This pure party song came from an unlikely source. It was written by Linda Perry of 4 Non Blondes, known for their introspective and very un-partylike 1992 hit "What's Up
." After the group broke up in the early '90s, Perry released two solo albums and started writing for other artists. She learned that hits of the '00s were made digitally, so she bought Akai MPC and Korg Triton digital workstations and started experimenting with them. As she was learning how to use them, she came up with the track by adding layer after layer, then she quickly banged out a lyric with every party cliché she could think of, arriving at lines like:I'm your operator, you can call anytime
I'll be your connection to the party line
It worked: "Get The Party Started" was a huge hit for Pink and launched Perry's songwriting career. Her next hit was "Beautiful
" for Christina Aguilera.
Perry initially thought this could be a hit for Madonna until Pink happened to call her the week after she wrote the song. Pink was a huge 4 Non Blondes fan and sought out Perry, who was very surprised to get a call from a pop star. When they met, Perry gave Pink an MP3 copy of the "Get The Party Started." Pink's management loved the song and arranged for them to work together on her second album, Missundaztood. Perry ended up writing or co-writing (and producing) eight songs on the album, including the title track. "Get The Party Started" was issued as the first single.
Some listeners thought the song made a reference to ecstasy, the drug of choice for ravers:
I can go for miles if you know what I mean
I'm comin' up so you better get this party started
Pink told Q Magazine in a 2017 interview that ecstasy hasn't been her party starter of choice for a long time. She said: "I didn't write 'Get the Party Started,' you'd have to ask Linda Perry if it's about ecstasy. I don't know what she meant with it. I still don't know if it's 'I'm coming out...' Or 'I'm coming up...' I don't even know what I sang."
Pink's 2002 tour to support the album was called the Party Tour, and she opened her set with this song. She also played Linda Perry's 4 Non Blondes song "What's Up" at these shows.
This won the 2002 MTV Europe Music Award for Best Song.
In the UK a cover by the veteran Welsh vocalist Shirley Bassey peaked at #47 on the singles chart. This was her 33rd British hit, her first being a version of "The Banana Boat Song (Day-O)
," which reached #8 in 1957. Shirley Bassey thus has recorded chart UK entries over a 50-year period, a record for a female.
Bassey first covered the song for a 2006 advert for the English food and clothing retailer Marks and Spencer over the Christmas period. It got a great response and in 2007 became the title track to her first album in 10 years. Her version also enjoyed some chart success across the Atlantic entering the American Hot Dance Club Play list.
Pink performed this on the January 12, 2002 episode of Saturday Night Live.
Shortly before releasing Missundaztood
, Pink joined Christina Aguilera, Lil' Kim, and Mya on the chart-topping cover of "Lady Marmalade
" for the movie Moulin Rouge!
It won the 2002 Grammy Award for Best Pop Collaboration with Vocals.
This earned a Grammy nomination for Best Female Pop Vocal Performance but lost to "Don't Know Why
" by Norah Jones. The album was also nominated for Best Pop Vocal Album but again lost to Jones for Come Away With Me
The music video was shot in Los Angeles and shows Pink getting ready for a night of clubbing. Unfortunately, her car runs out of gas on the way to the club, so she and her friend have to steal a couple skateboards to get there - only to be refused entry. Undeterred, they use a scaffold to bring them to the top of the building so they can sneak in. Inside, Linda Perry cameos as the bartender.
Pink told MTV of the video's concept: "I felt like a lot of people have done the club thing, and that's fun. But the funnest part for me about going out is what happens before it. The getting ready, the calling your friends, the getting in the car, what happens in the gas station. That's usually more fun than the club turns out to be."
The clip was directed by Dave Meyers, who also helmed videos for Pink's debut album.
The promo was named Best Female Video and Best Dance Video at the 2002 MTV Video Music Awards, besting Britney Spears' "I'm A Slave 4 U
" in both categories.
Missundaztood was a reintroduction of sorts for Pink, who had already established a musical identity as an R&B/dance-pop singer on her double-Platinum debut, Can't Take Me Home. Ditching the R&B influence in favor of rock and hip-hop was a risky move, but it paid off. Her second album yielded three Top 10 singles and sold 5 million copies in the US. Pink told MTV of the release: "It's a lot more versatile, it's a lot less contrived, it's a lot more me."
Pink collaborated with rappers Redman and Rockwilder on a remix of the tune that sampled elements of the Eurythmics' "Sweet Dreams (Are Made Of This)
." It was released as a single in France, where it peaked at #4.
In 2002, Bally Total Fitness designed an exercise program based on the choreography in the video. The intense hip-hop-inspired aerobics routine was tough even for Pink, who couldn't finish the hour-long session.
This was used in these TV shows:
Succession ("Nobody Is Ever Missing" - 2018)
Lucifer ("All Hands On Decker" - 2018)
The Mindy Project ("May Divorce Be With You" - 2017)
The Simpsons ("Waiting For Duffman" - 2015)
Black-ish ("The Nod" - 2014)
The Middle ("Pilot" - 2009)
The Big Bang Theory ("The Griffin Equivalency" - 2008)
Gilmore Girls ("Knit, People, Knit!" - 2006)
Malcolm In The Middle ("Vegas" - 2003)
And in these movies:
Pitch Perfect 3 (2017)
Ricki And The Flash (2015)
Cats & Dogs: The Revenge of Kitty Galore (2010)