Pink, a.k.a. Alecia Moore, might want to try trademarking the word “badass.” According to an (unscientific) estimate, around 96.5798% of things written about her use the word. Deservedly, for sure. She came out celebrating her — and every woman’s — rough edges at a time when other pop superstars were the epitome of sweetness. Then she started soaring above concert crowds, performing Cirque du Soleil-worthy aerial routines while hitting every note. She rides motorcycles, is quick with a perfect comeback for Internet trolls, and … well, there are many reasons the singer has earned the title. But ask when she’s felt most powerful, and there is not a second of hesitation to consider: “Right now.”
In the past year the singer has been nominated for a Grammy, won an MTV Music Video Award, nailed the national anthem at the Super Bowl despite having the flu, and released the chart-topping album Beautiful Trauma. Amazing accomplishments for sure, but if you want to know the true source of her current confidence boost, go back and listen to her MTV rallying cry-slash-acceptance speech, about teaching her daughter to love herself. When the singer and I spoke soon after the start of her latest tour, it was clear that nothing gives her a bigger surge than being a mom to her children with husband Carey Hart: 7-year-old Willow and Jameson, who is 18 months old.
Listen in as she shares what she’s learned, what scares her, and why she thinks all moms are badasses.
Do you see Alecia and Pink as two separate personalities?
Nope, but they’re both very tired [laughs]. I’ve never juggled so many damn plates in my life, but it’s because I want to. I enjoy it. If I had nannies raising my kids and just wanted to be a rock star and party all the time, I wouldn’t be successful and I wouldn’t be happy.
And now you’re on tour with the kids — how’s that going?
We’ve been on the tour bus for three days and I haven’t slept, so that’s great. I know this is going to be hard, but we’ll make amazing memories. When I left [for the Truth About Love Tour], Willow was 14 months, and I would come right offstage and breastfeed her. That was our bonding time and some of my favorite moments. Jameson is now doing the same thing.
Now that Willow’s older, do you worry she might miss life at home?
This is the first time she’s leaving behind friends and school and activities, so I asked if she wanted to do this, because we make family decisions. When touring stops working for the kids, if they decide they just want to be home and have a normal life, whatever that means, I’ll stop, because they are by far the priority. But I think it’s cool that they get to see their mom be the boss and work really freaking hard to realize a dream. I’d say it’s 95% positive.
What do you miss most on tour?
After every tour the first thing I do is I get in my car and I go to the grocery store. I walk up and down every aisle until it’s like, Oh, I’ve been here for four hours! Then I go home and cook. I miss driving myself places and cooking the most.
Does it bug you if a fan comes up to you in the store while you’re trying to zone out?
No, because I have this thirst for connection. I’ve gotten tears in supermarkets about something I said that helped the person. I think that’s pretty cool. You want to come cry with me? I will cry with you.
Really — you’re a big crier?
I am a total crier. I cry at commercials. I cry when the wind’s changing directions.
Has Willow ever said, “Mom, stop”?
Willow won’t cry ever, and it annoys me to no end. One day I had a sit-in at her school because I knew she was upset and she wouldn’t talk to me. I sat down on the pavement and I was like, “I’m not moving until you tell me about your feelings, because this is going to be a lifelong conversation for you and me and you have to learn to let me in.” Without batting an eye, she goes, “I promise to tell you more about my feelings if you promise to tell me less about yours.”
That’s intense and hilarious.
In my head I was like, Holy s–t! But I said, “Not going to happen. People pay me for my feelings.” She processes differently than I do, and it’s teaching me a lot about how to deal with people. I process out loud. She does it inside and it scares me a little, but I have to let her go through her process.
Do you ever wonder, Am I doing this right?
It’s a little scary sometimes because it’s new territory. I want to raise her to be strongand empowered; Jameson too. But nobody tells you how to do that or what that looks like day-to-day. That’s why I’m so grateful that I’ve found this group of incredible women who can understand these experiences. I never had a group of women friends before, and that’s been the most awesome thing about my 30s.
Who are they?
We moved to this cool farm town and made a lot of friends, so some are teachers and insurance salesmen and writers. Our kids go to school together, and we have sleepovers — and we all like tequila.
There’s this idea that you automatically become less rebellious when you become a mom. Do you think that’s true?
No, especially nowadays. If moms were ever silent, it’s about to stop. You start to focus less on what’s wrong for you and more on what’s wrong for the next generation. It mobilizes you. Some moms channel that into the PTA, and other moms channel it into marching for women’s rights, so moms need to be more rebellious than ever.
The venue where you played in Tulsa called you “Queen Badass” on the marquee. When have you most felt like one?
If I’ve ever deserved the title, it’s right now. I have my two kids with me. I’m working my butt off and feel really focused. I feel seen and heard and like the things I’m saying and showing are the right things. I just feel really proud of this journey.
You sound a little surprised that you’ve managed that. Are you?
Yeah. It used to be, “I told them I wasn’t going to be a piece of crap.” But now I’m like, “Wow. I guess I’m really not a piece of crap. I really did this. Look, Mom!”