Beauty with an Edge - P!nk

pink-1Never one to shy away from a challenge, P!nk opened her performance at the 2014 Grammys with a spell-binding spin, hanging upside down from a rope. As I sat watching the performance, it became obvious why the world of music fans has such a penchant for this outlandish singer – P!nk (real name Alecia Beth Moore Hart) is quite simply fearless.

Never scared to break the rules or push the boundaries of what a pop star should look like, P!nk began her music career back in 2000 with her single ‘There You Go’, but it was dance-floor favourite ‘Get the Party Started’ which really hurtled the singer into Billboard fame. The video to the track features P!nk stealing a skateboard from two boys in order to get to a party which she is subsequently refused entry to and so climbs scaffolding to get into the building instead. And so began P!nk’s no-nonsense music career.

‘Get the Party Started’ was the leadtrack on the 2001 album M!ssundaztood, which achieved global commercialand critical success and featured chart topping singles ‘Just Like a Pill’ and‘Don’t Let Me Get Me’. The album had a resounding urban influence and wasmarked throughout with P!nk’s signature nonconformist mentality.

Behind P!nk’s seemingly ‘don’t care’ attitude on this album, the lyrics pack some serious punch on gritty topics such as divorce, drug abuse and teenage angst. In particular, the final track ‘Family Portrait’ reveals a rarely seen vulnerable side, as she sings about the separation of her parents when she was a child. Her treatment of such hard-hitting topics seemed to speak volumes to teenagers and young adults throughout the world who took notice of this singer who was ‘real’ and flawed like any normal human. Robert Hilburn of the Los Angeles Times comments, “P!nk stood up for her music, broke the music industry’s mould and scored a breakout hit, challenging a school of teen singers to find their own sounds as well.” He adds, “[P!nk] also started a race among other teen pop stars like Christina Aguilera add substance to their own sound.”

It was not until I went to see P!nk in concert that it dawned on me how vocally talented the singer is. As well as consistently delivering electric performances, P!nk has a rocky edge to her voice which allows her to create a uniquely raw rasp on certain notes while also being able to access higher notes with brightness and clarity. The Star Tribune commends the singer by saying, “Her slightly raspy, slightly soulful voice made you feel the dysfunction in ‘Family Portrait’, the longing of ‘Who Knew’ and the empowerment in ‘Perfect’.”

British soul singer Adele considers P!nk’s performance at the Brixton Academy in London as one of “the most defining moments” in her life, telling Spinner, “It was the M!ssundaztood record, so I was about 13 or 14. I had never heard, being in the room, someone sing like that live. Before that I was into the Spice Girls and stuff like that and they can’t sing obviously. I know that now. I remember sort of feeling like I was in a wind tunnel, her voice just hitting me. It was incredible.”

Nearly 15 years on, the 34-year old artist has ditched the vivid fuchsia pink locks for a more ‘mature’ pale rose, but still remains one of the boldest and outspoken artists of our generation. She has recently released new album The Truth About Love which features the successful single ‘Just Give Me a Reason’ that has gained international acclaim. With a Brit nomination last February for Best International Female as well as the coveted Best Song of the Year nomination at the 56th Grammy Awards, P!nk ontinues to produce music which speaks from the heart.

Her philanthropic exploits should also be congratulated. As a prominent campaigner for PETA, P!nk spoke out for causes such as the protest against KFC. She is also involved with many charities including UNICEF, the Prince’s Trust, Save the Children and has recently been officially recognised as an advocator for the RSPCA in Australia. Aside from this, P!nk has shown support for marriage equality and Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender rights.

In a society where we obsess over size zero celebrities, it is a joy and a delight to see a pop singer use her fame to promote inner beauty in such a fabulously fearless way.

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