Being a pop star isn’t just about making massive dance hits anymore, and it’s certainly not the reality for 25-year-old Halsey who is always more than ready to speak about causes she’s passionate about by using her platform to advocate for what’s right, opening up about her own experiences and struggles, and setting the standard for her peers. Here’s five
She’s an open activist
Halsey has always been bold about her stance on what others see as controversial issues that celebrities often shy away from, and that’s because it’s part of who she is & goes hand in hand with her career as a musician. Speaking to Billboard late last year Halsey divulged, “I go to bed and wake up thinking the same thing: thinking about how I can change the world. Hopefully, I never lose that.”
What’s more, she took the time to study the bar while she wasn’t touring to have the tools to fight harder for human rights.
It’s not without its challenges though, and she worries that being so outspoken can push people away. “It’s hard to figure out when being an activist deflects attention from my art,” she stressed. “Sometimes when you’re the centre of ‘having something to say’ you start losing your agency. People don’t wanna hear it.”
She’s candid about her mental health struggles
— h (@halsey) October 10, 2018
Ever since her rise to fame in 2015, Halsey has been open about dealing with bipolar and depression, almost ending her own life when she was 17. By speaking out about the highs and lows of having turbulent mental health and how her mental health is depicted in the media, it’s united her fans and made those going through similar experiences feel less alone. Her most recent album Manic takes a deep dive on this, as heard on the title track ‘Ashley’.
She’s empowering women around the world by fighting misogyny
After the 2017’s Women’s March she donated $100,000 to Planned Parenthood from her personal AMEX card. She’s also teamed up with ACLU (American Civil Liberties Union) to fight for abortion rights.
— h (@halsey) January 21, 2017
At 2018’s Women’s March, she delivered the heart-wrenching poem ‘A Story like Mine’ about her experiences of sexual harassment that was so compassionate, angry and honest that it made the news worldwide. Halsey reminded listeners that her story is just one of many and that equality is still a battle that needs to be won.
— h (@halsey) January 20, 2018
That same year in November Halsey gave another moving speech at the Glamour Women of the Year Awards that reminded women to be inconvenient, and that their inherent “inconvenience” is what makes them great. “I’m here to say that I’m not sorry. For being…inconvenient. You were not put on this earth to make everybody else’s life easier. So please, be inconvenient”.
Her 2019 hit ‘Nightmare’ is all about her anger as a woman in the music industry, revealing ‘Female rage is a tight subject for me right now. I’m interested in Female everything right now”. By tackling these rarely discussed experiences Halsey is serving as a role model for fans and women alike around the world.
She has always advocated and spoke up for the LGBTQ+ Community
As a bisexual woman, Halsey is constantly trying to uplift and represent the LGBTQ community.
In 2017’s Pride Month she wrote a touching love letter to the LGBTQ community detailing her love and respect for them, closing with “Our beauty is in every corner of the world. In the fabric of our past. In the glimmer of our vibrant future. We are beautiful”.
Her work for the community was recognised when she won the 2018 GLAAD Media Award. In her acceptance speech, Halsey revealed how she intentionally includes her queer experiences and relationships in her lyrics.
“I’m a young bisexual woman, and I’ve spent a large part of my life trying to validate myself — to my friends, to my family, to myself — trying to prove that who I love and how I feel is not a phase; it’s not part of some confusion that’s going to change or could be manipulated. So I tried really hard to find the courage this year to write female pronouns into my music,” Halsey explained.
Her LGBTQ support also comes through in her music. A star of her sophomore album Hopeless Fountain Kingdom was ‘Strangers’, a bisexual love story featuring fellow bi artist Lauren Jauregui. “I just love that Lauren and I are two women who have a mainstream pop presence doing a love song for the LGBTQ community,” Halsey shared.
Went to the George Floyd LA Protests & Offered Medical Assistance
Most recently, Halsey had made waves when she joined the LA protests and shared with her 16 million Instagram followers the extent of the violence occurring at the hands of police against peaceful protestors, detailing in her caption “This is happening everywhere. And innocent people exercising their rights to speech and assembly are facing violence and abuse of power.”
Ex-boyfriend Yung Blud took to Twitter to praise her brave actions from June 1st.
i need to say @halsey u were incredible today. u acted fearlessly and selflessly. u were so brave and inspirational. when innocent people were unlawfully wounded, u were there with a medical kit bandaging them up. u didn’t think about yourself for one moment. i am proud to know u
— YUNGBLUD (@yungblud) June 1, 2020
Halsey herself is biracial with a white mother and a black father and has discussed her identity struggles openly, a complex issue especially as she’s ‘white-passing’ – ‘I look like a white girl, but I don’t feel like one. I’m a black woman,’ she told Playboy in 2017. ‘It’s been weird navigating that.’
Through a variety of actions, Halsey remains dedicated to making the world a safer and more accepting place for all. As Halsey continues to create her art and do her work as an activist, she serves as an inspiring reminder that we can make a difference, and that those with platforms can and should utilise them in these turbulent times. With her bold actions boosting her forward, Halsey is setting the new standard for the modern pop star.