From the year when The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring was a box office hit, and when Trinny and Susannah were telling us all What Not To Wear on BBC One, this is The Story of Pop: 2002. This week: the major breakthrough for an artist whose career started two years prior to this…
- Artist: Pink
- Song: Get The Party Started
- Released: 14/01/2002
- Writers / Producers: Linda Perry
- Highest UK Chart Position: #2
- Weeks On Chart: 16
Of all the acts that launched themselves into the chart at the start of the new millennium, you would have got very long odds on this week’s artist going onto become the most played artist on UK radio in the 21st century.
First signed to Arista Records in 1999 after a brief stint in a girl group called Choice, Alecia Beth Moore – better known by her stage name of Pink (usually stylised as P!NK) – had originally broke through in 2000. Her debut album, Can’t Take Me Home, had initially positioned her in the same Swiss watch engineered R&B bracket occupied by TLC and Destiny’s Child.
Shifting over 2 million units worldwide, its singles – “There You Go”, “Most Girls” and “You Make Me Sick” – had all been top 10 hits on both sides of the Atlantic. Immediately following this in 2001, she was also one of the superstar collaborators along with Christina Aguilera, Mya and Lil’ Kim on the chart topping version of “Lady Marmalade” recorded for the soundtrack of Baz Luhrmann’s Moulin Rouge.
However, dissatisfied with the direction her music career was taking, Pink was keen to assert more creative and artistic control with her follow up album, Missundaztood, so titled because she felt it summised neatly that people may have got the wrong impression of her to begin with.
She set about recording and writing with Linda Perry, former frontwoman with 90s one hit wonders 4 Non Blondes, on the songs that would make up the album. Her record label – then headed by Antonio “L.A” Reid – voiced their misgivings about the direction her music was taking, from the R&B pop sound of her debut to something with a grittier edge.
But Pink stood resolutely by the decision to do something that was closer to who she was as an artist, and drawing more lyrically on her own life experiences and insecurities. And as her success in 2002 was to prove, following her instincts proved to be the right decision.
The first single, “Get The Party Started”, became both an essential party staple for the rest of that year, and another huge hit for her both in the States and here in the UK, where it peaked at #2 and was one of the biggest selling singles of the year.
This was quickly followed up by more hits; “Don’t Let Me Get Me” was the second single and reached #6 in May, before she scored her first solo UK chart topper (second overall) in September with “Just Like A Pill”, and a further top 20 success with “Family Portrait” in December. By year’s end, the Missundaztood album had sold well over 1.8 million copies here in the UK alone, and was the second biggest selling album of 2002.
It established Pink as an artist who was very much in it for the long run. Over the last two decades, she has amassed an incredible 35 UK top 40 hits, another number one (2008’s “So What”) and also won the BRIT Award for Outstanding Contribution to Music in 2019.
So far in the 21st century, only Adele has sold more records than her in the UK where female solo artists are concerned. But it is undoubtedly the move Pink made on her second album that is the reason why she still has a prosperous career today; she sought to take control and play the pop game on her terms and ended up winning big as a result.
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