On This Day in Pink History… 30th May 2006, Pink performed at MTVTRL
On This Day in Pink History… 18th May 2006, Who Knew was released
Who Knew was released as the second single from Pink’s fourth studio album, I’m Not Dead. Written by Pink, Max Martin and Dr. Luke, it was released by LaFace Records. The single also had the b-side Disconnected.
Upon its release, Who Knew was mostly well-received from music critics, who acclaimed it as a solid song on the album and lauded the lyrical content, however the song faced comparisons for having similarities with Kelly Clarkson’s 2004 single Since U Been Gone. 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.
The song is lyrically about loosing a friend to drugs. Pink says of her experience:
“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.”
In the Oceanic region, the song debuted at number six on the Australian Singles Chart. The song then rose and peaked at number two for two consecutive weeks. In total, the song stayed in the charts for thirty-two weeks, becoming Pink’s second longest charting single in that country. The song is also the seventy-fifth Best Of All Time single in Australia, and is certified platinum for sales of over 70,000 copies. It was ranked at number nine on ARIA’s Top 100 singles of 2006. The song had debuted at number thirty-six on the New Zealand Singles Chart, and eventually rose to number eleven, just missing the top ten. The song spent a total of twelve weeks on the charts.
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.
The single’s video was directed by Dragon, a team comprising Sam Bayer, Robert Hales and Brian Lazzaro. It was filmed in a weekend in April, 2006 in Los Angeles, United States, 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 Livebroadcast a “First Look” of the video in May, and it debuted on the show’s top ten countdown; 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 video is inter-cut with shots of Pink singing the song at the entrance to the fairground.
Click on the image for Who Knew Lyrics
Click on the image for Disconnected Lyrics
On This Day in Pink History… 11th April 2007, Pink performed on American Idol
In 2007, Pink was due to perform U + Ur Hand on American Idol. However, because of the songs lyric content, Pink was asked to censor the lyrics. Who Knew was performed instead.
On This Day in Pink History 10th April 2007, Pink performed on Jimmy Kimmel Show
On This Day in Pink History… 5th April 2006, Pink played a Flashmob gig in New York
Cuz I can
Just like a pill
Long way to happy
I’m not dead
Leave me alone (I’m lonely)
I have seen the rain (with Jim Moore)
Get this party started
On This Day in Pink History… 4th April 2006, I’m Not Dead was released
I’m Not Dead was Pink’s fourth studio album. It was released on 4th April 2006 in the United States, to coincide the same release date of Pink’s first album, Can’t Take Me Home.
Originally title Long Way To Happy, it was scheduled for release in September 2005, however the album was delayed and its title changed to I’m Not Dead in order to match the comeback nature of the album, and its heavy tone in terms of lyrical content, strong language and edgy sound. I’m Not Dead is majorly a pop rock album, but includes country, alternative rock and R&B influences.
The release of I’m Not Dead was preceded by its controversial lead single, Stupid Girls, a top 20 hit on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 the video of which earned Pink an MTV Video Music Award. The album’s second and third singles, Who Knew and U + Ur Hand, reached the top ten and revived the album’s sales fortunes in the U.S., leading to a platinum certification from the RIAA for sales of one million. The two songs are also Pink’s first two singles to achieve Platinum certifications. Subsequent regional singles include Nobody Knows, Leave Me Alone (I’m Lonely) and Dear Mr. President. A Platinum Edition of the album was issued with bonus tracks, remixes and a DVD.
In 2016, to celebrate 10 years of I’m Not Dead, we looked back over the I’m Not Dead era, visiting each song, top performances, I’m Not Dead tour and the b-sides. Click on the links below to see those posts:
- Stupid Girls
- Who Knew
- Long Way To Happy
- Nobody Knows
- Dear Mr President
- I’m Not Dead
- Cuz I Can
- Leave Me Alone (I’m Lonely)
- U + Ur Hand
- The One That Got Away
- I Got Money Now
- Conversations With My 13-Year-Old-Self
- I Have Seen The Rain
- Music Videos
- Fan’s Favourite Songs Poll
- Album facts & photoshoots
- Top performances from the era
- I’m Not Dead Tour
- Fan stories, memories & photos
Click on the image above to see lyrics, videos and Pink’s thank you note.
On This Day in Pink History… 12th March 2007 Leave Me Alone (I’m Lonely) was released
Leave Me Alone (I’m Lonely) was released as a single from Pink’s fourth studio album, I’m Not Dead. It was written by Pink and co-written and produced by Butch Walker.
In the beginning of February 2007, before its official release as a single, the song was put on the B-list of BBC Radio 1. It debuted on the UK Singles Chart at number 60, and it rose to number 34, her lowest-peaking UK single at that time.
Leave Me Alone (I’m Lonely) is often performed at concerts, in which Pink will get the crowd to ‘dork dance’.
The music video consists of performances from Pink’s I’m Not Dead Tour. The video mostly includes shots of performances of Leave Me Alone (I’m Lonely), but it also includes clips of performances of songs such as Stupid Girls, Fingers, The One That Got Away and U + Ur Hand.
- Vocals: Pink
- Backing vocals: Pink and Butch Walker
- Mixed by: Tom Lord-Alge
- Assisted by: Femio Hermandez
- Additional programming: Butch Walker
- Drum/Keyboard programming: Dan Chase
- Drums: Mylious Johnson
- Guitars: Butch Walker
- Bass: Butch Walker
On This Day in Pink History… 7th February 2006, Stupid Girls was released
In 2006, Stupid Girls was released as the lead single from Pink’s fourth studio album, I’m Not Dead. The song was written by Pink, Billy Mann, Niklas Olovson and Robin Mortensen Lynch and produced by Billy Mann and MachoPsycho.
The single entered the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 chart at number twenty-four, the week’s highest debut and the highest debut of Pink’s career (later topped by her 2008 single, So What). It climbed to number thirteen, becoming Pink’s eighth top twenty single in the United States and her highest peaking single since “Just Like a Pill” (2002). Its peak on the Top 40 Mainstream airplay chart, however, did not match that of most of her previous singles. “Stupid Girls” remained on the Hot 100 for sixteen weeks, and it reached the top twenty on the Pop 100 and appeared on the Adult Top 40. It received airplay in nightclubs, peaking inside the top twenty on the Hot Dance Club Play chart. “Stupid Girls” was certified Gold by RIAA in February 2008.
The single was a bigger chart hit elsewhere—it reached number two on the Canadian Singles Chart, and on the Australian ARIA Singles Chart, it entered at number four and is certified gold for sales of over 35,000. It was ranked number thirty-ninth on ARIA’s top 100 singles of 2006 list. It also peaked at number four on the UK Singles Chart, becoming Pink’s highest charting single in the UK since “Feel Good Time” (2003). It reached the top ten in most countries in Europe.
“Stupid Girls” was nominated in the category of Best Female Pop Vocal Performance at the 2007 Grammy Awards.
The single was praised by Harry Potter author J. K. Rowling on her official website. She wrote, “‘Stupid Girls’, is the antidote-anthem for everything I had been thinking about women and thinness.” About.com praised the song and highlighted it: “she has rarely been as pointed in her socio-political views as in the hit “Stupid Girls” (…) “Stupid Girls” is musically a dance/hip hop gem.” Allmusic praised her delivery when she’s taunting and teasing this song and it was titled as one of the standouts on album. Entertainment Weekly noted that this song has some verve. The Guardian was less positive noting that her vocals are superficial as the starlets she attacks. LA Times wrote that this song fuses many genres greatly and called it “hilarious feminist romp.” Jon Pareles was favorable: “the pop-reggae of Stupid Girls snidely dismisses the bimbos she sees everywhere, though she apparently has studied their habits closely.” PopMatters was positive: “On “Stupid Girlz”, she rails against the idea that women have to choose between being smart and being sexy, as if the two are mutually exclusive. Pink makes the case that women can be all that and more—”Girls with ambition,” she sings, “That’s what I want to see”. She sounds bewildered and exasperated when she says, in the frequently quoted lines:
What happened to the dream of a girl president? She’s dancing in the video next to 50 Cent They travel in packs of two or three With their itsy bitsy doggies and their teenie weenie tees
What could have easily been a rant turns into an adept social critique. The way she sings it, the problem isn’t 50 Cent’s video, it’s the idea that dancing in the video is the extent of a woman’s aspirations. The bit about the “itsy bitsy doggies” suggests a disdain for elitism and excess that makes you wonder if Gwen Stefani’s “Rich Girl” made Pink see red. It’s got the same playfully articulate vibe as George Clinton’s “Some of My Best Jokes Are Friends”. By the way, for those keeping score, the United States is on its forty-third consecutive male president. Female presidents? Zilch. Female rump shakers in music videos? Countless. Don’t look now, but it seems like Pink’s got a point.” Sal Cinqeman was favorable, too: “As always, Pink’s ragged vocals are better than she’s often given credit for and there’s still a rebel sensibility, at least lyrically, on the catchy lead single “Stupid Girls” (“Where, oh where, have all the smart people gone?” she begs, lambasting “porno paparazzi girls”—which would have made for a more fun title—the way she took aim at Britney two albums ago).” Rolling Stone praised the collaboration with Lilth Fair and added that she takes on ‘stupid girls’ with these lyrics “What happened to the dream of a girl president?/She’s dancing in the video next to 50 Cent.” Feminist website Feminspire were considerably more critical, naming the song in 2014 as one of “the top ten most sexist songs that aren’t rap or hip hop from the last 20 years”. Author Noor Al-Sibai remarked that: “Pink shits on these women who are too stupid to break out of the chains of patriarchy by harshly judging their promiscuity and blaming them for ‘giving in’ to sexist tropes. Because obviously, women are to blame for their sexist objectification.”
On This Day in Pink History… 21st December 2006, Dear Mr President was released
Dear Mr President was recorded for Pink’s fourth album, I’m Not Dead. The song, featuring Indigo Girls, is an open letter to then President of the United States, George W. Bush, written by Pink and Billy Mann. The song criticizes several areas of Bush’s administration and terms in office, including the Iraq War, No Child Left Behind Act, disapproval of equal rights for homosexuals, lack of empathy for poor and middle class citizens, Bush’s strong religious beliefs, and Bush’s drinking and drug usage in college. Pink felt that it was one of the most important songs she had ever written.
The song received positive reviews by music critics. Bill Lamb noted that Pink has rarely made songs about social problems: “the searing anti-Bush “Dear Mr. President” (…) “a folkie singalong” (…) The Indigo Girls lend their sizable instrumental and background vocal punch” and he highlighted it.Robert Christgau noted that Pink thinks “Bush did coke and teens care about the homeless.” Entertainment Weekly described Dear Mr. President “with its incongruous folkie social concern and Bush-baiting applause lines.” Los Angeles Times said that Pink taps her inner Ani DiFranco on the confrontational “Dear Mr. President.” NY Times noted that the song is “well meaning” and “hectoring” and that it grows even more sententious. PopMatters praised the single with long overview: “Oh, and speaking of presidents, Pink’s musical letter to the Commander-in-Chief (“Dear Mr. President”) is just as topical. The Indigo Girls tag along for moral support and, with lyrics like “How can you say, ‘no child is left behind’ / we’re not dumb and we’re not blind” or “You’ve come a long way, from whiskey and cocaine”, you just know that if she’d made the song a few years earlier, it would have been featured in Michael Moore’s Fahrenheit 911. You also get the impression that this is personal for Pink, that she’s not doing it to be trendy. On the lyric page for “Dear Mr. President”, there’s a picture of Pink in an oval frame. Red, white, and blue ribbons are tied to the frame and her father’s dog tags share the reddish page.” Rolling Stone told that Pink writes a scathing letter in “Dear Mr. President” (“You’ve come a long way from whiskey and cocaine!”) and critic praised “cooing righteous folk harmonies with Indigo Girls.” Sal Cinquemani was mixed: “”Dear Mr. President,” which cleverly uses George W. Bush’s own words against him, pales next to Missundaztood’s “My Vietnam.”
A music video was released with the single of a live performance of Dear Mr President, recorded in the UK on the I’m Not Dead tour.
Chart Peak Positions:
- Australia – 5
- German Singles Chart – 3
- UK Singles Chart – 34
On This Day in Pink History… 3rd November 2006 Pink played at AVO Sessions in Switzerland
Just Like A Pill
Don’t Let Me Get Me
I’m Not Dead
There You Go
Leave Me Alone (I’m Lonely)
The One That Got Away
Dear Mr President
Get The Party Started