As someone old enough to have been a teenager when Pink released her first single, ‘There You Go’, I am mightily happy and impressed that 17 years later she is still doing her thing. While most of the artists that exploded alongside Pink at the same time have seen their careers take a downward trajectory in both sales and social presence, Pink has proven time and again she has the fan base and the relatability to keep her relevant and successful – so why is it that with record sales of over 100 million, multiple sell-out tours and having paved the way for the likes of Kelly Clarkson and Avril Lavigne with her pop rock blueprints, that she is still criminally ignored as one of the pillars of pop?
Debut album ‘Can’t Take Me Home’ introduced us to Pink as the feisty pink haired R n B starlet, with lukewarm sales. It’s no secret that behind the scenes she wasn’t happy with her record company trying to put her in the R n B box, so for the next album she enlisted the help of Linda Perry. What was born out of this switch in direction was 2001’s masterpiece ‘Missudaztood’. Pink hit her stride and settled into the lane she has carved for herself since as a pop rock artist. The album remains her biggest seller and also paved the way for the slew of female pop rock albums that came in the 00’s. This was the first glimpse into Pinks raw authenticity through her relatable honest lyrics and its carried on right up until the present day.
Nothing is off limits with Pink when it comes to her lyrics, ‘Family Portrait’s broken home to ‘Who Knew’ about losing friends to drugs, laying bare her marriage breakdown (So What), to open letters to Presidents shaming them. All the while she wraps them into beautiful melodies and hooks and delivers them with powerhouse vocals that hit home how they’re supposed to do.
Besides her lyrical honesty and catchy pop hooks, Pink has really come out as a bankable and reliable touring act. Having seen her twice in concert before, the ride she takes you on as an audience is intense. She doesn’t let the fact her music is pop rock dictate how she should do her show. She could stand there behind a mic and just belt it out. Instead she unleashes shows of colour, pizazz and acrobatic exhaustion that’s exhilarating to watch. She is also one of those rare artists that are bigger outside their native country. Most notably she done a 58-date tour of Australia on the The Funhouse Tour, followed by 46 dates on the Truth About Love Tour. That’s just in one country, who else can lay claim to an achievement like that?
While her peers who were around when she started out have settled for residencies in Vegas, slots on prime-time talent shows and branching out into movies to keep themselves visible, Pink has stuck to her guns and pushed the envelope continually making sure in the process, whether intentional or not, she has been the one to come out on top in current pop climate. She hasn’t relied on jumping on trends or having help from the ‘producers of the moment’ to help her stay relevant. With 15 top 10 hits under her belt, more than any of her peers, why is she still flying under the radar?
It’s possible that due to her late bloomer status, or her lack of tabloid grabbing headlines have affected how she is held up next to her peers but when looking at the cold truth of it all, she’s an admitted underdog. Her constant social awareness and campaigning for the underdog have been the backbone on which she has continued to build up her base. Never afraid to call out injustice when she sees it, she an efficient philanthropist. Most notably a very vocal for the LGBT community, she gave an empowering speech on gender binary confinements whilst picking up the Michael Jackson Video Vanguard Awards at this year’s MTV Awards.
During an interview recently, she stated that when people talk about the ‘greats’ of her era, its Britney and Beyoncé’s names that are mentioned, not hers. She told Oprah in 2011 that it felt like ‘after 10 years, people still don’t know what I do’. Its only really now with the release of this new album that America and indeed the rest of the world are starting to realise just what Pink has given the industry and just how much of a pop player she is. About time too seeing she has now cemented her place in the pop landscape forever and she did while being the underdog.