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Back in the pink
by Juliana June Rasul

This pop star-turned-parent still kicks butts.

Nothing has changed that much for US singer Pink - real name Alecia Moore - since she gave birth to her first child, daughter Willow, last June.

Her latest album, The Truth About Love, due out here on Sept 18, sees the 32-year-old back in high gear after a brief hiatus to concentrate on motherhood.

It is her first studio album since Funhouse in 2008, though she still managed to eke out No. 1s from the singles Raise Your Glass and Perfect from her greatest hits compilation in 2010.

Most of 2011, though, was spent being heavily pregnant, and then being mummy to Willow, her first child with motocross racer husband Carey Hart, 37.

In typical Pink style, she was candid about pregnancy and motherhood while doing the promo rounds for The Truth About Love.

"I thought I'd feel like a goddess. They sell you on that s*** ... like you'll never feel more feminine," she told Cosmopolitan magazine in June.

"Really, I just felt like a mess. But I kind of enjoyed that too. Hell, yeah, I gained 55 pounds (25kg). I think my baby may be part cheesecake."

She has gone through some major lifestyle changes though - quitting smoking and curbing her once-excessive drinking.

To drop her weight, she also switched to a mostly vegetarian diet and concentrated on doing cardio exercises and yoga.

In June, she tweeted: "My life was once whiskey, tears, and cigarettes... now it's snot, tears, and the colour of poop. #bliss."

Explaining the decision to Cosmopolitan, she said: "I'm used to going into the studio and smoking and drinking until three in the morning. But I can't drink as much because I'm breastfeeding."

The once raucous pop star - who recently admitted in an interview on US radio station Z100 that she had to have 13 stitches to her hand after slashing her hubby's car tyres following a fight - has taken to motherhood pretty well though, bringing baby and hubby along with her to radio stations on a recent promo tour.

"I can't go more than four hours without her. I'm really needy," she told Z100.

But she has also admitted to being apprehensive about having a girl, considering how rebellious she used to be.

In an interview with US radio station Alice @ 97.3, she said she "didn't know what to do ... with a girl".

"All I could think about was (she would be) lying, sneaking out and attitude and fighting. I was a devil," she said.

"But no, she's perfect."

Announcing her pregnancy on The Ellen DeGeneres Show in November 2010, she joked: "My mum has always wished me a daughter just like me. One of us is going to go to jail."

She told The Daily Mail last month that prior to being signed to her first record deal in 1995 (she was part of girl group Choice then), she dabbled in serious drugs.

But that part of her life is mostly over now.

"I got it out of the way. I still get down. Usually barefoot now, in my PJs, listening to (popular Nickelodeon children's show) The Backyardigans," she told Z100 with a laugh.

She added to The Daily Mail: "Before, everything was very kamikaze. Now things have to suit my life with Willow and Carey."

Stable Relationship

Her previously troubled on-off relationship with Hart - memorably commemorated in a scene in her music video for So What where she takes a chainsaw to a heart-shaped etching of "Alecia and Carey" on a tree - has more or less stabilised too.

They apparently "fight nice now". "We still have our moments, but that's normal," she said.

Still, judging from her latest single, the fun summer track Blow Me (One Last Kiss), Pink is very much one of pop's best party girls.

She switched genres to pop-rock in 2001 from her R&B-heavy 2000 debut Can't Take Me Home and has not looked back since, chalking up three Grammys and numerous number ones for singles like Raise Your Glass and So What.

"As soon as I heard (the new single), I wanted to take all my clothes off and dance. That's a good barometer," she told American Idol host and DJ Ryan Seacrest in an interview on his radio show in July.

"I think some people are worried (that the new album is going to be) a bunch of lullabies. It's definitely not. I'm more aware of the cursing. It doesn't stop me, but I'm aware of it. It's a very fun, dancey, rock 'n' roll record."

The album has all the right credentials for Top 40 success, boasting collaborations with Lily Allen, Eminem and Nate Ruess, the frontman of We Are Young hitmakers Fun.

As with any Pink album, the songs run the gamut from wild rock - Butch Walker, who has written hits for rockers Saosin, Fall Out Boy, Weezer and Dashboard Confessional, contributes to the track Are We All We Are - and fun pop, with Swedish producers Max Martin and Shellback coming on board.

And with song titles like Slut Like You, Walk of Shame and the double entendre of Blow Me (One Last Kiss), it is clear that Pink's ballsy approach to pop music has not been tempered one bit by motherhood.

She told Billboard magazine: "I felt like I was in this video game and I collected all the gold coins and talismans you could collect. I had to either move to the next level or quit."

As usual, she did it her own way, avoiding the electronic dance music favoured by most other pop stars.

"There's this whole techno takeover going on right now that just does my head in, and I knew I didn't want to do that. I'd rather dance around and sing goofy songs."

That she's been doing for long enough to now get comments from fans reminding her of her age.

"Now I get, 'My mum loves you'," she told Z100 . "I'm like, 'Thanks.'"

Speaking of mums, she unabashedly rated herself as an "amazing" one, after being asked about her parenting skills in an interview for Australian morning show Today.

"I'm so much better of a mum than I thought I would be. I'm impatient, but (Willow's) my Miyagi- san. She's my teacher and I'm her grasshopper," she said.

But while life seems picture-perfect for Pink right now, she felt she'll always be a little off-kilter. She told Cosmopolitan: "I've exorcised a lot of my demons, but I'm still working on myself. I think I'll be a work in progress for the rest of my life."

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