This past weekend, the singer Pink (Doylestown, Pennsylvania, 44 years old) sat down to talk about her work and her life on the show 60 Minutes, on CBS. And in it, she shared a painful episode of her life, so painful that it almost cost her her life. According to what she said, she almost died of an overdose in 1995.
The incident occurred on Thanksgiving in late November of that year. She was only 16 years old. Just a few weeks later she was to sign her first record deal. “I was a punk. I had a mouth. I had a chip on my shoulder,” she explained. Things weren’t going well at home. “Basically I grew up in a house where every day my parents were screaming at each other, throwing things. They hated each other… I got into drugs. I was selling drugs.” All of that lead her to drop out of school and to be kicked out of her home.
“I was off the rails,” she acknowledged. She was constantly partying and, one night, it all got out of control. “I was at a rave and I overdosed,” she said. “I was on ecstasy, angel dust, crystal, all kinds of things. Then I was out. Done. Too much.” The interviewer asked Pink if she almost died at the party, and she confirmed it. For the singer, whose real name is Alecia Beth Moore, that was an absolute turning point in her life. It was then that a DJ offered her a chance to sing at a hip-hop night. “Come back tomorrow, I’ll give you a guest spotlight. But you can’t touch drugs again,” she said. And that’s what she did. A few later she started auditioning and that eventually led her to be a part of Choice, an R&B group, and to sign her first contract with LaFace Records. And, from there, to world stardom and to be one of the best paid artists in the world.
Pink had already spoken about the matter a decade ago: “I understand addiction. I was a hardcore partyer from 12 to 15,” she said in Entertainment Weekly, in the summer of 2012, when she explained she took “all the club drugs” and sold “ecstasy and crystal meth and Special K.” “I overdosed in ‘95, and then I never took drugs again, ever.” Yet she had never spoken of the gravity of the matter.
For the three-time Grammy winner, sharing such experiences is important because it helps her millions of fans understand her and feel a strong connection with her. “I guess I look at it in a very specific way,” she said. “If I’m a mystery to you, how can I expect you to connect with me? And if I’m a person that’s desperate for connection, then why would mystery be interesting to me? I want to know you. I want you to know me.” People know her, her career, her lyrics, and her life, of which she has spent half of it with ex-racer Carey Hart, whom she married in 2006, and with whom she has two children, Willow, 12, and Jameson, 6.
As she explained later in the interview, it has been her way of carving out that career, where her performances are very physical and her style and appearance are unique. “I never got a record deal because I was cute; I got a record deal because I was fiery, I had a lot to say, and I had a voice,” she said. “I’m relieved I don’t have to fall back on conventional beauty and that doesn’t have to be my thing and I don’t have to keep that up, either, as I age. I don’t have to be that. I can be all this.”
The singer already made a famous plea about the importance of getting older a few years ago, when she replied to a troll who called her “old” on Twitter. “Well, there are a few people left in the world that choose to age naturally. And I’ve earned every fucking minute of my 38 years,” she wrote. “I am of the mindset that it’s a blessing to grow old. That if your face has lines around your eyes and mouth it means you’ve laughed a lot. I pray I look older in 10 years, ‘cause that will mean I’m alive.”
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