Ahead of the ceremony, Pink took to the red carpet to discuss receiving the award. How did she feel? “Awesome and weird,” she said. “I really don’t like having to talk.” She also shared a few of the songwriters she admires. “Billy Joel, because he can paint a picture with words the way not a lot of people can do. And Damien Rice, just because he makes you want to kill yourself every time, a special power only he and my mom have,” she joked.
Other songwriters in attendance were vocal in their admiration for Pink. Deb Talan of folk duo the Weepies, who performed a rendition of Pink’s “F—in’ Perfect” during the ceremony, praised the singer’s confidence. “I like how she lives out loud,” Talan said. “She is who she is. Her music says that and encourages people to do that. She makes it seem cool to be yourself.”
Singer-songwriter Andy Grammer (“Honey, I’m Good”) discussed his respect for writers like Pink who made positivity sound original. “It’s people that are able to get a positive message across but stay grounded and real while they do it,” Grammer said. “Anytime you try to say something good, it can come out of your mouth so cheesy.”
Once the awards got rolling, the ballroom at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel was thumping with the 50 most performed pop songs of the year written by BMI artists. Songwriters whooped for one another and exchanged many hugs when they loped to the stage to receive their awards.
The winners of the evening’s other major awards also received riotous applause. John Legend’s “All of Me” took home the prize for song of the year, and Sony/ATV nabbed publisher of the year.
The honor of songwriter of the year ended up going to five people in a five-way tie. Ed Sheeran, Taylor Swift and Avicii were three of those winners not in attendance. Benny Blanco, a four-time winner of the award, was a recipient again this year for his work on “Black Widow” (performed by Iggy Azalea) and “Me and My Broken Heart” (performed by Rixton). The fifth winner was Noel Zancanella, recognized for co-writing “Burn” (performed by Ellie Goulding) and “Maps” (performed by Maroon 5).
All of the festivities were, of course, leading up to Pink’s main event. Her acceptance speech for the President’s Award touched on her relationships, from those with her parents and husband to those with her numerous fans.
“I’ve always tried to be uncomfortably honest — to the point of oversharing — in my career, and I think for that reason my fans have always said to me, instead of ‘I want to be just like you,’ they say, ‘Thank you for helping me want to be more like myself,’ or ‘Man, I thought I was the only person who felt that way.’ And to that I say, ‘Me too.’”
I’m grateful to my parents and my husband, for forgiving my honesty and my tendency to vomit out all of our experiences,” the singer said. “I signed up for this life, but they didn’t.”
Pink explained that her career has helped her process emotional experiences. “Through this writing and performing of my truths, I have exorcised 75% of my demons. Our concerts are more like group therapy than concerts,” she said.
After receiving a standing ovation for her speech, Pink performed an acoustic set of her songs, including “Dear Mr. President” and “Who Knew.”
(Pictured: Pink and husband Carey Hart at the BMI Pop Awards)