Seeing Pink! 2023 iHeartRadio Music Awards dominated by Icon Award winner
Pink brought her "annoying," "brave" and "necessary" energy to the iHeartRadio Music Awards in Los Angeles on Monday where she was honored with the ceremony's Icon Award.
The "Most Girls" singer took over the annual show by opening the ceremony at the Dolby Theatre with a high-octane performance of her new single "Trustfall." The pop star and her acrobatic dancers ricocheted up and down the stage as they performed the titular trust exercise on which her song and eponymous album are based.
Later in the show, the 43-year-old was also saluted by Rock and Roll Hall of Famers Pat Benatar and Neil Giraldo, who performed a cover of Pink's "Just Like a Pill" from her 2001 "Missundaztood" album.
Singer and talk show host Kelly Clarkson, who introduced Pink, followed up that perfomance with a soulful rendition of Pink's smash hit "Just Give Me a Reason." Mid-song, Pink emerged from the audience to belt out the chorus and joined Clarkson onstage to sing the 2012 single as a duet. After that, the jubilant honoree performed her 2017 hit "What About Us."
"It has been said that miracles are often associated with icons. And Kelly Clarkson singing with me and Pat Benatar singing one of my songs — two of the greatest voices alive — being onstage, doing what I love, and my babies being in the audience, this feels like a Christmas miracle."
The Icon Award was given to Pink to recognize her "impact on pop culture, longevity and continued relevance as a touring and radio force with a loyal fan base worldwide." The prize has been awarded only three times in the show's 10-year history: Bon Jovi was given it in 2018, Elton John earned it in 2021 and Jennifer Lopez was awarded it last year.
Accepting the prize onstage, the three-time Grammy Award winner took a moment to get real — and vulnerable — with the audience.
"I usually do try to joke or be self-deprecating in these moments, but I want to be a better friend to myself tonight. So I would like to say something honest. Every room I walk into, my heart walks in first. Every lyric that I write is my heart crying, raging, hoping, screaming, pleading," Pink said. "You have watched me do this, this sifting through life's messiness for almost 25 years. And some of you find what I do annoying and some of you find it brave and I just find it necessary.
"I think as human beings we are vulnerable from the time we are born to time we die and most of us spend our entire lives running from that. Vulnerability means the ability to be wounded. I have decided to make vulnerability by life's work. And for those of you around the world that have joined me on this adventure, I thank you from the bottom of my heart. I'm grateful to be alive. I'm grateful that I get to do this with my one precious life."
Pink said she's most grateful for her two children, Willow and Jameson, who were in the audience Monday night, her manager of 22 years, Roger Davies, and her husband and "muse," Carey Hart.
"If he loved me perfectly I would have nothing to say," she quipped.
The fan-voted awards show was hosted by Lenny Kravitz, who performed a medley of his hits. The show featured additional performances from country star Keith Urban and a hip-hop tribute from LL Cool J. Pop star Jax, country musician Cody Johnson, R&B singer Muni Long and rockers Giovannie and the Hired Guns, who won the new artist prizes in their respective genre categories, also took the stage for a series of performances.
"Big Energy" singer Latto and "Tomorrow 2" rapper GloRilla tied for the new hip-hop artist prize.
Pop superstar Taylor Swift, who received the evening's Innovator Award, took home the song of the year prize for "Anti-Hero" and delivered a powerful speech about giving oneself "permission to fail." One Direction alum Harry Styles was remotely named artist of the year and Imagine Dragons, who were touring overseas, earned the duo/group of the year prize.
This story originally appeared in Los Angeles Times.