The original lyrics were: 'LA told me, 'You'll be a pop star' / All you have to change is everything you are / Tired of being compared to damn Britney Spears / She's so pretty / That just ain't me.'
In the not-so-distant past, it wasn't unusual for female pop stars to be pitted against each other. The narrative was that female stars are always consumed by jealousy and competition which made it difficult for them to work together. In fact, they were even encouraged to put each other down. However, this dramatic 2000s narrative was far from the truth.
Pink, at the beginning of her musical career, was often compared to other female pop stars who were at the top of their game. Over time, pitting her against Britney Spears appeared to capture both the industry and the public's fancy. Recognizing this, Pink sought to set herself apart. The 43-year-old's first solo album "Can't Take Me Home" was heavily influenced by R&B. However, "Missundaztood," her second album released in 2001, was much different from her preceding image as a pop star.
Slowly, she made it clear that her music and much edgier style were nothing like Britney's. This was evident in her song "Don't Let Me Get Me." The original lyrics in it implied that Pink was retaliating against any comparisons between herself and Spears. They went as: "LA told me, 'You'll be a pop star' / All you have to change is everything you are / Tired of being compared to damn Britney Spears / She's so pretty / That just ain't me."
Although these lyrics were primarily about criticizing the male-dominated music industry for maintaining conservative and impermeable beliefs about female recording artists, her focus was being classified in a way that did not correspond to how she expressed herself creatively.
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According to the prevalent and harmful narrative of the early 2000s, pop music could only have one reigning queen. This misogynistic idea confined female artists to a much reductive state, attempting to limit who could exist as a successful pop star. The broader cultural perception has shifted dramatically in the 21 years after the initial publication of that particular Pink song. Pop stars no longer shy away from supporting one another and it only helps with their contemporary narrative.
This became evident recently after news emerged of Spears and her husband Sam Ashagri filing for divorce. The 41-year-old's fans are supporting her and Pink isn't hesitating to show her support either.
Pink modified her lyrics at her Detroit gig from expressing annoyance with being compared to "damn Britney Spears" to "sweet Britney Spears." This transition sent a wave of healing to many who grew up listening to her in the 2000s, during the era of a misogynistic narrative that concentrated on selling gender stereotypes and the hypersexualization of female vocalists. Pink showed concern for Spears by modifying her lyrics, emphasizing the idea that we are allowed to support one another as we climb the same ladder.
Some fans loved this change and others love the original for their own reasons. "Love this version so much more than the original," commented @marsattacksu. "I like the lyric change but I feel damn portrayed more emotion, as I'm sure Pink was always compared to Britney. At the time Britney was huge and when you have low self-esteem, you don't want to be compared to someone so beautiful and popular," shared @Cutejess2407.