We’ve come to expect a lot from Pink at the Grammys, and why not? Her 2010 “Glitter in the Air” performance introduced us to her talent as an aerial artist — and her willingness to be dunked into water and continue singing. In 2014, she was back in the aerial silks for “Try,” this time with more acrobatics, including an incredible spin right above the audience…after which she sang a beautiful duet with Nate Reuss as if she hadn’t just been defying death.
For her 2018 Grammy performance, the only theatrics were her voice and the song, “Wild Hearts Can’t Be Broken” from Beautiful Trauma. She took the stage without special effects, acrobatics, or any distractions from her powerful voice.
The white roses and white clothing of the evening were worn in support of the #MeToo movement. Pink wore a white rose on the feathery blue dress she wore on the red carpet, and she dressed in white for her performance. After years of performances in sparkling, dramatic attire, this year she wore a deconstructed white t-shirt and jeans. At one point, she interacted with her sign language interpreter, also dressed simply in a white t-shirt and jeans — and at the end of the song, Pink herself signed the words. This interplay emphasized the song’s message that voices of all kinds can’t and shouldn’t be silenced, a message made even more meaningful in a year when so many survivors of sexual abuse and harassment are bravely coming forward.
As host James Corden noted in the pre-Grammy show, this one could be a time capsule to show people what we were thinking about in 2018. If that’s the case, Pink’s pared-down performance shows that we are thinking of the power of simple communication, whether through voice, song, words, or movement. She showed us once again why she is such a hero: Because whether she is doing acrobatics among fireworks or standing on a stage, singing by herself with her sign language interpreter, she is always true to herself — and willing to share that with the world. That gives us strength to do the same.