What About Us
by Pink

Album: Beautiful Trauma (2017)
Charted: 3 13
Play Video

Songfacts®:

  • The lead single from Pink's Beautiful Trauma album, "What About Us" finds her addressing the politicians and decision makers, as she asks the poignant question, "What about us?"

    What about all the times you said you had the answers?
    What about us?
    What about all the broken happy ever afters?
    What about us?


    Pink bemoans the way those in authority have let down the common people.
  • Pink has done political songs before, notably "Dear Mr. President" in 2006. In that one, she made it clear who she was addressing, but "What About Us" doesn't mention anyone by name, although most listeners assume it's directed at Donald Trump. "I'm very political - I'm from a military family," she told Entertainment Weekly. "I believe in equality and inclusiveness and diversity and kindness and just generally not being a total douchebag."
  • Pink co-wrote the song with Snow Patrol guitarist Johnny McDaid and the track's producer, Steve Mac. McDaid and Mac also collaborated with Ed Sheeran on his smash hit single "Shape Of You."
  • Steve Mac's production employs a repetitive technique, which ties in with Pink's repeated questioning of "what about us?" Johnny McDaid explained to Billboard:

    "Steve really fought for the chord changes in the song to be almost like a mantra, you know, that they musically just repeat and repeat and repeat to give Alecia the stage to weave the melody into a place where it would soar into this incredible, epic celebration and the unity that comes from it.

    It's a fun thing to get challenged by the limitation like that, actually - those limitations end up increasing the heat and the fire of the song. And Alecia was not just not resistant to it, she was really excited by that: The repetition in the song, the idea that it would become almost like a heartbeat as it just got inside you and became integral when you listened to it. You didn't have to think. That was very important. And I love the question in the song; the fact that the song is a question, it's not an instruction. I think more questions, less answers, because all of us are looking for answers and we think that that's the end of everything and it's not. The questions are where the heat and energy is. We need to question more and I love that the song's premise is a question."
  • Pink told The Sun that she feels great about this song. She explained: "The world in general is a really scary place full of beautiful people. Humans are resilient and there's a lot of wonderful – like I said in the song – 'billions of beautiful hearts' and there are bad eggs in every group. And they make it really hard for the rest of us."
  • The song succeeded in getting onto the radio playlists contrary to what Pink's record label executives predicted. "When I came back, the record company sat me down and told me that once you are over 35 and a female popstar, radio probably won't play you. I'm so glad I proved them wrong. It's nice," the singer said on The Graham Norton Show.
  • This was nominated for Best Pop Solo Performance at the Grammy Awards in 2018, but lost to Ed Sheeran's "Shape Of You."
  • Pink performed this on the October 14, 2017 episode of Saturday Night Live.
  • In the music video, directed by Georgia Hudson (Ellie Goulding's "Love Me Like You Do"), Pink joins a diverse cast of disillusioned young people expressing their anguish through choreographed dance routines in the streets of a desolate city. Hudson said the numbers, choreographed by the GoldenBoyz, allowed the dancers to express their real-life frustrations with the political climate. She told Promonews her favorite sequence involved a powerful confrontation between a gay couple who work out their emotions through choreography.

    "It was absolutely electric filming it. The idea was to illustrate a condensed version of the course of a relationship. This scene was a loosely guided freestyle, and each time it grew in intensity," she recalled. "We wanted to set a space and a story for them to be animalistic in, for this to be raw and unexpected, for their guts to spill, it was absolutely f---ing insane. We had a helicopter flying overhead to light them from a spotlight, this track booming like a monster against downtown LA night, gunshots (unconnected!) going off from the neighborhood, our steadicam op Bryan Freesh behaving like a hypnotized snake, a total acid energy."
  • According to Hudson, the scene in the video when Pink and her dancers perform a routine in the desert was based on a dream the singer had.
  • This was Pink's second album (following The Truth About Love) to debut at #1 in the US. It also smashed her personal record for biggest first-week sales, with 408,000 copies sold compared to her previous album's opening week of 280,000.
  • Pink performed this song on the last episode of The Ellen DeGeneres Show, which aired May 26, 2022. Ellen is a huge Pink fan and requested the song, as it's her favorite. Pink wrote and sang "Today's The Day," which was used as the theme song for the show its last seven seasons.

Comments: 12

  • Daniel Odonnell from Morecambe UkLove “what about us”!! Great running song as well!! She’s an awesome individual in every sense
  • AnonymousWhat about us was written before Trump’s presidency so if anything it is about Obama and his broken promises!
  • Mike from UkThere is nothing wrong with anything she does. I am of the "older generation" and can still connect with everything she is trying to say (and with her attitude - does say).
    Glenn from the UK - need to broaden your horizons and tastes somewhat. She will of course always sound the same as its the same person. If she has something that works and puts her message across - why change it? No need to re-invent the wheel mate
  • Unknown I love pinks personality the song What About Us is one of my favorite songs from her, she is inspirational to me I have been through so much in my life lots of struggle like today one of my loved ones went crazy on me had no idea that was going to happen they apologized twice but still I know why they yelled some mean words to my face is because they were cranky those words that were yelled hurt me quite a bit it’s going to take time for me forgive them I am used to getting my feelings hurt from this loved one but it’s been a while since they have yelled mean words at my face I am glad they realized what they did was wrong I still love them no matter what
  • Anonymous from MatayusI really love this song. I pray that God will continue giving her wisdom and strength.
  • Gypsy from Lynden When I listen to “What about Us” I think maybe she is asking God the question
  • RoboShane Newman needs to do more research as his information is incomplete. The song was released in October 2017 whereas Trump was elected as the president in January 2017.
  • Shane Newman from Singer PinkHello singer pink your music help me in my life because ex best frined was cheats on me
    walk me home that song make me feeling good INSDE
    my favtore female arist my postin your role model
  • Anna Phylaxis from NynyThis song came out in August 2017 and was written before Trump took office...so during the Obama administration. Therefore, this song was not about Trump. When Pink asks the question "What about us?" she follows with "we don't want control, we want to let go." Giving your freedom and "control" to the government and the Nanny State will only lead to heartache and deprivation. The framers of the Constitution knew that very well, but so many still haven't figured that out. Again, this was written during Obama's administration. That is a fact. What one draws from that fact is their answer to the question "What about us?" Live and learn.
  • Ellie from EssexGlenn from UK? For starters don't be ass, P!nk is one of the most famous singer/songwriters of this generation. Her music reflects on real world issues, and if you don't like it don't comment as people who read this article are genuinely interested in knowing more about Pink. Piss off back into your igloo if you don't like it and stop shoving your opinion onto other people
  • Antonietta from Barcelona@Glenn from Uk. I suppose it's your opinion that does is not the "absolute truth" but only a personal perception of the facts.
  • Glenn from UkAnother awful song by Pink. I looked up the top rated worst female singers of all time. Of course Yoko Ono was at the very top, but there was no sign of Pink. She most certainly deserved a place on that list. Every single one of her songs sounds exactly the same and with absolutely no variance. Being creative means that you evolve and develop over a period of time. Not with Pink. She still has that dreary, mind numbing voice. Pink obviously is NOT creative and does not possess the ability to experiment. The iconic Linda Perry (4 Non Blondes) made a huge mistake in collaborating with Pink. Someone should have warned her, "Stay well clear of Pink. She toxic and boring. She murder any song you write for her."
see more comments

Editor's Picks

Macabre Mother Goose: The Dark Side of Children's Songs

Macabre Mother Goose: The Dark Side of Children's SongsSong Writing

"London Bridge," "Ring Around the Rosie" and "It's Raining, It's Pouring" are just a few examples of shockingly morbid children's songs.

Jon Anderson of Yes

Jon Anderson of YesSongwriter Interviews

From the lake in "Roundabout" to Sister Bluebird in "Starship Trooper," Jon Anderson talks about how nature and spirituality play into his lyrics for Yes.

Dave Alvin - "4th Of July"

Dave Alvin - "4th Of July"They're Playing My Song

When Dave recorded the first version of the song with his group the Blasters, producer Nick Lowe gave him some life-changing advice.

Bass Player Scott Edwards

Bass Player Scott EdwardsSong Writing

Scott was Stevie Wonder's bass player before becoming a top session player. Hits he played on include "I Will Survive," "Being With You" and "Sara Smile."

David Sancious

David SanciousSongwriter Interviews

Keyboard great David Sancious talks about his work with Sting, Seal, Springsteen, Clapton and Aretha, and explains what quantum physics has to do with making music.

Leslie West of Mountain

Leslie West of MountainSongwriter Interviews

From the cowbell on "Mississippi Queen" to recording with The Who when they got the wrong Felix, stories from one of rock's master craftsmen.