A previously unreleased version of India.Arie’s “I Am Not My Hair” will be heard in a new Lifetime Television movie, “Why I Wore Lipstick to My Mastectomy.” Arie tells Billboard this version — a duet between the R&B/soul singer and pop-rocker Pink — is actually the original version of the song. It will be available on iTunes beginning Oct. 23.
“We both had something to say with this song, and we wanted to work together,” Arie explains. “This duet should have been the original version on my album [‘Testimony: Vol. I, Life & Relationship’], but it fell through the cracks.”
When Lifetime inquired about using the song for the film, Arie said, “Well, I have this other version that you might like to use.”
According to Arie, while the song’s original idea was rooted in Pink’s decision to do away with her pink locks, the last verse was written after watching Melissa Etheridge’s triumphant performance on the Grammy Awards, where she appeared bald from chemotherapy to treat breast cancer. “Her performance brought tears to my eyes,” Arie says. “At that moment in time, her performance was a juxtaposition of pain and beauty. It symbolized the beauty of strength.”
The Lifetime movie, premiering Oct. 23, stars Sarah Chalke (“Scrubs”) and, in a cameo role, Patti LaBelle.
As for Arie, she is in the mist of an October tour that visits Bermuda tonight (Oct. 6) and runs through Oct. 28 in Anaheim, Calif.