The Truth About Pink
BY Diane Anderson-Minshall
October 16 2012 4:10 AM ET
Pink, whom Forbes magazine called the 27th most powerful celebrity in the world, has just finished dinner in the Malibu, Calif., home she shares with husband Carey Hart, an entrepreneur and motocross racer. Her daughter, Willow, who turned 15 months old on this day, is finally asleep upstairs, and the sweatpants-clad “So What” singer has settled into the sofa with her daily glass of wine. This, she says, is who she is: a smart woman who loves her family, is a great cook, and considers herself a decent human being. But one of the most powerful celebrities?
“I still look at that shit and think it’s hilarious,” she says. “I feel my power as a female and as a human being. I definitely do not feel my power as whatever Forbes was talking about.”
But Forbes was right. Since Pink (née Alecia Moore) released her 2000 debut album, Can’t Take Me Home, she’s become a musical force to be reckoned with. Within the next two years she won her first Grammy (along with Lil’ Kim, Christina Aguilera, and Mýa, for their “Lady Marmalade” collaboration) and took the reins of her career (by teaming up with lesbian producer Linda Perry) and produced one of the most popular pop albums of the decade, M!ssundaztood.
“M!ssundaztood was the point in my life where I decided it was my life,” she recalls. “I was going to go balls to the wall, and I think honestly…music has to do with timing. I think M!ssundaztood, for a lot of us, [came out at] a time in our life when we were just really getting to know ourselves.”
The singer has changed the sound of modern pop music irrevocably. Music critic Ann Powers credits Pink’s eclectic mix of rebellion, raw emotions, infectious beats, and humor with paving the path for many of today’s most popular modern female artists, including Lady Gaga, Katy Perry, and Rihanna. She’s even been credited as inspiring a British multi-Grammy winner to become a performer, after a then-teenage Adele caught Pink in concert at London’s famed Brixton Academy.
“That’s so huge for me,” she says of Adele. “I’m a fellow outcast, and for somebody to say that they were at my party once is like, Really? That’s so cool, they were there. Fuck, she was 13 — how old does that make me? If I had to influence anybody, I’m so grateful it’s her.”
To date, Pink has had a dozen Top 10 hits in the U.S., and only Rihanna and Beyoncé have had more since 2000. In 2009, Billboard crowned Pink the top pop artist of the millennium’s first decade, and after selling 40 million albums and 70 million singles globally she is indisputably one of the best-selling musical artists of all time.
So whether she’s comfortable acknowledging it or not, Pink has some extraordinary music industry muscle, though when she’s skipping through the Malibu Farmers Market without shoes (as she did while pregnant) or riding bikes with Hart on Venice Beach (as she often does on weekends), she seems like a modern American everywoman — minus those shoes.
On this night she’s just an ordinary working mom taking a brief respite from her intense every-two-hours breast-feeding schedule (albeit in her $11.8 million home in Malibu, where her neighbor is Matthew McConaughey). The next day she’ll take a helicopter to MTV’s Video Music Awards in Los Angeles, where she’ll twirl above the crowd in her signature Cirque du Soleil–style acrobatics while performing “Blow Me (One Last Kiss),” a grrrl power song off The Truth About Love. The following morning the entire family flies to Europe as she starts her new world tour, and the following Saturday she’ll celebrate turning 33 in Paris, where she plans to visit the Eiffel Tower and other sites. Then she’s on to London, Germany, and Australia, and the three will be home for Thanksgiving weekend.