Pink

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Long before rebellious MTV star Pink found fame with her first hit in 2001, she used to sing tunes by her favourite band 4 Non Blondes while sitting on a street corner in her home town with two friends. "Sometimes we got hassled by the cops, once we got arrested," she says. "I never quite understood the 'disturbing the peace' thing."

Born Alicia Moore in 1979, the pop singer started out in a Philadelphia gospel choir aged 13, before moving on to a punk band and later an R&B outfit called Basic Instinct. However, the 15-year-old was booted out of the all-girl group, she told one interviewer, "because they were black and I was white… but the politically correct reason that they gave me was because I didn't fit in well in the photos."

Unfazed and armed with a powerful singing voice, Pink, who reportedly gained the nickname for her constant blushing, kept following her dream while working at fast food restaurants and gigs at Philadelphia hip-hop nightclubs. After a failed bid with another R&B group signed to the LaFace record company, she stayed with the label to record her first solo project, Can't Take Me Home, aged 19.

The record put the singer on the musical map, and led to three top-ten-hits in the US: There U Go, Most Girls and You Make Me Sick. The MTV best new artist nominee's chart clout was solidified in 2001, when her remake of the classic Patti LaBelle anthem Lady Marmalade, alongside fellow divas Christina Aguilera, Mya and L'il Kim, went to number one.

Though her first album had an R&B slant, Pink took the reins on her second album as songwriter and executive producer, her varied musical background making Missundaztood a blend of dance, R&B, rock and pop.

Just before she began work on the record there came a blast from the past when she "stumbled across" the phone number for 4 Non Blondes' front woman, Linda Perry, in her makeup artist's address book. "I handled the situation the only way I knew how," she says. "I stole her number and called her. I am a firm believer in signs, that everything happens for a reason." After a call from Pink, Linda collaborated with the rising star on co-writing and co-producing many of the tracks on the album, including the first hit, Get The Party Started.

Unwilling to be pigeonholed, Pink followed the release of the peppy pop song with the introspective hits Don't Let Me Get Me and Like A Pill and has taken on a spiky-haired, leather-wearing persona. "Some people think I'm an angry girl, a boykiller, or are just plain confused by me," she writes on her official website. "As for the ethnic thing, I'm just Pink, man. If everyone believes in this whole crayon box thing where we have to be colours, well then I should at least get to pick my own, don't you think?"

She followed up the international hit album with Try This in 2003, a disc that spawned hit single Feel Good Time - which was used as the soundtrack to Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle. Pink made a cameo in the film too, as a motorcross race ramp owner.

In 2006, Pink scored her fourth consecutive hit album with I'm Not Dead. At the time, things were rosy in her personal life too - as she wedded motorcross racer Carey Hart on a Costa Rican beach in January 2006 witnessed by 100 guests including Lisa Marie Presley. "We're spiritual, but we're not religious," said the groom. "It was about being with our closest friends and family and having a fun, loose party."

However, in February 2008 the pair revealed they were planning to divorce after almost two years together. The seperation was amicable, though, with Pink insiting: "This decision was made by best friends with a huge amount of love and respect for one another."
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