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Why Pink is willing to talk about anything — even what she calls her one regret in life

Pink: The 60 Minutes Interview
Pink: The 60 Minutes Interview 13:21

While many celebrities are famously private, Pink puts it all out there in her music, during her shows and on social media.

She said she's received death threats over some of the messages she's shared with fans, but the singer doesn't let it stop her from speaking with the masses. 

"I guess I look at it in a very specific way," Pink 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."

The singer's openness extends to her difficult childhood, including what she calls her one regret in life. 

"I had a chip on my shoulder"

Pink grew up singing in Doylestown, Pennsylvania, where she said she was bored and desperate to leave. Her home was filled with tension. Pink's father, Jim Moore, served in Vietnam. 

The singer said that as a teen, her arguments with her mother were terrible. One fight got physical and Pink's mom fell down stairs, she said. Pink now calls that her one regret in life. She's since reconciled with her mother. 

Cecilia Vega and Pink
Cecilia Vega and Pink 60 Minutes

"I had a chip on my shoulder. Basically I grew up in a house where everyday, my parents were screaming at each other, throwing things. They hated each other," Pink said. "And then I got into drugs. I was selling drugs. And then I was kicked out of the house. I dropped out of high school. I was off the rails."

The singer overdosed while at a rave on Thanksgiving of 1995. She said she almost died. 

"And I remember my friend was standing over me, smacking me across the face. And he was like, 'Get up. You wanna sing, right?' And I was like, 'Yeah.' He's like, 'Get on the microphone.' So I got up and I sang," Pink said. "And the DJ there took me aside and said, 'Come back tomorrow, I'll give you a guest spotlight. But you can never touch drugs again.' And I never did, haven't since."

Within four weeks, she was auditioning for record deals.

Going solo

Her first deal was as the lead singer in an R&B girl group. She signed to LaFace Records.

"We were the token White girls on a Black label," Pink said.

She was told to take etiquette classes. Pink said she was supposed to learn how to wear dresses and use the right fork. She made it to just once class. 

"I think they were trying to turn me into something that I didn't want to be," she said. "Image is everything in this business."

She decided to use her teenage nickname, Pink, and go solo. Her first album was an R&B double platinum success. The singer then broadened her sound to include rock and pop. She named her next album "Missundaztood." It was a career-defining hit, selling 15 million copies around the world.

Since then, she's had one hit after the next, with each tour bigger than the last. Pink has sold $350 million in tickets around the world so far this year. 

Pink's shows are a bit different than most. Her 6-year-old son Jameson and 12-year-old daughter Willow are often on tour with her, riding their scooters on stage during sound checks. There's a tour library where the team swaps books.

"My dressing room used to be, like, whiskey and cigarettes. Then it was ball pits and stuffed animals," Pink said.

Pink during her soundcheck in Philadelphia
Pink is known for her aerial stunts during her concerts. 60 Minutes

It's not just different backstage —Pink's shows also feature high-flying stunts. 

The 44-year-old singer belts out her hits while flipping and flying a hundred feet in the air.

Pink, who's asthmatic, uses skills from childhood gymnastics classes along with training sessions with aerialist coach Dreya Weber to pull off her stunts. The intense training means Pink can belt out her songs right side up, upside down and even, as she showed "60 Minutes," with someone standing on her stomach.

"I'm not just a singer. I'm a gymnast," Pink said. " I can do all kinds of things. I'm physical. This body, like, this, the muscles that, that scare people are — it's my power, right? It's like, I don't eat well to look good, I eat well to go far, fast and hard."

Pink's "metaphorical machete"

Her strength is not just physical. 

"I realize that the machete that I've always carried, 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," she said. "And it makes me a survivor."

The singer feels she needed that edge to climb as far as she has in the music business.

"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. "So I'm relieved I don't have to fall back on, sort of 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 of this."

For Pink, all of this includes being a woman you don't want to mess with, she said. 

Pink 60 Minutes

"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. People sort of put you in a box no matter what you look like," she said. "And my box happens to be if you're outspoken and you don't sort of bend to societal norms, then you're scary and dangerous."

What's next for Pink?

That defiance has been part of the singer's appeal for many of her fans through her 25-year career.  And now Pink is planning her next chapter. It's what any self-respecting, acrobatic, sequin-loving entertainer would do: a Las Vegas residency. 

"I would like to have the best show that Vegas has ever seen. And I think that I can," she said. "For a performer like me to have a stage that doesn't have to travel, oh my God, you can do so much."

After all these years, Pink keeps demanding more of herself —physically, emotionally, spiritually and artistically. She wants to raise the bar all the 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," she said. "Why? Who says? Why can't we ride it till the wheels fall off? That's what I plan on doing."

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