments are really special and it goes by so quickly, so I'm just really trying to stay present."
Still, "I'm excited to take the stage at the end of the year and create a show in Vegas," she says of her upcoming residency. "I'm right in the middle of that, and I know that's going to be fun. I think we're headed to a Roaring '20s! Everyone is going to want to celebrate and party and enjoy."