The stunning transformation of Pink

Pink is definitely one of the greats when it comes to pop stars with staying power. The singer-songwriter launched her career in the mid-to-late 1990s and had her first hit album in 2000 — and she’s still going strong decades later. On top of that, Pink is well-known for her concerts, in which she performs all kinds of acrobatic feats to the delight of her legions of fans. PS: If you haven’t caught her live, you’re truly missing out!

However, Pink wasn’t exactly born with a microphone in one hand and a trapeze in the other. Rather, Pink aka Alecia Beth Moore’s story starts in Doylestown, Pennsylvania, where she was born to middle-class parents in 1979, according to People magazine. After a troubled upbringing and a near-death experience that shook Pink to her core, she realigned her priorities and set out to become the impressive woman she is today.

But, just how did Pink go from a rebellious teenager to a wholesome pop sensation? And what lessons has she learned along the way? Read on to witness the stunning transformation of Pink.

Pink's parents divorced when she was just a kid

Pink is the child of Jim and Judy Moore, a Vietnam War veteran and an emergency room nurse, respectively, according to ABC News. But all was not well in their home, as Pink’s parents got divorced when she was just a kid, after years of acrimony took its toll on their marriage. Naturally, enduring that split took its toll on the young Pink, something she wrote about in the heartbreaking song “Family Portrait” years later.

While “Family Portrait” wound up resonating with many of her fans, Pink originally regretted releasing it. “I took it home to my mom and she cried for four days. It was s*** we never talked about,” she confessed to Entertainment Weekly. “And my mom was like, ‘I didn’t know that the divorce affected you that deeply.'” She clarified that it really didn’t — she was just looking back on it.

Pink grew up with an "insane" father

After dealing with her parents’ divorce, Pink had something of a hard time with her interpersonal relationships. That included her relationship with her mother, which was strained from a very early age. “I didn’t get along with my mom, who was the sole parent at the time,” she revealed to Redbook. “I just wanted to move out, and I was like 10.” That’s a pretty young age to be thinking about an exit strategy, but by all accounts Pink grew up pretty fast.

Things weren’t exactly easy with Pink’s father, either, as he was an intense character. “Full-contact karate. Guerrilla warfare. He’s insane. I grew up with rocket-launchers in my garage,” Pink told the Independent. “He’s definitely not the easiest guy,” she further explained. “We’ve had our times.” Pink added that he had an abusive childhood and signed up to serve in Vietnam to get away from it all.

Eventually Pink’s father started a support group for veterans and worked with them to raise money for the vulnerable in their community. Pink recalls hearing them talk about their experiences together, too, which had quite the positive impact on her.

When she was a kid, Pink was almost always in trouble

By the time that Pink had hit her early teens, she was quite the rebel and had a pretty bad reputation in her neighborhood. Unfortunately, that meant that she was persona non grata at her friends’ houses. “Other people’s parents wouldn’t let me come over when I was a kid,” she explained in an interview with The Guardian. “No one wanted their kid anywhere near me.” She said that was because many people viewed her as a bad apple who had a poor attitude and a big mouth, which isn’t exactly an endearing description.

Pink didn’t just have difficulties at home. She was always in trouble wherever she went. “My teachers hated me because I was curious… [but] I was also confrontational,” she told Redbook. “I had a chip on my shoulder.” All of this came to a head when, at 15 years old, Pink’s mother kicked her out of the house. It took years for the two to eventually reconcile after that.

Pink overdosed when she was a teenager

Part of the reason that Pink had such a bad reputation was because she was using all kinds of drugs — from cannabis to laughing gas to ecstasy. “I wasn’t interested in school, sports, hobbies or any of the other supposedly healthy things kids should be into,” she shared with Sunday World (via Her). “I just wanted to get high. I was running wild and heading for a fall.”

That fall happened when on Thanksgiving 1995. Pink overdosed on a combination of cocaine, crystal meth, ketamine, marijuana, angel dust, nitrous oxide, and alcohol inside of a club in Philadelphia, according to the Independent. Fortunately, Pink survived to tell the tale.

“Then I was clean,” Pink told the publication while snapping her fingers, “at 15.” After her near-death experience, Pink immediately got sober and focused on cleaning up her life. It would seem that she was ready and willing to leave her party days behind her, instead focusing on what would become her destiny: music.

Pink signed her first record deal in the '90s

Filled with clear-headed determination, a newly-sober Pink didn’t waste time pursuing her new goal, which was to get a record contract. After a brief stint in the girl group Basic Instinct, Pink inked her first solo record contract in 1996, before peers like Britney Spears, Jessica Simpson, Christina Aguilera, and Mandy Moore. Talk about a pioneer.

Given that Pink insisted on being original — she came up with her name, her image, her style, and her lyrics — the record executives at LaFace Records found her a bit difficult to categorize. “They were like, ‘Well, what’s this girl like? She’s punk rocker-thug type. Like, what is she?'” she shared in an interview with Launch (now Yahoo! Music). “If it makes you feel better, put me in that category, but I’m painting the world pink, so it’s whatever.” Pink emphasized that she believes that her music will speak for itself, which in retrospect has turned out to be true.

Can't Take Me Home made Pink a star

Several years after the ink dried on her contract with LaFace Records, Pink dropped her first album entitled Can’t Take Me Home. The record, which sold two million copies and had several songs in the Billboard Hot 100, showed that Pink had what it takes to be a pop star. That success was thanks in part to LaFace president L.A. Reid and producers like Daryl Simmons and Babyface, who had a heavy hand in shaping the R&B album.

However, for as much as the record put Pink on the map and generated impressive sales, it wasn’t something that Pink felt was truly authentic and from her heart. “With Can’t Take Me Home, I wasn’t really in full control,” she revealed in an interview with Derek Paiva. “It was really left up to the producers and my record company.” 

Pink also said that she was both possessed by an attitude and in a bad relationship at the time, which is reflected in the record. That was a mistake she didn’t make again.

Pink went rogue when she made M!ssundaztood

Rather than relinquish some of the control she had over her album, Pink went rogue when recording M!ssundaztood. “I was going to go balls to the wall, and I think honestly … music has to do with timing,” she told Advocate. “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.”

To that end, Pink tapped 4 Non Blonds front-woman Linda Perry to write the album, which was a deeply personal exploration of Pink’s emotional life and included songs that made both her mother and her father cry, as she recounted some of the most painful moments from her youth on the record.

Fortunately, when M!ssundaztood was released it was so successful that it reshaped the pop landscape. “But before it came out, I was being told that it’s going to completely fail,” she explained to Variety. “Then it comes out and sells 15 million records.” Suffice to say, Pink was over the moon — and officially a pop superstar.

Pink won a Grammy for this epic collaboration

What do you get when you take four of the biggest music divas in the business — in this case, Pink, Lil’ Kim, Christina Aguilera and Mya — and put them together for an all-out pop collaboration produced by the Missy Elliott? Why “Lady Marmalade,” of course.

The song, originally performed by the incredible Patti LaBelle, was re-imagined for the quartet for the Moulin Rouge! soundtrack. “I think everyone was pretty nervous about getting the four of us together,” Pink confessed in the making-of video. “But we proved them wrong; we get along.”

That song — and accompanying video — became a huge hit, despite the rumblings that Pink and Aguilera were not, in fact, getting along and were instead at each other’s throats during production. It even snagged the Grammy Award for Best Pop Collaboration with Vocals in 2002, which was Pink’s first ever Grammy. Years later, Pink confirmed in a tweet that she and Aguilera had since put their beef behind them.

When it comes to her sexuality, Pink never defined herself

According to Billboard, Pink is an underrated LGBTQ+ icon, thanks to her authentic and androgynous style, lyrics that marginalized folks can relate to, and her genuine commitment to being a solid ally. But is Pink herself also a member of the LGBTQ+community?  “Honestly, I’ve never defined myself,” she revealed in an interview with Advocate. “I’ve never felt the need to. I still don’t.”

So when the infamous tabloid News of the World fabricated an interview with her and said she was bisexual, Pink was irritated. “When [a tabloid] comes out and says, I just said I was bisexual, it’s like what? That wasn’t my truth,” she continued. “And I like truth. I like absolute truth.”

Pink did share that her gay friends once deemed her an honorary lesbian, despite not being gay herself. But, other than that, Pink isn’t out shopping for labels, and prefers to keep it that way.

Pink briefly separated from her husband

One thing that Pink is known for outside of her musical career and acrobatic skills is her longtime relationship with motocross racer Cary Hart. The pair married in 2006 after meeting in 2001, according to Pop Sugar, and have two children together: Willow and Jameson.

However, in 2008 it seemed like the couple might not make it, as they broke up for nearly a year. Why? “Because we were working all the time; there was so much time between our visits,” Pink revealed to Redbook. “Carey would see me for five days and be gone for six weeks.” And while they would try to make it work in the short time they had together, it just wasn’t enough.

Pink and Hart reconciled nearly a year later at his club in Las Vegas, after he invited her there to perform. That’s when he told her he wanted to get back together and Pink happily agreed. After that, the couple started their family, and haven’t looked back since. 

Becoming a mom "completely changed" Pink

In 2011, three years after reconciling, Pink and Hart welcomed a baby girl into the world, according to People magazine. Five years after that the pair welcomed a second child, this time a son, according to Billboard. Not surprisingly, Pink says that the experience has been utterly transformative for her.

“I am completely changed since being a mom,” she shared in an interview with Carson Daly for Today. “I’m much more open, I’m much more accepting of myself, I’m much more thoughtful.” She also thinks more about the future of the planet, and is deeply invested in making sure it’s hospitable for her children.

In addition to becoming more cerebral, Pink also loves the joy that her children have gifted her, especially while she’s on tour. “The kids bring a levity to the situation that wouldn’t otherwise exist,” she continued. “They make everything fun, they bring so much joy, they’re entertainment, they’re thoughtful.” They sound like pretty incredible kids!

Pink received this prestigious award

In 2017, Pink received one of the biggest accolades in the music industry: MTV presented her with the Michael Jackson Video Vanguard Award. Previous honorees are heavyweights like Beyoncé, Britney Spears, Justin Timberlake, and Rihanna, so Pink is clearly in pretty good company.

But, rather than use her speech time to thank everyone who’d helped her get there as many other stars do, Pink did something different: She dedicated the award to her daughter Willow, and shared an anecdote about the day the little one came home sad after being told she was ugly. Pink combated that programming by making her daughter a Power Point presentation of androgynous pop greats like Prince, Annie Lennox, and David Bowie. 

That speech reached a lot of folks, as it went viral after the event, which Pink appreciates. “I think it’s beautiful, because it was an experience that my daughter and I had, and if it can make somebody else feel better about themselves, then I’m all for it,” she told The Guardian. “But it’s sad that it resonated with that many people.”

Pink finally got a star on the Hollywood walk of fame

In 2019, Pink got to check an item off her bucket list when she was honored with a coveted star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Of course, that prompted Pink to think back and reflect on her impressive body of work. “It has been a trip lately, thinking back over the course of this career that I’ve somehow managed to have,” she said in her acceptance speech. “I thought I could have a hit record, but I never thought in my wildest dreams that I could have two decades of this insane fun with a family of people that I love…” It does sound like a dream come true.

Pink also shared some wisdom from her father in her speech and thanked the people in her life that make it all possible. “There is a power in believing in yourself,” she told the crowd.

Through it all, Pink's husband has been the star's "rock"

For almost as long as Pink has had a successful pop career, Hart has been by her side, proving himself to be the best possible partner that she could ask for. “There are moments where I look at [Hart] and he is the most thoughtful, logical, constant,” she revealed in an interview with The Guardian. “He’s like a rock. He’s a good man. He’s a good dad.” Aww!

However, Pink and Hart’s marriage isn’t only days of wine and roses, as sometimes Pink pulls a complete 180 when it comes to Hart. “And then I’ll look at him and go: I’ve never liked you,” she continued. “There’s nothing I like about you. We have nothing in common. I don’t like any of the s*** you like. I don’t ever wanna see you again. ” Ouch.

Despite this being one of the strange things about Pink and Carey Hart’s marriage, there is an important takeaway: Marriage it isn’t always easy, but it can be worth the effort. “Monogamy is work! But you do the work and it’s good again,” she added.

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