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What? While Avril Lavigne flip-flopped between punk grrrl and touchy balladeer, Christina Aguilera got “Dirrty” before going classy, and Britney just went straight crazy, in-your-face, Pink has stayed the course. With a cocktail of pop, rock, and R&B — and a fierce rebel’s spirit — Pink has always stood apart from her girly-girl contemporaries. And with Funhouse the rift increases — as does her success. Album-opener “So What” is Pink’s first No. 1 single in the U.S. (it also topped the charts in 10 other countries) and she’s bracing for more. With an eye on balance, Pink continues to pair party tracks and personal fare — but adds more soul, especially when tackling subjects like her recent divorce from motorcross star Carey Hart.

Who? Born Alecia Moore in 1979 in working class Doylestown, PA, the singer began her music career as a member of R&B trio Choice (featured on the soundtrack to Shaquille O’Neal’s Kazaam). After the group’s dissolution, Pink was born. Remaining signed to LaFace Records, she sang backup for the likes of 98 Degrees and Diana Ross before hitting her stride in the new millennium with the success with 2000’s R&B-flavored Can’t Take Me Home and 2001’s 12x-platinum M!ssundaztood, which featured writing from Linda Perry and production from Scott Storch. Funhouse finds Pink teaming with No Doubt’s Tony Kanal, producer Danja, and songwriter Butch Walker.

Fun Fact: Working with director Dave Meyers, Pink played a little joke on her ex, Hart, in the video for her current single “So What.” As she defiantly sings the lines, “Guess I just lost my husband / I don’t know where he went,” he appears in a cameo role, while elsewhere the singer takes a chainsaw to a tree bearing his name. Joke is, Hart had never heard the song before arriving for the video shoot.

Now Watch This: “So What”