Pink: If I was truly happy, I would be useless

Pink is having a busy Grammy Week. Her album, Beautiful Trauma is up for Best Pop Vocal. She’s performing a smaller show for Citi Sound Vault. Tuesday, she received her star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame and she’ll be resuming her Beautiful Trauma Tour once Grammy Week is over. One of the presenters at her Star ceremony was her friend, Ellen DeGeneres. So, following the ceremony, Pink returned the favor by joining Ellen on her talk show. It’s obvious the two are close and share the same self-deprecating sense of humor, but the interview almost turned dark, even with all the laugh breaks between the two women. Ellen asked about Pink and her upcoming 13th wedding anniversary with husband Cary Hart when the discussion spiraled into how Pink could not produce art if she was happy:

You said today that (Cary Hart) gives you your inspirations for your songs, because if things changed, then you’d have nothing to write about
I mean if I were truly happy, I’d be useless.

Can you write a song when things are going…
Nope. What would that be ‘you’re gree-at.’ Nope

Do you have a hard time writing when things are really perfect in your life?
I just write about something else, something that’s not perfect. I mean, does art ever come from happiness?

No. Also, I think inspiration comes from pain
And pain is a catalyst for change and it’s a motivator and it’s something worth talking about and it’s something worth having friendships over and connecting with people. It’s everything. Pain is everything.

I’m not a sensitive person and I love dark humor, but even I know when to lighten up on a joke. Which is why I don’t think Pink is entirely joking. It sounds like she honestly believes her only valuable work needs to come from a place of pain. This is a frequent discussion in all areas of art. I know a large faction of the writer’s community believes this. I realize many of you will accuse me of not getting the joke, but never once did Pink say she was joking. She laughed and sarcastically said, “But everything is gre-at, you guys,” but no actual denial. In a stand-up routine, that’s fine. But this was an interview. I appreciate that Ellen tried to change the conversation from “I can only work from pain” to “art can help process pain.” However, I came across another clip from the interview in which Pink said she almost didn’t accept her Star on the Walk of Fame because she is incapable of accepting compliments. So now I’m a little worried about her.




Photo credit: YouTube, Ellen TV and WENN Photos

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19 Responses to “Pink: If I was truly happy, I would be useless”

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  1. LoonyTunes says:

    I’m the same way. I get no forward momentum if I’m completely “happy.” There has to be some goal.

  2. Sara says:

    Maybe that’s her creative process! Not everyone’s.

    It’s good to respect artistic work but also to recognize that art is not pain. Art can come from joy, from pain, from indifference, from anguish, from completion.

    Let’s not generalize.

  3. Erinn says:

    I think she’s just wired that way. I don’t think it’s necessarily a case of their marriage being in trouble… but I think some people are just wired differently (and I can relate to a degree) and no matter how good you have it, you’re just kind of worrying about the next thing, or focusing on the small negatives when you have so much positive in your life. I’ll be the first to admit I can be somewhat neurotic, and it does translate over to my relationships. I spend a lot of time over thinking things, worrying about things I don’t need to worry about… feeling hurt over things that were never intended to be hurtful at all. But it’s something I work on constantly, and do my best with – but I can get where she’s coming from, I think.

    • Amy Tennant says:

      That’s how I took it, that it was a “she” thing, not necessarily a “they” thing. But probably a little of both. I mean every marriage has problems. It doesn’t mean it is in trouble.

  4. Slowsnow says:

    Every religion on the planet, even Buddhism starts from the premise that life is suffering. And it’s true. You can be doing well at work and struggling at home, etc. Plus I guess she is saying that life is a constant battle and it is. Sounds exhausting but there will always be something.
    For me happiness is accepting that. But I get what she is saying. She sounds wise.

  5. PhillyGal says:

    Is it me, or does Pink’s face look different? I didn’t recognize her in the first photo.

    • Yes Doubtful says:

      She has gained a bit of weight after her last child and she’s not aging very well due to heavy smoking and drinking IMO. I don’t think she’s had work done.

  6. Amy Tennant says:

    I’ve always loved her, but I’ve never identified with her more than at this moment.

  7. Dorothy says:

    That’s hercart her story but is Corey bad for her? Yikes

  8. elimaeby says:

    Eh. I’m a comic and a writer, and I tend to draw 99% of my stuff from struggles in my life. I get what she’s saying. In the most blissful times in my life, I created absolutely nothing. It doesn’t mean she’s always miserable. She just gets more inspiration from her problems than anything else.

  9. Esmom says:

    I took a fiction writing class in the 90s and the teacher’s mantra was “what’s good in life is bad on the page.” It got to the point where I felt bad for not having any major trauma to draw from. The only piece she grudgingly complimented me on was a little story about a car accident where I was knocked unconscious, lol. I ended up not even going to the final reading.

    As for Pink, I hear what she’s saying about her work and about her life in general. I don’t think it’s necessarily cause for major worry although if she finds herself ever unable to come back from the dark places she tends to go to, hopefully she’ll recognize it.

  10. Case says:

    It makes me sad when artists say they’re never truly happy, or can’t be happy for their craft. Perhaps that is true, but that is no way to live.

  11. Nina says:

    I remember in her early work there was a line in a song about how producers told her: “… you’ll be a big star…all you have to change is everything you are.” I give her a ton of credit for [at least to all appearances] NOT doing that.

  12. outoftheshadows says:

    Man, I don’t think there’s anything wrong with her. She’s clearly a person who knows the struggle well, and she has a great sense of humor about it. She’s beautiful and talented, but she’s not the type that gets so much attention because she’s not “traditionally” beautiful. She’s honest about having bumps in her relationship, but committing anyway. She’s got 17 tinfoil Grammys at home. She knows how to make the best of life, it seems, but everyone’s got some tragedy, and I can relate to her better than any star who tries to appear perfect and unscratchable. It’s people who can laugh about their trauma who have faced it head-on. Nothing wrong with that.

  13. Tiffany says:

    I think the last artist I heard say something about this is Adele. She wondered where the next music inspiration will come from now that her personal life is stable.

    I’m really not worried about her because, we all don’t wake up happy everyday. It would be ideal, but it doesn’t happen.

  14. Yes Doubtful says:

    I mean…she’s right about art in terms of music at least. The most popular albums are not happy-go-lucky. They are about pain, heartache, change, etc. This is why many artists peak and fizzle out as they get older and more stable. I didn’t connect with her last album, but overall, I love her music.

  15. JANAK says:

    If you think about it, the greatest songwriters mostly write songs out of sorrow, not happiness…I can name 100 sad songs off the top of my head!

  16. RuddyZooKeeper says:

    As an artist/songwriter/performer, I think you want to create music that comes from your heart that other people can still relate to. Telling your story, but at the same time telling their story. Allowing people to join you in the music and emotion by creating a shared space. Too many songs now are incredibly specific to a personal moment in time for that particular artist – and that’s how it’s marketed. Like Taylor Swift’s latest breakup song, or all this Ariana Grande nonsense. I can’t relate anymore to a lot of crap that’s out there.

    That said, people relate more to heartache than they ever will happiness. Happiness looks different to everybody, but I think pain and hurt are universal. Strong emotions are the catalyst to any creative process. For many of us, happiness can be intense but fleeting, while pain lingers deep and long.

    Side note – I think Pink is doing just fine. She doesn’t seem to have let money and fame anesthetize her emotions or protect her from real life experiences. Incredible wealth often brings insulated contentment. I think she’s a genuinely good, fulfilled person. A close friend of mine has run into her a few times over the past couple of months. My friend is seriously ill and worked up the courage to ask Pink’s advice about an issue she was dealing with that related to her condition. Pink was encouraging, gracious, empathetic, and kind every time they crossed paths.

    And so what if she’s not happy all the time? She’s in good company!