Ten years ago, nobody was quite sure how to market the tough-edged pop star named Pink. She arrived as an R&B singer, but busted out of that mold and embraced her real inner bad girl on her second disc, appropriately titled "Missundaztood."
In a May 2002 Spin story (cover line: "Rock's Nasty Girl Mouths Off," which came with a sidebar titled "Badass Babe Hall of Fame"), Pink recalled how as a kid she'd gotten kicked out of her house and would scrap with cops and bus drivers. As her career was just starting to take off at the beginning of the 2000s, she had a tenuous relationship with pop superstars Britney Spears and Christina Aguilera. Talking about how she scored a record deal at 16 but got stuck in record-biz limbo, she told the magazine, "That four years was so frustrating. I'm watching Britney and Christina, and I dropped out of high school four years ago! But it was good. I had that time to learn how the record company operates."
Pink was brutally honest about her days spent tripping on acid, listening to Guns N' Roses, and telling people off, so it was easy for her to play sexy or naughty when she wanted to, because she wasn't rebelling against a prior pure image. At the same time, Britney and Christina -- both former Disney Mousketeers -- were trying to figure out how to make that awkward public transition from girl to woman, with disastrous results. And now that Pink is married, pregnant, 31, and known as much for her high-flying acrobatic live act as her potty mouth, she's having a good smirk at her peers' struggle to stay out of hospitals, courtrooms, strip clubs, and jail.
"Out of Myself, Britney, and Christina- didn't everyone think I was gonna be the troublemaker? LOOK MA!!! No CUFFS!!!" she tweeted yesterday when news of Aguilera's intoxication arrest broke. Can't argue with that! Nobody thought Pink was going to have the last laugh -- or that she could spin her bad girl image into something so amazingly good.
[Photo: Jeff Kravitz/AMA2010/FilmMagic.com]