“I’ve always had this insatiable lust for connection. Connection is a necessity; the whole point.”
Chatting with Billboard on the red carpet prior to the ceremony, a pink-gowned Pink talked about her respect for the President’s Award and what it truly means. “It’s not about popularity,” explained the Grammy-winning singer. “It’s about what’s always been important to me: the serious side of life. I’m sort of between songwriting and performing. If those are the two things I’m remembered for, then I’m stoked.”
Pop/folk duo the Weepies and alt-country singer Brandi Carlile opened the musical tribute to Pink, performing searing renditions of the Grammy-winning singer’s “F-ckin’ Perfect” and “Who Knew,” respectively. With Pink’s “Raise Your Glass” playing in the background, BMI’s O’Neill and vp/gm, writer/publisher relations Barbara Cane brought the singer onstage for the award presentation.
During her acceptance speech, Pink encouraged aspiring songwriters to “write your story… even if you’re the only one to read it.” Then, to the delight of the audience, the singer herself got down to the business of connecting musically. She teamed first with longtime collaborator, songwriter/producer Billy Mann, for a moving acoustic version of “Dear Mr. President.” Then Pink introduced her You+Me mate Dallas Green (“We’re gonna play some shit”) to help close the evening with three songs: “You and Me,” “Unbeliever” and “Open Door.”