Justin Timberlake doesn’t mess around when it comes to his friends. The singer came to fellow artist Pink’s defense this weekend after she caught major flak for being spotted on an Australian beach the day after a canceled tour stop. And, in having Pink’s back, JT made some pretty salient points about the culture of celebrity fandom.
Trouble began brewing for Pink on Thursday, when she announced she would have to postpone a concert in Sydney, Australia, that was part of her Beautiful Trauma world tour. The “What About Us” singer cited illness for the unexpected cancellation, explaining that she would need time to recuperate.
Hi my Sydney friends. It is with great frustration that I bring you this news:( Friday’s show will be postponed. I was hoping a couple of days of rest would help me kick this sick, but not at the speed I was hoping for. I appreciate your well wishes and understanding + I’m sorry.
— P!nk (@Pink) August 2, 2018
When local headlines put her “chilling” at Byron Bay in Australia on Friday — the day of the canceled tour date — tabloids accused the pop star of essentially phoning in an excuse so she could soak up some sun.
Of course, there are always two sides to every story. Pink shared hers in response to the swift backlash, clarifying that what the paparazzi pics don’t show is “two doctor visits in Byron on two consecutive days, antibiotics, steroids, Vick’s, nose spray, throat spray, more steroids, NyQuil, a screaming baby in the middle of the night, every night, while mama gives him warm baths and tells her daughter everything is fine.”
She went on to stress that she takes her responsibility to her fans very seriously and that she performs and mothers with everything she has — or, in her words, “trying to do what was best for my children, while also putting on the best and most physically demanding and beautiful show of my life.” The Byron Bay outing had been a planned excursion, “a way to get outside the hotel and the winter and have some time with my children,” Pink wrote.
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I don’t need to clear this up, but out of respect for my fans I will attempt it. I scheduled this tour meticulously, trying to do what was best for my children, while also putting on the best and most physically demanding and beautiful show of my life. This break in Byron has been scheduled since 2017, as a way to get outside the hotel and the winter and have some time with my children. I’ve already been sick twice (kids as well)on this Australian tour, but the first time we got sick, I was able to push through. This time, what these parasite paparazzi don’t show you, is two doctor visits in Byron on two consecutive days, antibiotics, steroids, Vick’s, nose spray, throat spray, more steroids, NyQuil, a screaming baby in the middle of the night, every night, while mama gives him warm baths and tells her daughter everything is fine. You can think whatever you want, it’s your right, but I have never taken advantage of any one in my entire life. I have never fucked off while disrespecting hard working people who spend money to come see me play. I have never phoned in a single tour, I have an impeccable record for not cancelling. I mother with everything I have whilst handling all the rest. The snark in this is unbelievable and makes me long for a nicer world. I’m doing the absolute best I can, and you can believe it or not. What they don’t show you in this picture is me drinking water and lying down while my friends try to entertain my 7 year old who is asking me why these creepy men are surrounding us and pacing back and forth and taking pictures of her every move. I will see everyone tomorrow whether I’m better or not, and the postponed show will be rescheduled. As I said, I’m sorry to the real fans who this situation has affected. Onwards and upwards.
Enter Timberlake, who is currently on his own Man of the Woods tour in Europe. In short, JT just wasn’t having it. The singer replied to Pink’s post, adding a bit of thoughtful commentary on the entire ordeal.
“As an artist who has had the fortune of sharing the stage twice on tour with this incomparable BADASS (once with 'NSync and once as a solo artist), I’m here to tell you that you won’t find a harder working, more authentically talented, and more thankful for her place on that stage and her fans than this woman,” Timberlake said.
The situation resonated with Timberlake on a personal level, too. “And NOW,” he added, “as a parent on our tour as well, and as an artist who LOVES their fans just as much and wants to give them an unprecedented experience… AND is currently battling an injury, a sinus infection, and trying to be the Dad I want to be too?? I say HATS OFF to you, my friend. I don’t know how Moms/Artists like you exist."
And, well, he’s got a point. Do celebrities lead glamorous lifestyles? Sometimes, sure. But as any parent will tell you, there’s nothing glamorous about tending to your entire family when you aren’t feeling your best — and it’s even tougher when your kids are sick as well.
We say kudos to Pink for wanting to give her fans the best possible show and for realizing there was no way for her to do that given her current circumstances.