What should’ve been the second coming of “the roaring 20s” has instead mostly been “the cacophonous burrito of hesitant coughing and crying 20s” as it seems like life continues to get more complicated and disappointing for many of us, and our best and brightest dropping like flies has been one of the common plights of this era. It’s been tough to keep track of who died when since 2020-2022 has seemed like one long-ass year of grief, but it was only this past August that we lost one of the greats, Olivia Newton-John, who had bravely battled breast cancer for decades. And last night, the American Music Awards took a three-minute break from enthusiastically lapping at Taylor Swift’s b-hole so Pink could sing one of Olivia’s most loved songs, “Hopelessly Devoted To You,” in her honor.
According to Billboard (thank got it wasn’t that irrelevant rag Rolling Stone that Pink hates), Pink opened “that other music award show that isn’t the Grammys” by performing a single from her new album before coming out again mid-show to perform Olivia’s song to give everyone a chance to reminisce about the first time they laid their eyes upon the flawless Sandy in the musical masterpiece, Grease (ONLY the original, thankyouverymuch).
Wearing an elegant, sparkly dress rife with feathers, P!nk glided through “Hopelessly Devoted to You” and struck a different tone than her first performance of the evening, when she roller skated to her new single “Never Gonna Not Dance Again.” During the tribute, P!nk kept things simple, standing center stage and belting out the classic song as photos of Newton-John were shown on the big screen and fans swayed their arms behind her.
Newton-John passed away in August at the age of 73, leaving behind a pop legacy that included five No. 1 hits on the Hot 100 chart. “Hopelessly Devoted to You” peaked at No. 3 and was one of four top 10 smashes from 1978’s Grease, also earning an Oscar nomination for best original song.
Here’s Pink’s appropriately restrained performance, completely devoid of any trapezes:
And she posted on her Instagram after the performance to thank her fans and the AMAs:
And here’s some of Pink’s show-opener, where she proved that her hip healed and she’s still got it when it comes to performance stunts:
Olivia deserved a proper sendoff after all that she’s contributed to pop culture; without her, none of us would’ve ever channeled our inner “Bad Sandy” that one year in middle school we asked for a leather jacket and only wore it twice before hitting our “wearing leather is cruel” period and switching over to our Let’s Get Physical brightly colored spandex and scrunchy sock phase.