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Glitter in the Air

"Glitter in the Air" is a song by American recording artist Pink from her fifth studio album, Funhouse. In 2010, it was released as the sixth single in North America, the only place of its release. Written by Pink and Billy Mann and Michele Mears, the song is a pop ballad with a soft piano accompaniment. Its lyrics talk about the power of love and taking a leap in faith, while using various metaphors. "Glitter in the Air" received mixed reviews from contemporary critics: some named it the best vocal performance of Funhouse, while others criticized it for being a cliché ballad.

"Glitter in the Air"
A blond female performer wearing a top hat, standing in front of carnival posters holding a microphone, miming a vocal performance.
Single by Pink
from the album Funhouse
ReleasedJanuary 31, 2010
FormatDigital download
Producer(s)Billy Mann
Pink singles chronology
"I Don't Believe You"
"Glitter in the Air"
"Raise Your Glass"
Alternative cover
Cover art for the live version at the 52nd Grammy Awards
Cover art for the live version at the 52nd Grammy Awards

"Glitter in the Air" debuted at number 18 and 13 in the United States and Canada, respectively. In the United States, the song marked the first time Pink had five singles from one album chart on the Billboard Hot 100. The song was notably performed by Pink as part of her 2009 Funhouse Tour with her wearing a bodysuit and doing acrobatics using aerial tissue. A similar version of this performance was done at the 2010 Grammy Awards, where her performance received a standing ovation and was critically praised by media outlets. A similar version of these performances was also performed on The Truth About Love Tour.

Background and compositionEdit

"Glitter in the Air" is a pop ballad, co-written by Pink while produced by frequent collaborator Billy Mann.[1] The song is musically similar to another ballad from Funhouse, "I Don't Believe You", as both contain a soft piano and string accompaniment.[2] According to the sheet music published at by EMI Music Publishing, "Glitter in the Air" is composed in the key of F major, with a tempo of 100 beats per minute. Pink's vocal range spans from the high-tone of B♭4 to the low-tone of F3.[3] Nekesa Mumbi Moody of the Associated Press commented that although the song did not display the power of Pink vocals, "her voice is still potent, full of hurt and confusion that anyone can feel".[4] The song's lyrics talk about the power of love and taking a leap in faith.[4] Evan Sawdey of PopMatters said the song "reflect[s] on life's simple joys and simply savor[es] them just for what they are".[5]

Critical receptionEdit

Evan Sawdey of PopMatters said, "Of all the ballads, though, the quiet piano closer 'Glitter in the Air' takes the cake, never once overplaying its hand, remaining sweet without once ever succumbing to saccharine niceties (think of a Jason Robert Brown song without the vocal showboating). It's the sweetest moment on the entire disc, but it only succeeds because it's also the least complex song here".[5] Craig Emonds of The South End stated that while "every song has potential to do well and is quite likable, [...] Pink's vocals are strong and shine particularly in the ballad 'Glitter In The Air'."[6] Nekesa Mumbi Moodoy of the Associated Press said that "What makes the song so moving is that despite all of the heartache, she doesn't appear gun-shy about taking the leap again".[4]

Justin Pacheco of The Good 5 Cent Cigar compared it to "I Don't Believe You", saying, "[it] exemplifies the sappy ballad [...] and would not seem out of place being sung by any other big pop singer. 'Glitter in the Air' is another big pop ballad along the same the same lines".[2] Patrick Ferrucci of the New Haven Register commented in the album review that "She does get a little wishy-washy though, going from tunes like 'Mean' and 'It's All Your Fault' to 'Please Don't Leave Me' and 'Glitter in the Air'". He also added that the high points of Funhouse were the four tracks produced by Max Martin.[7] Jonathan Keefe of Slant Magazine stated that one of the biggest problems in Funhouse was its songwriting, saying, "'Glitter in the Air,' with its emo-esque "You called me sugar" bridge, is overwrought with its clichéd imagery".[8]

Chart performanceEdit

"Glitter in the Air" impacted radio as a new single by her record label, minutes after her performance at the Grammy Awards.[9] On February 11, 2010, the song debuted at No. 18 on the Billboard Hot 100, with sales over 114,000 units. It became her fifth charting single from Funhouse in the United States, the most charting singles from one of her albums.[9] The same week, it debuted at No. 13 on the Canadian Hot 100.[10] The song also received significant airplay on U.S. adult radio, peaking at No. 8 on the Adult Top 40 chart, her fourth top-ten hit from the album on that chart.[11]

Live performancesEdit

Pink performing "Glitter in the Air" at her The Truth About Love Tour, similar to her 52nd Grammy Awards performance.

"Glitter in the Air" was performed by Pink on her 2009 Funhouse Tour. After the first encore of the tour–"Get the Party Started" from Missundaztood–Pink returned to the stage wearing a black robe, as glitter fell from the ceiling. Pink would begin singing while walking to the center of the runway extension of the stage. There, she took off the robe to reveal a white leotard and joined three female acrobats covered in glitter on suspension rigging which then lifted into the air. Pink continued through the song, twirling in suspended fabric above the audience.[12] Underneath her, the acrobats performed, according to Jon Pareles of The New York Times, "slow-motion, geometric Cirque du Soleil poses". The apparatus dropped her into a tank of water and lifted her again to the air, before descending her at the end of the performance.[13] Michael Menachem of Billboard commented, "When Pink finally touched down, she continued singing with bombast, as though the entire spectacle had been no sweat. If the rest of the show hadn't already made the case that Pink has one of the best pop-rock voices—and the most brazen moves—of her generation of stars, this final moment certainly did".[14]

On January 31, 2010, Pink performed the song at the 52nd Grammy Awards in a similar fashion. She began the performance walking out in a white silk robe, standing in front of a backdrop of electric blue screens. She descenced into the aisle and took off the robe to reveal the bodysuit. After being lifted from the tank of water, Pink kept twirling and spreading water into all directions, before finally descending to the main stage. The audience greeted her with a standing ovation.[15] The performance was deemed by various media outlets as the best of the ceremony.[16] Glenn Gamboa of Newsday commented, "With her stunning Grammy performance of 'Glitter in the Air,' Pink proved that you don’t have to be shocking or over-the-top to be the best or the most-talked-about. You just have to be amazing."[17] It was also voted on a readers' poll in as the best performance of the night. Staff reporter Kyle Anderson said "It's easy to see why, as her acrobatic performance of 'Glitter in the Air' was not only visually gorgeous, but also technically impressive — she was able to keep singing even as she was spinning around in the air".[18] Pink later explained she had almost fallen during the song, saying, "When I do it on tour, I don't have lights above me. There were lights above me, so it almost went into a strobe thing, and I actually did get a little turned around. I thought... I was going to fall on my nude butt. But I worked it out."[19] In 2013, Brad Wete for Billboard ranked the performance as the best performance at the Grammy Awards from 2000 to 2012, commenting it "graceful, show-stopping performance of aerial, acrobatic and vocal brilliance."[20]

Appearances in other mediaEdit

Track listingEdit


Release historyEdit

Region Date Format
United States[30] January 31, 2010 Airplay
United States February 1, 2010 Digital download - Live At the 52nd Annual Grammy Awards[31]
United States June 15, 2010 Digital download[33]


Region Certification Certified units/sales
United States (RIAA)[35] N/A 699,000[34]

*sales figures based on certification alone
^shipments figures based on certification alone


  1. ^ Funhouse liner notes. LaFace Records (2008)
  2. ^ a b Pacheco, Justin (2010-05-30). "Pink's "Funhouse" isn't all that fun, not really rock star". The Good 5 Cent Cigar. University of Rhode Island. Retrieved 2008-10-28.[permanent dead link]
  3. ^ "Digital Sheet Music – Pink Glitter in the Air". EMI Music Publishing. Missing or empty |url= (help)
  4. ^ a b c Mumbi Moody, Nekesa (2010-05-30). "Pink's potent on new CD". Erie Times-News. Rosanne Cheeseman. Retrieved 2008-11-03.
  5. ^ a b Sawdey, Evan (2010-05-30). "Pink: Funhouse". PopMatters. Sarah Zupko. Retrieved 2008-11-05.
  6. ^ Emonds, Craig (2010-05-30). "Pink less "fun", more emotional". The South End. Wayne State University. Retrieved 2008-10-29.[dead link]
  7. ^ Ferrucci, Patrick (2010-05-30). "Pink, Snow Patrol, Toby Keith and Of Montreal drop records". New Haven Register. Journal Register Company. Archived from the original on 2012-03-27. Retrieved 2008-10-31.
  8. ^ Keefe, Jonathan (2010-05-30). "Pink : Funhouse Music Review Slant Magazine". Slant Magazine. Keith Uhlich. Retrieved 2008-10-26.
  9. ^ a b Pietroluongo, Silvio (2010-05-30). "Ke$ha Holds Atop Hot 100, Pink Glows with 'Glitter'". Billboard. Nielsen Company. Retrieved 2010-02-11.
  10. ^ "P!nk Album & Song Chart History". Billboard. Nielsen Company. 2010-05-30.
  11. ^
  12. ^ Joskowitz, Lauren (2010-05-30). "Pink Brings Her Sexy Funhouse Spectacle To Madison Square Garden". MTV. MTV Networks. Retrieved 2009-10-06.
  13. ^ Pareles, Jon (2010-05-30). "Music Review Pink Step Right Up". The New York Times. The New York Times Company. Retrieved 2009-10-06.
  14. ^ Menachem, Michael (2010-05-30). "Pink / October 5, 2009 / New York (Madison Square Garden)". Billboard. Nielsen Company. Retrieved 2009-10-27.
  15. ^ Ditzian, Eric (2010-05-30). "Pink Soars During 'Glitter In The Air' Grammy Performance". MTV. MTV Networks. Retrieved 2010-01-31.
  16. ^ Jones, Anthony (2010-05-30). "Pink's "Glitter In The Air" Soars Into iTunes Top 10". All Headline News. Retrieved 2010-02-01.[permanent dead link]
  17. ^ Gamboa, Glenn (2010-05-30). "Grammys '10: In praise of Pink's Grammy performance". Newsday. Cablevision. Retrieved 2010-02-01.
  18. ^ Anderson, Kyle (2010-05-30). "Pink Had The Best Grammy Performance, Readers Say". MTV. MTV Networks. Retrieved 2010-02-01.
  19. ^ Showbiz, Bang (2010-05-30). "Pink had Grammy fall fear". The Boston Globe. The New York Times Company. Retrieved 2010-02-01.
  20. ^ Wete, Brad (2013-02-08). "10 Best Grammy Performances, 2000-2012". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved 2013-07-20.
  21. ^ "Digital download – "Glitter in the Air"". iTunes. Retrieved 2010-05-30.
  22. ^ "Digital download – "Glitter in the Air (Live At the 52nd Annual Grammy Awards)"". iTunes. Retrieved 2010-05-30.
  23. ^ "Glitter In the Air - Single by P!nk - Download Glitter In the Air - Single on iTunes". iTunes. Retrieved 2010-06-16.
  24. ^ "Pnk Chart History (Canadian Hot 100)". Billboard.
  25. ^ "Pnk Chart History (Hot 100)". Billboard.
  26. ^ "Pnk Chart History (Adult Contemporary)". Billboard.
  27. ^ "Pnk Chart History (Adult Pop Songs)". Billboard.
  28. ^ "Adult Contemporary Songs – Year-End 2010". Billboard. Retrieved September 15, 2019.
  29. ^ "Adult Pop Songs – Year-End 2010". Billboard. Retrieved September 15, 2019.
  30. ^
  31. ^ "Glitter In the Air (Live At the 52nd Annual Grammy Awards) - Single by P!nk - Download Glitter In the Air (Live At the 52nd Annual Grammy Awards) - Single on iTunes". 2010-02-01. Retrieved 2011-08-14.
  32. ^ "Glitter In the Air (Live At the 52nd Annual Grammy Awards) - Single by P!nk - Download Glitter In the Air (Live At the 52nd Annual Grammy Awards) - Single on iTunes". 2010-02-01. Retrieved 2011-08-14.
  33. ^ "Glitter In the Air - Single by P!nk - Download Glitter In the Air - Single on iTunes". 2010-06-15. Retrieved 2011-08-14.
  34. ^ "Pink's latest greatest hit". Billboard. 2 October 2010.
  35. ^ "American single certifications – Pink – Glitter in the air". Recording Industry Association of America. Retrieved 12 April 2018. If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Single, then click SEARCH. 

External linksEdit