Pink accepted the Michael Jackson Video Vanguard Award at the 2017 VMAs with a poignant speech about her young daughter, Willow Hart. After a hilarious introduction from Ellen DeGeneres, the singer recalled creating a PowerPoint presentation about “androgynous rock stars” – including Jackson, David Bowie, Prince and Annie Lennox – to cheer up her six-year-old after she called herself “the ugliest girl I know.”
“We help other people to change so they can see more kinds of beauty,” said Pink.
The vocalist performed a career-spanning hits medley, ranging from upbeat tracks like “Get the Party Started” and “Raise Your Glass” to ballads like “Fuckin’ Perfect” and “Just Give Me a Reason.” She ended by showcasing her new single “What About Us” with somber choreography and a stage full of dancers.
— MTV (@MTV) August 28, 2017
The day after MTV announced Pink would be this year’s recipient, the singer addressed some criticism she received online, saying: “You don’t have to like me at all, I’m ok with that. Just be a decent person.” Pink added, “You’re fucking Rip Van Winkle if you’ve never seen one of my videos.”
The singer recently issued a stirring video for “What About Us,” the lead single from her upcoming seventh LP, Beautiful Trauma, out October 13th. Director Georgia Hudson’s cinematic clip spotlights marginalized groups in modern America, including immigrants, same-sex couples and minorities.
Before, Pink MTV’s Vanguard honorees were Rihanna in 2016, Kanye West in 2015 and Beyoncé in 2014.