Many successful popstars credit reinvention as a key to their longevity. For P!nk though, the change from slick R&B star to growly pop-rock singer was more a necessity than a gimmick, unshackling herself from a persona she since said she felt uncomfortable with and took more creative control.
While on the surface the change didn’t seem radical – just a short trip to the hair salon and a quick wardrobe clear-out, really – the switch in musical style and attitude was huge.
By 2002, gone were the early R&B vibes of her debut album Take Me Home, released two years earlier. And while she kept her trademark sass, there was more of a bite to P!nk than there’d ever been before. By the time Just Like A Pill was released – the third single from her second record Missundaztood - Pink was already in the enviable position of having her first six singles all go Top 10.
The first clue Pink was changing her outlook came with album leader Get The Party Started, before Don’t Let Me Get Me came along and confirmed this was a new Pink. Just Like A Pill, however, hammered the point home.
Pink was angry, she was fed up and she was going to tell the world. The formula worked – it scored Pink her first solo Number 1 (she’d featured on the chart-topping Moulin Rouge version of Lady Marmalade the previous year). Just Like A Pill spent a week at Number 1 20 years ago this week in and to date has notched up chart units of 762,000, split between 200,000 physical sales, 196,000 downloads and 43.5 million streams.
Just Like A Pill propelled sales of Missundaztood in the UK and it went on to become the second biggest selling album in the UK that year. To date, its chart units stand at 1.88 million.
Elsewhere in the Top 40 that week in 2002, P!nk had knocked Atomic Kitten’s The Tide Is High (Get The Feeling) down to 2 after a three-week stint at the top, and pop-rock trio Busted arrived on the scene with their debut single What I Go To School For, landing at Number 3.
The Top 10 also featured new entries from Eminem at 4 with Cleanin’ Out My Closet, Bon Jovi at 5 with Everyday (their 15th Top 10), British musician Aqualung at 7 with Strange And Beautiful, and Beenie Man at 9 with his Janet Jackson collaboration Feel It Boy.