Pink’s Road To The VMAs: Cocktails, Pyro And Acrobatics

As 'The World's Most Underrated Superstar' prepares to return to the 2012 Video Music Awards, here's a look at her most memorable VMA moments.

Some stars use the Video Music Awards as a platform for launching singles, protests or fashion lines. But not But not Pink. She’s always viewed the VMAs as a chance to go for broke, to risk life and limb, or, to get totally sh–faced. And, in the process, she’s earned her rightful place amongst the show’s all-time greats.

She’s performed three times, won five awards and racked up just as many memorable moments at the big show. And she’ll certainly only add to that legacy at the 2012 Video Music Awards, when she returns to the stage to perform a song off her upcoming The Truth About Love album. So in anticipation of what’s sure to be another epic turn, here’s a look back at Pink’s greatest VMA moments … safety not guaranteed.

Pink first graced the VMA stage back in 2002, and she certainly made her debut a memorable one. Not only did she take home two moonmen that night — including Best Female Video for “Get the Party Started,” where she delivered a party-hearty acceptance speech that included one prominently placed curse word and the declaration “I’m too drunk for this!” — but she wowed the Radio City crowd with a raucous performance of “Just Like a Pill.” Decked out in black leather, and backed by a cracking live band, she prowled the stage, sassed her way through lines like “I tried to call the nurse again/but she’s being a little bitch” and even flashed the finger. Needless to say, it helped establish her place as one of the baddest girls in the biz, censors be damned.

She returned in 2008 and tore through a performance of “So What” that took over the backstage lot at the Paramount studios, featured some actual stunt work from Pink herself, and plenty of pyro. Beginning from a fire escape above the New York City set, she slid down some fabric (while still hitting all her notes, a feat she’d repeat the following year), smashed a bunch of sh– up, led an army of extras through some well-placed explosive devices, and ended smack dab in the middle of the stage, while flames licked the sky. She was defiant, brave and, above all else, 100 percent Pink (even if her hair was blonde).

And while both of those performances were standouts, Pink’s defining VMA moment occurred in 2009, when she stole the show with her acrobatic take on “Sober.” Dangling 60 feet above the Radio City stage, held in place by only a harness, she killed the song (and almost killed herself), nailed a series of high-risk trapeze tumbles, and, in a moment of silence just before the climactic tumble, had every hair in the building standing at attention.

It was a performance that led us to declare her “The World’s Most Underrated Superstar,” and looking back at it now, perhaps that praise didn’t do the whole thing justice. It was also the moment where she carved out her own incredibly unique, daredevil space in the pop-star spectrum, a place none of her contemporaries dare tread. Can she top it in 2012? We can’t wait to find out … and here’s hoping she brings a helmet.

Which Pink performance has been her craziest? Let us know in the comments!

The 2012 MTV Video Music Awards were a blast! Stick with MTV for all the VMA winners, fashion, and continued coverage of everything that happened onstage, backstage and behind-the-scenes.