P!nk Talks Identity and 25-Year Career: “I Like Going Against Societal Norms”

P!nk famously has no time for bullshit, and she’s retained that crucial element of her personality throughout the years. The singer recently sat down with 60 Minutes reporter Cecilia Vega to talk openly about her identity, career, and image, getting candid about rejecting societal norms and how she plans to “ride until the wheels fall off.”

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Meeting at her home on a 25-acre California vineyard and backstage at her Pennsylvania homecoming show, P!nk talked through elements of her live show—which includes gymnastics and singing while 100 feet in the air—and also got personal about how society sees her.

When asked about her famous snarl and “don’t mess with me” attitude, P!nk replied candidly. “I know what certain people think of when they look at me, down to the fact that I’m muscular, I’m outspoken, and I have short hair: I’m possibly a dude, definitely a lesbian,” she said. “People put you in a box no matter what you look like. My box happens to be, ‘If you’re outspoken and you don’t bend to societal norms, then you’re scary and dangerous.'”

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P!nk has been in that box for most of her almost 25-year solo career, which began in 2000 with her album Can’t Take Me Home. After the success of that album, she became disillusioned with how her music and image were being marketed and took more creative control on her second album, M!ssundaztood from 2001. She included more pop, punk, and rock influences, steering away from the R&B box she had previously been forced into.

“The reality is,” P!nk stated with a smile, “I’m the goofiest, most fun, loving person that will possibly kick your ass if I have to.”

She also got deep into her childhood during the interview, sharing emotional moments from her teen years, which included an overdose when she was 16.

“I was a punk, I had a mouth, I had a chip on my shoulder,” she explained. “Basically, I grew up in a house where every day my parents were screaming at each other, throwing things, hated each other. And then I got into drugs, I was selling drugs, and I was kicked out of the house. I dropped out of high school. I was off the rails.”

Nowadays, P!nk balances her insane live show with being a regular mom and crafting her own wine on her vineyard. She’s as dedicated and hardworking as she’s always been, she’s just busy with the PTA and making sourdough bread. But, as P!nk stated, she wants to continue working the way she does until she literally can’t do it anymore.

“I’ve always carried a machete,” she said. “This metaphorical machete that I’ve always carried that made me a really difficult kid is what makes me really good at what I do today, and it makes me a survivor.” She continued, “I never got a record deal because I was cute. I got a record deal because I was fiery, because I had a lot to say, and I had a voice.”

Allegedly, P!nk is hoping for a Las Vegas residency in the future, as she mentioned in the interview. She’s planning her next steps, and she’s not looking to slow down.

“I would like to have the best show that Vegas has ever seen,” she said, “and I think that I can.”

But what is the hardest part of her job now, 25 years later? “I keep demanding more and more from myself physically, emotionally, spiritually, and vocally,” she said. “I want to raise the bar all the time, and I’m sort of going against time. … I like going against societal norms. When they say a woman has to slow down, become smaller, take up less space, calm down: no, absolutely not. Why? Who says? Why can’t we ride until the wheels fall off?” she laughed. “That’s what I plan on doing.”

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