Born Alicia (some sources say Alecia) Moore c. 1979 in Philadelphia, PA. Addresses: Record company--Arista Records, 6 W. 57th St., New York, NY 10019. Website--Pink Official Website: http://www.pinkspage.com.
With brightly colored hair and a Philadelphia-bred moxie to match, R&B/pop singer Pink scored multiplatinum success with the release of her first album, Can't Take Me Home, in 2000. Pink's follow-up release in 2001, M!ssundaztood, also earned multiplatinum sales and displayed a rock and blues edginess not present on her more mainstream pop debut. "The first album was a good introduction--it was testing the waters.... I was the lead singer of two punk bands and sang gospel in all-black churches. I wanted this album to represent that," Pink told Rashaun Hall of Billboard magazine about her sophomore release. Adding to the pop star's success was her contribution to the Grammy Award-winning song "Lady Marmalade," which appeared on the Moulin Rouge film soundtrack. Not content to simply provide music for film, Pink stepped onto the big screen in Rollerball in 2002.
Born Alicia (some sources say Alecia) Moore c. 1979 in Doylestown, Pennsylvania, a suburb of Philadelphia, Pink grew up listening to the music her mother collected: Aretha Franklin, Dionne Warwick, Shirley Murdock, and Donny Hathaway. Her father, a Vietnam veteran and guitarist, introduced her to the music of Janis Joplin, Bob Dylan, the Mamas and the Papas, and Billy Joel. "I'd watch him play and we'd sing guitar together," she explained to Julia Chaplin of Interview. "That made me want to make music, because I was a really bad kid, so I was like, 'Let me just make him proud,'" Pink told Shirley Manson (of the band Garbage) in another conversation for Interview. Pink earned her nickname for the shade her cheeks turn when she gets embarrassed. She later dyed her hair to match, and her pink hairdo became her trademark.
Pink's progression to the charts started early. She started singing with a gospel choir at 13. At 14 she was singing with a local punk band and had recorded her first original song. She scored a weekly spot at a hip-hop club by the time she was 15. She was handpicked to lend her strong voice to an R&B girl group, Basic Instinct, but her bandmates kicked her out "because they were black and I was white," Pink told Chaplin in Interview, "but the politically correct reason that they gave me was because I didn't fit in well in the photos." Although she has admitted to having other troubles as a white singer in the traditionally black R&B genre, Pink maintains that "We are all pink on the inside." She then sang for the R&B group Choice, which signed a record deal with the LaFace record label when she was just 16, but the group disbanded before recording. On her way up, Pink dropped out of high school and worked at Pizza Hut, McDonald's, Wendy's, and a gas station.
LaFace kept Pink after Choice dissolved and paired her with producers and writers like Arista president Antonio "L.A." Reid, Darryl Simmons, Kevin "She'kspeare" Briggs, Babyface, and 112. The result was Pink's debut album, Can't Take Me Home, which made its way onto the American top 40 album charts, fueled by fans who agreed with critic Christopher John Farley in Time: "this 20-year-old's music is better than her name." Despite Entertainment Weekly critic Rob Brunner's review of the album--"there's hardly an original musical moment on it"--Can't Take Me Home earned double-platinum status for sales and produced the top-ten hits "There U Go," "Most Girls," and "You Make Me Sick." She earned an MTV Video Award nomination for Best New Artist.
In 2001 Pink sang on a remake of the 1970s Patti LaBelle hit "Lady Marmalade" for the Moulin Rouge soundtrack with R&B divas Christina Aguilera, Mya, and Lil' Kim. The song featured a sexy video in which the ladies appeared as scantily clad cabaret dancers. "I was the total alien at [sic] that video," Pink told Manson in Interview. The night before the shoot, the young star was so nervous she didn't sleep. "I've always hung with guys and I'm a total tomboy, so I was really nervous," she admitted. The piece was named MTV's Best Video of the Year and Best Video from a Film. "Lady Marmalade" became Pink's first number-one hit and earned the Grammy Award for Best Pop Collaboration with Vocals in 2002.
On her follow-up effort M!ssundaztood, released in 2001, Pink broke the "record company golden rule," according to Jim Farber of Entertainment Weekly: Don't confuse fans by changing your sound, style, or image. The gamble worked, however, and she successfully became "an entirely different artist." This was not entirely surprising, though, since as executive producer Pink had far more control over M!ssundaztood than she had had with her first album. "I'm a songwriter and a musician," she said in an interview with Honey. "I can't be a puppet." Her producers balked at her new direction, but she got her way. "At first," Pink continued, "L.A. Reid thought, 'She's abandoning her fans.' But he believed in me. I couldn't have done it without him."
The change was based on her collaboration with former 4 Non Blondes leader Linda Perry, who cowrote and coproduced much of the album, and whom Pink had idolized as a young teen. "I loved her. I thought I was her when I was 13," Pink told Manson in Interview. She got Perry's number out of a makeup artist's phone book, went to her house, and within a month had recorded 15 songs. The bonding, writing, and recording process with Perry was "amazing, liberating, inspiring," Pink said in her website biography, "what making music should be like." Pink told Manson that Perry was "the stepping-stone for my [new sound]," and the reason she had taken artistic control of the album. The critics agreed: "Pink deserves respect for expressing herself instead of going through the teen-pop motions," wrote Rob Sheffield for Rolling Stone.
"I hope this album shocks people who think they know who I am or what I'm about," Pink said in comments included on her official website. Indeed, she cowrote many of its songs, producing very personal, introspective lyrics--songs like "Don't Let Me Get Me," about self-loathing, and "Family Portrait," about her parents' messy divorce; when they finally heard the song both "cried for days," according to her website. In "My Vietnam," she goes "over the top," according to Farber in Entertainment Weekly, comparing her own troubles to the war. While the album "lack[s] adult depth," Farber continued, Pink "captures girlish confusion with greater accuracy and delight than Alanis Morissette's supposed bible of the form, Jagged Little Pill." Critic Smith Galtney wrote in Time Out New York: "Although not quite as great as some reviews would have you believe, M!ssundaztood is still pretty ... good." The album's first single, "Get the Party Started," written by Perry, climbed high on the Billboard Hot 100 chart.
In 2002 Pink began to expand her career into other strata of the entertainment spectrum, making her big-screen debut in Rollerball.
by Brenna Sanchez
Began singing with a gospel choir, c. 1982; sang with a local punk band, recorded first original song, c. 1983; sang weekly at a hip-hop club beginning c. 1984; joined Basic Instinct; joined Choice, signed a record deal with the LaFace record label, c. 1985; released Can't Take Me Home, 2000; sang on a remake of the 1970s hit "Lady Marmalade" for the Moulin Rouge film soundtrack, 2001; released M!ssundaztood, 2001; appeared in the film Rollerball, 2002.
Billboard magazine, Best New Female Artist, 2000; Grammy Award, Best Pop Collaboration with Vocals for "Lady Marmalade," 2002.
- Selected discography
- Can't Take Me Home , La Face, 2000.
- (With Christina Aguilera, Mya, and Lil' Kim) "Lady Marmalade," Moulin Rouge (soundtrack), Interscope, 2001.
- M!ssundaztood , Arista, 2001.
November 11, 2003: Pink's album, Try This, was released. Source: Billboard.com, www.billboard.com/bb/releases/week_3/rock.jsp, November 12, 2003.
February 8, 2004: Pink won the Grammy Award for best female rock vocal performance, for "Trouble." Source: 46th Grammy Awards, grammys.com/awards/grammy/46winners.aspx, February 8, 2004.
January 7, 2006: Pink married motocross racer Carey Hart on a Costa Rican beach. Source: USA Today, www.usatoday.com/life/music/news/2006-01-07-pink-hart_x.htm, January 8, 2006.
- Billboard, December 1, 2001.
- Entertainment Weekly, April 14, 2000, p. 73; November 23, 2001, p. 79.
- Honey, March 2002.
- Interview, February 2001, p. 109; December 2001, p. 36.
- People, November 26, 2001, p. 45.
- Popstar, February 2002.
- Rolling Stone, December 6-13, 2001.
- Stuff, January 2002.
- Time, April 17, 2000, p. 84; December 3, 2001, p. 77.
- Time Out New York, January 3-10, 2002.
- USA Today, November 23, 2001.
- "Pink," All Music Guide, http://www.allmusic.com (January 24, 2002).
- Pink Official Website, http://www.pinkspage.com (January 24, 2002).
- Additional materials were provided by the Arista Records publicity department, 2002.