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P!nk Details Difficult Childhood, 1995 Overdose in ’60 Minutes’ Interview: ‘I Was Off the Rails’

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P!nk has always been an open book with her fans, sharing her triumphs and tragedies, celebrating her chart-topping hits and Summer Carnival tour and always sticking up for the underdog when bullies come calling.

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But in a revealing interview with 60 Minutes that aired on Sunday night (Oct. 22), the 44-year-old singer born Alecia Beth Moore said that during a turbulent childhood she nearly derailed her chances at stardom before her career even started when she overdosed during a Thanksgiving rave in 1995.

“I was on ecstasy, angel dust, crystal, all kinds of things. And then I was out. Done. Too much,” she said, telling the news magazine that during a period in which she was also selling drugs she nearly died before getting offered a life-changing lifeline from a DJ at the event. “Come back tomorrow, I’ll give you a guest spotlight,” she said the DJ told her. “But you can never touch drugs again.” Just weeks later, she was auditioning for record labels and got her first gig as part of a short-lived R&B group on LaFace Records before launching her multiplatinum solo career.

The Grammy-winning mother of two also explained why she’s always been such an open book about her life, believing that it has helped fans feel more connected to 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.”

The piece also dove into her legendarily physically demanding live performances, which find her soaring over the audience and doing acrobatic flips through the air, skills she learned as a child gymnast, as well as through training sessions with aerialist coach Dreya Weber.

It’s that combination of physical, mental and emotional strength that P!nk said has allowed her to survive in a business that has often relied on a very narrow, standard definition of beauty. “‘This is a woman you don’t want to mess with ‘is a true statement. I know what certain people think of when they look at me,” she said. “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.”

So, by being outspoken and not bending to societal norms, P!nk said she’s been labeled as “scary and dangerous.” The reality, though, is that she is the “goofiest, most fun-loving person that will possibly kick your a– if I have to,” she added with a smile. The scariest part of her backstage area these days, though, is the traveling lending library she and her crew maintain, where anyone can sign out a book whenever they want.

The piece also delved into her side gig as the owner of a vineyard and a behind-the-scenes look at how the asthmatic singer buildings the muscles needed to do all that live, upside down singing, including training sessions in which Weber stands on the P!nk’s belly as she belts out her songs to build her stamina.

“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.” 

After dropping the new bonus single “Dreaming” with DJ Marshmello and Sting from the expanded version of her Trustfall album on Friday, P!nk had to postpone two Vancouver shows over the weekend due to a respiratory infection. Her next scheduled date is a Wednesday (Oct. 25) show at Ball Arena in Denver.

Check out P!nk’s 60 Minutes interview below.

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