Pink's 20 Best Songs: Critic's Picks
When P!nk is not stunning us with an aerial performance, she’s dominating radio with her smoky vocal acrobatics. Since blasting onto the scene in 2000 with her R&B-drenched debut Can't Take Me Home, she has proven time and again that she’s a pop music juggernaut.
From gutting ballads to bratty anthems, P!nk’s songbook is impressive. Ahead of the release of her seventh studio album, Beautiful Trauma (out Oct. 13) we ranked her absolute best songs, smash singles and should-have-been hits.
Read on for our list of the 20 best P!nk songs of her career to date.
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20. “So What” (2008)
Eight years into her career, P!nk notched her first solo No.1 on the Hot 100 with this brassy, stadium-ready anthem about her short-lived separation from hubby Carey Hart.
19. “F**kin' Perfect” (2010)
This mid-tempo about loving someone flaws-and-all from her Greatest Hits... So Far!!! peaked at No. 2. While braggadocious behavior may be P!nk’s bread and butter, it’s earnest moments like this that explain her longevity.
18. “Trouble” (2003)
As far as albums go, P!nk’s Try This has the sore distinction of having the fewest Hot 100 hits (two, both of which failed to crack top 40). The era was hardly a dud though: “Trouble” marked her first — and (so far) only — Grammy win as a solo artist, in the best female rock vocal performance category.
17. “Blow Me (One Last Kiss)” (2012)
P!nk came full-throttle with The Truth About Love’s cheekily-titled lead single. With biting lyrics and a killer hook, the song is quintessential P!nk.
16. “Feel Good Time” (featuring William Orbit) (2003)
Fun fact: this funky track was co-written and originally recorded by Beck. Sadly, the song stalled at No. 60 on the Hot 100.
15. “Dear Mr. President” (feat. Indigo Girls) (2006)
This song served as a poignant open letter to then-President George W. Bush. Filled with scathing takedowns (“How can you say, no child is left behind?/ We're not dumb and we're not blind/ They're all sitting in your cells/ While you pave the road to hell”), this ballad still earns P!nk mid-concert standing ovations. When a fan asked if she’d be reworking her song in light of the Trump administration, P!nk responded with a scalding tweet: “There aren’t words for this shameful person.”
14. “Sober” (2008)
Talking to MTV, P!nk explained the idea behind this dark song: “It's not just about alcohol, it's about vices. We all have different ones. We try to get away from ourselves, and find our true selves, and then we do these things that take us so far from the truth.”
13. “Get The Party Started” (2001)
P!nk reinvented herself with her second album, M!ssundaztood, trading her hip-hop sneer for the pop-rock sound that she became known for. The album’s lead track was written and produced by her childhood idol, Linda Perry of the 4 Non Blondes, whom P!nk famously cold-called for help with her sophomore album.
12. “Glitter In The Air” (2010)
“It feels like after ten years, people still don’t know what I do,” P!nk explained to Oprah after her enchanting aerial performance at the Grammys. Rather than use her slot to showcase one of her earlier hits from the Funhouse era, she introduced this quiet ballad to the masses. The award show highlight carried the song to an impressive No. 18 debut on the Hot 100, marking the first time P!nk charted five singles from the same album.
11. “Family Portrait” (2002)
P!nk has tackled several intimate topics throughout her discography, but “Family Portrait” remains one of her most personal tracks. The song chronicled the divorce of her parents. She told Entertainment Weekly that her mother cried for four days after hearing the song.
10. “God Is A DJ” (2004)
Raise your hand if you have ever been personally victimized by the Billboard charts. With its carefree lyrics and breezy beat, this party jam boasted a cameo in cult classic Mean Girls, but somehow missed the Hot 100 entirely. So not fetch.
9. “There You Go” (2000)
It’s well-documented that P!nk wasn’t a fan of the slinky R&B sound of her debut album Can’t Take Me Home. In fact, she chose not to include “Most Girls” or “You Make Me Sick” (both top 40 hits, peaking at No. 4 and No. 33 respectively) on her 2010 Greatest Hits...So Far!!!. The only Home track to make her compilation was her introductory single, “There You Go.” And though she’s since settled into a rock-leaning sound, it’s undeniable that P!nk’s swagger on this track matched that of club staples by Aaliyah (“Try Again”), Mya (“Case Of The Ex”) and Destiny’s Child (“Jumpin’ Jumpin’”) from the same year.
8. “Try” (2012)
It’s impossible to hear this song without imagining the jaw-dropping choreography from its music video. P!nk had so much fun shooting the music video that she recreated the intricate dance sequence at the 2012 American Music Awards, but with added live vocals.
7. “Leave Me Alone (I’m Lonely)” (2007)
It’s a damn shame this track wasn’t released as a single statewide. With playful lyrics like “No you can’t hop into my shower/ All I ask for is one f--king hour,” P!nk expertly captured the headache of being in a clingy relationship
6. “What About Us” (2017)
While we’ve become accustomed to bombastic lead singles, P!nk kicked of her latest era with a sharp swerve left. In the current political climate, it’s impossible to hear “What About Us” as anything but a call to arms.
5. "Raise Your Glass” (2010)
P!nk was the queen of underdogs long before she wrote this toast to them, but we’re happy she did. With a driving beat and nonsensical lyrics, this P!nk song established her as the ultimate good-time gal. Why so serious?
4. “Don’t Let Me Get Me” (2002)
Between her debut album, her contribution to “Lady Marmalade” and the massive success of “Get The Party Started,” P!nk gained mainstream recognition, but it was with this track that we were finally given a glimpse of the powerhouse we know and love today. Opening with the lyrics, “Never win first place/ I don’t support the team/ I can’t take direction and my socks are never clean,” the song showcases P!nk’s self-deprecating honesty.
3. “Just Give Me A Reason” (2013) (featuring Nate Ruess)
With its theatricality and stripped-down sincerity, it’s astonishing how massive of a hit this was. But as unconventional as it was, the vocal chemistry of P!nk and Fun.’s frontman was undeniable. Not only did the song notch another No. 1 for our heroine, but the ballad landed at a triumphant No. 7 on the year-end Hot 100 chart.
2. “U + Ur Hand” (2006)
After the poor commercial performance of Try This, P!nk clapped back with I’m Not Dead. The album’s controversial lead single “Stupid Girls” performed decently, but its follow-up, “Who Knew,” initially failed to chart. It wasn’t until P!nk dropped the album’s third single, “U + Ur Hand,” that the singer saw a renewed interest. The racy song shot to the top 10 on the Hot 100 and is credited for a surge in album sales. P!nk was slated to perform “U + Ur Hand” on an episode of American Idol, but changed her mind when producers reportedly asked her to change the lyrics to “U + Ur Heart.” Instead, P!nk performed “Who Knew.” Which leads us to...
1. “Who Knew” (2006)
Following her American Idol performance, “Who Knew” was re-released, a full year after its initial push. This P!nk song climbed to No. 9 on the Hot 100 — matching the peak of “U + Ur Hand” — and spent an impressive 36 weeks on the chart. It’s easy to see why the single resonated, as it highlights what P!nk does best: take a heavy subject matter (in this case, the death of a friend after an overdose) and turn it into an accessible pop masterpiece.