Hit Parade

Raise Your Glass Edition

How P!nk earned the exclamation point in her name, with filter-free bravado and music that pivoted from R&B to rock.


Episode Notes

Alecia Moore was so fearless, they put an exclamation point in her name. Pink—a.k.a. P!nk—was full of bravado from the moment she broke at the turn of the millennium, singing a frothy style of teen pop&B. She was promoted as ethnically ambiguous and sold to white and Black audiences as a sassy Total Request Live starlet. She even joined an all-star remake of “Lady Marmalade.”

But Pink felt misrepresented, even Missundaztood—so she recorded an album by that name, fusing rock guitar, dance beats and filter-free lyrics. She called out shiftless boyfriends, other pop stars, even the president of her record label in the lyrics of her hits, becoming the pop fan’s rock star.

Join Chris Molanphy as he explains how Pink defined her own genre fusing punk attitude and soaring melodies into 21st-century self-empowerment music. She made herself into a rock star, simply by calling herself one. Who knew?

Podcast production by Kevin Bendis.


About the Show

Chris Molanphy, a pop-chart analyst and author of Slate’s “Why Is This Song No. 1?” series, tells tales from a half-century of chart history. Through storytelling, trivia, and song snippets, Chris dissects how that song you love—or hate—dominated the airwaves, made its way to the top of the charts, and shaped your memories forever.

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  • Chris Molanphy is a feature writer and critic who writes widely about music and the pop charts.