Pink Delivers Career-Spanning Performance, Inspiring Speech at MTV Video Music Awards 2017

Pink always knows how to get the party started! The Michael Jackson Video Vanguard recipient delivered an impressive performance at the 2017 MTV Video Music Awards on Sunday, August 27.

The singer, 37, sang a career-spanning medley of hits including “Raise Your Glass,” “So What,” “Get the Party Started,” “Just Give Me a Reason” and “Perfect.” She then transitioned into her powerful new single, “What About Us,” complete with an impressive dance break and impeccable vocals.

Pink performs at the 2017 MTV Video Music Awards at The Forum in Inglewood, California, on August 27, 2017.
Pink performs at the 2017 MTV Video Music Awards at The Forum in Inglewood, California, on August 27, 2017. Kevin Winter/Getty Images

After the performance, Ellen DeGeneres took the stage to present the Vanguard trophy to her close friend Pink. “I think she’s the most incredible performer. When she said she’d like me to give her this award, I was honored,” the comedian, 59, said.

While accepting the award, Pink delivered an empowering message dedicated to her daughter, Willow, 6. “Recently I was driving my daughter to school, and she said to me, out of the blue, ‘Mama … I am the ugliest girl I know.’ And I said, ‘Huh?’ And she was like, ‘Yeah, I look like a boy with long hair.’ And my brain went to, ‘Oh, my god. You are 6. Why? Where is this coming from? Who said this? Can I kick a 6-year-old’s ass?’ But I didn’t say anything,” she said. “Instead I went home, and I made a PowerPoint presentation for her. And in that presentation were androgynous rock stars and artists that live their truth, are probably made fun of every day of their lives, and carry on and wave their flag, and inspire the rest of us. These are artists like Michael Jackson, David Bowie, Freddie Mercury, Annie Lennox, Prince, Janis Joplin, George Michael, Elton John, so many artists.”

Pink, Willow Sage Hart and Carey Hart attend the 2017 MTV Video Music Awards at The Forum in Inglewood, California, on August 27, 2017.
Pink, Willow Sage Hart and Carey Hart attend the 2017 MTV Video Music Awards at The Forum in Inglewood, California, on August 27, 2017. Kevin Mazur/WireImage

“Then I said, ‘I really want to know why you feel this way about yourself.’ She said, ‘I look like a boy.’ I said, ‘What do you think I look like?’ She said, ‘Well, you are beautiful.’ I was like, ‘Well, thanks. But when people make fun of me, that’s what they use. They say that I look like a boy, or I am too masculine, too many opinions, my body is too strong,'” the entertainer continued. “And I said to her, ‘Do you see me growing my hair?’ She said, ‘No, Mama.’ I said, ‘Do you see me changing my body?’ ‘No, Mama.’ ‘Do you see me changing the way I present myself to the world?’ ‘No, Mama.’ ‘Do you see me selling out arenas all over the world?’ ‘Yes, Mama.’ That’s right. So, baby girl, we don’t change, we take the gravel and the shell and we make a pearl. We help other people to change so that they can see more kinds of beauty. … And you, my darling girl, are beautiful. And I love you.”

Pink (real name Alecia Moore) teased her big performance just hours earlier. “There were 30 videos so far that I’ve done, so it was really hard to decide where to go with it all,” she said on the red carpet during an interview on MTV’s pre-show. “But it’s a little bit of everything. It’s fun.”

The “Just Like a Pill” singer arrived at the VMAs in matching suits with her husband, Carey Hart, and Willow. The couple’s son, Jameson, 8 months, did not attend.

Pink joins a long list of Vanguard recipients, including Rihanna (2016), Kanye West (2015), Beyoncé (2014), Justin Timberlake (2013), Britney Spears (2011) and Janet Jackson (1990).

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