Who Knew was written by Pink, Max Martin and Dr. Luke, and was released by LaFace Records to radio in May 2006 as the second single from I’m Not Dead, with the B-side Disconnected. Who Knew was re-released in June 2007 in the United States.
Perhaps one of Pink’s most successful singles, Who Knew was well received by music critics, who acclaimed it as a solid song on the album and praised the lyrical content.
The song was commercially successful worldwide, where it peaked in the top spot in countries including Australia, Czech Republic, Germany, Hungary and component charts in the United States. In addition, the song is also Pink’s longest chart runner on the Hot 100, spending 36 weeks before dropping out.
“My life was insane, I was [in her youth] out of control and doing lots of stupid things. Some of my friends were selling crack, and I got into drugs too. I’ve always been honest about that, although I don’t like going into details. I’ve got lots of young fans and I wouldn’t want to give them any ideas. I found a friend dead from a drug overdose when I was 14. He was a male friend, not a boyfriend. Most of the people at the funeral were just children. It should have been a wake-up call for me, but it wasn’t.”
On the Australian Singles Chart, Who Knew debuted at number six before rising to number two where it peaked for two consecutive weeks. It stayed in the charts for 32 weeks, becoming Pink’s second longest charting single in that country. It is also certified platinum for sales of over 70,000 copies.
In the European markets, the song was generally successful. Who Knew entered the UK Singles Chart at nineteen in early June, 2006 and ascended to a peak at five the following week. It is her joint fifth highest charting single in the UK and her second longest charting behind only So What. With a total of 26 weeks inside the top 100 songs it beats her number-one hit Just Like A Pill. The song had success throughout other charts in Europe, where it peaked in the top twenty in Switzerland, Austria, France, Belgium, Finland and Norway, while it peaked in the top fifty in The Netherlands and Sweden.
When the single was originally released in North America, Who Knew was less successful. Though it peaked at number nineteen on the BDS Airplay Chart in Canada, it was virtually ignored by American radio. In the U.S., where it was released to mainstream radio in May 2006, it failed to chart on the Billboard Hot 100, initially reaching number 18 on the Bubbling Under Hot 100 Singles chart (which comprises the most popular songs yet to enter the Hot 100). Billboard magazine credited the poor performance of the single on radio with significantly reducing momentum of initial sales of I’m Not Dead.
In March 2007 the song was used in promotion for the ABC television show October Road, after which download sales of the song increased; as a result, it debuted at number ninety-five on the Hot 100 at the end of the month. During the same period, U + Ur Hand, the third single from I’m Not Dead, had achieved major success on pop radio and was credited with “reviving” Pink’s career in the U.S.
Pink performed Who Knew on American Idol in May 2007. It was re-released to mainstream radio in the United States in June 2007, although it had already been receiving minor airplay on CHR/top 40 and hot AC/adult top 40 stations earlier in the month. In week twenty-five of 2007 Who Knew re-entered the Billboard Hot 100 at number ninety-four; it eventually climbed to number nine, giving Pink her eighth top ten single on the chart and matching the peak position of U + Ur Hand. The song is Pink’s longest chart runner on the Billboard Hot 100, spending 36 weeks before dropping out.
LYRICS (Click on the image for lyrics)
The single’s video was directed by Dragon, a team comprising Sam Bayer, Robert Hales and Brian Lazzaro. It was filmed on a weekend in April 2006 in Los Angeles, and it was released to the internet and to UK music channels in early May 2006. The video reached number one on MTV Germany’s top ten and on TRL Italy. Who Knew was voted number one on TRL Germany twenty times, allowing Pink to earn the “Golden Tape”. In the U.S. Total Request Live broadcast a “First Look” of the video in May, and it debuted on the show’s top ten countdown the following day; it spent eight non-consecutive days on the countdown, peaking at number seven.
It features a young couple visiting a fairground and going on the rides, and at one point the boy puts a necklace on the girl. The video flashes back to the boy secretly injecting himself with drugs on a previous night while the girl is sleeping. At the carnival, when the girl is playing a game, the boy walks away. The girl realizes he’s gone and follows him, but when she tries to get him to stay with her he gets violent. He goes to the back of the fairground to inject himself with drugs and breaks into a sweat. His girlfriend wanders around looking for him, and finds him unconscious; he has overdosed. She gives him a kiss, gives back the necklace and phones for an ambulance; after it has arrived, she walks away crying.
The song has been performed on many of Pink’s world tours, including I’m Not Dead Tour, Funhouse Tour and its extension tour Funhouse Summer Carnival Tour and it was performed acoustically during promo radio shows in 2012 and then on the Truth About Love Tour. As her personal favorite, the song was eventually included in Pink’s debut compilation album Greatest Hits… So Far!!!
I’m Not Dead Tour
V Festival 2007
Summer Carnival Tour
The Truth About Love Tour