Uncompromising Candor. Unapologetic Individuality. Nonconforming Rockstar.
If there's one female performer that fellow females celebrities are consistently fawning over, it's Pink. The singer began her career in a similar fashion to last week’s WCIW, Kesha: a manufactured pop-princess who has proven time and again that she has what it takes to transition not only to rockstar status, but full-blown icon.
As a performer, her shows are full of spectacle that she brings herself as more than just a singer: she’s a dancer, aerialist, and acrobat. Outside her performances, she's made it her mission in life to speak frankly, fiercely, and frequently about everything from the struggles and triumphs of motherhood and marriage, to animal and civil rights issues. Pink cares about her fans and the world that we all live in, and is unafraid to use her platform to affect change.
Born Alecia Beth Moore on September 8th, 1979, Pink spent her childhood growing up in a firmly middle-class family in Doylestown, Pennsylvania. Her parent’s marriage was rocky from the start and ended when Alecia was very young. The divorce caused severe upheaval in the household, and the future performer rebelled against her parents and her suburban life. She's said in interviews that she “was not allowed over to other kid’s houses because their parents saw [her] as a negative influence. None of their parents liked me and my own parents were scared to death of me — and for me."
Seeking an outlet for her emotional pain, Pink found solace in music. She became a fixture in the Philadelphia club scene as early as 13-years-old, and by 14 carried herself as a seasoned performer and began writing her own songs. Unfortunately, she had also been consumed by the drug culture of the clubs, nearly dying of an overdose at 15 and turning to petty crime to fund the habit. She dropped out of high school to pursue music, and drugs, full time, but by 1998 she returned and earned her GED.
Despite her internal struggles, Alecia presented the persona of a sassy and unquestionably talented singer and songwriter. At her regular Friday night gig, she drew the attention of an MCA records exec who offered her several opportunities to join R&B groups. While those groups never really broke through, Moore learned from the experiences and got a taste of the big time. She was hooked.
She changed her name to Pink, a reference to the film Reservoir Dogs, and began working on a solo album. In 2000, the debut of Can’t Take Me Home shot Pink into stardom. The record went double-platinum and secured her a gig as the opener to N’Sync. That success, however, was not enough. She resolved to never be just another cookie-cutter popstar, rising and fizzling out in a blaze of blonde hair and bubble-gum pink lipstick. She knew she had the talent and the grit to take her career to a new level. "There was no blood, sweat or tears on my first album," she told London's Daily Mail. "And no emotional exchange between me and the musicians. R&B is on a conveyor belt."
The brutally honest lyrics of Pink's later albums attacked social constructs and “pretty girls”, and spoke truths about relationships, making her a both critical and commercial success. Her artistic view broadened to other mediums of expression, and other performers as she started songwriting for artists like Cher and Celine Dion, and acting for films like Thanks for Sharing and Happy Feet. Moreover, she's put the work into giving back to her community and being open and honest with her fans.
She married Carey Hart in 2006 and was extremely open about their struggles and separation two years later. The couple, however, refused to give up and renewed their vows in 2009. Pink gave birth to her daughter, Willow, in 2011, naming her after her favorite tree “which is known to be the most flexible in nature and able to withstand nearly anything.”
She's been vocal about the trials and tribulations of motherhood, recently taking to Instagram to say:
“I feel like I had it all figured out when she was younger. When it was just her. Now that there’s two, and such different ages, I feel flustered so much of the time. The older she gets the less clear I am on how to guide her, Do I take the raw honest tough way? Do I cuddle her and tell her not to worry? Do I let her be sassy knowing I want her to be strong and need her to be strong to survive in this world? Of course, but how do you interject subtlety and kindness?"
Pink insists on touring with her children by her side. “If I had nannies raising my kids and just wanted to be a rock star and party all the time, I wouldn't be successful and I wouldn't be happy. I know this is going to be hard, but we'll make amazing memories."
And then there's her tireless activism. Pink has supported PETA and other animal rights organizations for more than a decade, and has been a pillar for the LGBTQ+ community. Her honest and open music, with themes like coming into your own, struggling not to lose yourself, and self-acceptance have propelled her to gay-icon status. She's worked with organizations like GLAAD, Straight but not Narrow, Human Rights Campaign, Take Back the Night, Planned Parenthood, and YouthAIDs charities. From her powerful social media presence, she brings attention to causes from #MeToo and #TimesUp to gun control, student walkouts, and common sense gun law reform.
For her uncompromising candor, her unapologetic individuality, and her nonconformist rockstar status, Pink is this week’s #WCIW.