Entertainment Music Pink Is 'Very Protective' of Britney Spears: 'I've Always Felt Like a Big Sister to Her' Pink looks back on her early friendship with Britney Spears — and their 2004 Pepsi Super Bowl commercial with Beyoncé By Jeff Nelson Jeff Nelson Instagram Twitter Jeff Nelson is the Senior News Editor, Entertainment at PEOPLE. For nearly a decade, he has worked across the brand's entertainment verticals, reporting on breaking news and writing and editing across platforms, as well as securing A-list cover exclusives, including Barry Manilow's coming out and an at-home interview with Madonna. Jeff has appeared as an expert on Good Morning America, Extra, HLN and SiriusXM, as well as at RuPaul's DragCon as a moderator. He studied magazine journalism at Drake University, graduating with a B.A. in Journalism & Mass Communication. People Editorial Guidelines Published on February 22, 2023 05:56 PM Share Tweet Pin Email Pink is reflecting on her early years of fame — and how she survived pop stardom. The singer believes she came out of the early aughts generally unscathed because of her experience navigating pre-fame growing pains. Raised in Doylestown, Pa., by divorced parents Jim, a Vietnam War veteran, and Judith, a nurse, she was a rebellious teen who got into drugs and was kicked out of the house before cleaning up her act at age 16 "I signed up for this life. I came into this world very resilient, very relentless, with a sick sense of humor, thick skin and a bleeding heart. So those f---ers couldn't mess with me. They had nothing on my mother or my teachers," says Pink, who just released her ninth album, Trustfall. "I lived a lot of lives before I changed my name to Pink." For more on Pink, pick up the new issue of PEOPLE, on newsstands everywhere Friday. Pink's March 6, 2023 PEOPLE cover. Kurt Iswarienko Pink 'Was Terrified I Would Be a Terrible Mother,' Says 'It's Shocking How Responsible I've Become' Pink's don't-mess-with-me disposition got her through the 2000s, an infamously difficult period for female pop stars like Britney Spears and Christina Aguilera, who routinely faced misogyny and the unforgiving lens of tabloid culture. "People think I was picking on Britney on [my 2001 single] 'Don't Let Me Get Me,' but I've always felt like a big sister to her," Pink says of Spears, who has been outspoken since the end of her conservatorship in November 2021 about the trauma she faced as a young woman in the industry. "I'm very protective of her, and she's the sweetest person in the world." L: Caption . PHOTO: Kurt Iswarienko C: Caption . PHOTO: Kurt Iswarienko R: Caption . PHOTO: Kurt Iswarienko Pink on Feeling 'Lonely' Grieving Her Late Dad: 'No One's Ever Going to Love Me Like That Again' While they're not in touch at the moment, Pink adds, "I wish her well. I cover her in light all day long." Watch the full episode of People Cover Story: Pink below Pink's love for Spears was solidified in 2004, when they shot their famous Pepsi Super Bowl commercial, in which they sang Queen's "We Will Rock You" with Beyoncé. Pink, Britney Spears, Beyoncé. "What a weird deal that was. What the hell? Like, 'What are we doing?' " she says of the experience. "Also, you're Pepsi. You're flying us to Rome to shoot in a fake coliseum down the street from the real Coliseum. Why are we here? We could have gone to Canada. I don't understand. That's Pepsi money. For a while, everything I saw that was really fancy, I was like, 'That's Pepsi money.' It was bizarre." Aside from forming a bond with Spears, Pink says her other takeaway from the shoot was her admiration for Beyoncé. Pink Responds After She's Accused of 'Shading' Christina Aguilera with 'Lady Marmalade' Comments "Beyoncé is the prettiest person you could ever stand in front of. She glows like a goddess. She's so f---ing talented, she's total pro — always has been — and always just the sweetest, gentlest person," Pink says. "So for her to be that sweet, and that gentle, and then that f---ing fierce on stage is insane."