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Halsey's 'Billboard' Cover Story: 9 Things We Learned

From her love of Kanye West to a more detailed, intimate look into her mental health history, here's everything to gleam from Hal's latest cover

1 / 9

She's aware of the conspiracy theorists

Miller Mobley for Billboard

“There are conspiracy theorists who think I was crafted in a boardroom,” Halsey told Billboard. “Because I’m so very relatable and so very topical and so very Tumblr.”

2 / 9

She considered her 'Today Show' performance with Justin Bieber to be a "fucking trainwreck"

“It was a fucking train wreck,” she explained. “You don’t know fear until it’s 7 a.m. and freezing cold on live television and you’re not sure if Justin Bieber is going to kiss you or not.”

3 / 9

Imagine Dragons say she's a "true artist"

Imagine Dragons perform onstage during the 2014 Billboard Music Awards at the MGM Grand Garden Arena on May 18, 2014 in Las V
Christopher Polk/Getty Images

Imagine Dragons frontman Dan Reynolds told the publication:

“She’s a true artist -- you can tell the moment you meet her...And she’s passionate about putting on a great show. There were nights when she would get offstage and be upset because she felt like she just didn’t give enough -- and those were nights when the crowd loved her.”

4 / 9

She's passionate about why she's voting for Bernie Sanders

ORANGEBURG, SOUTH CAROLINA-FEBRUARY 26: Bernie Sanders speaks at the annual Oyster Roast and Fish Fry in Orangeburg, SC. Behi
Lucian Perkins /for The Washington Post via Getty Images

She outlined her political platform with:

"I’m 21 years old and it’s kind of uncomfortable for me to talk about, but I’m in the 1 percent as far as my income and tax bracket. But now that I’m here, there’s no amount of money you can wave in front of my face that will make me understand depriving people of human rights. While I know people in the industry who want to vote for someone who will protect them financially, I’m looking for a person who will make sure my 17-year-old brother doesn’t get killed someday because he’s half-black. If that means I lose 50 percent of my income every year, so be it."

5 / 9

She went to a psychiatric ward after attempting suicide as a teen

Jatnna Nunez for Fuse

We know Halsey is very open about her bipolar disorder, but this is a new story:

“I had tried to kill myself. I was an adolescent; I didn’t know what I was doing. Because I was 17, I was still in a children’s ward. Which was terrifying. I was in there with 9-year-olds who had tried to kill themselves.”

6 / 9

Anthony Li of Action Item was the one to really push her into original songwriting

Anthony Li of Warped Tour band Action Item apparently was the one to tell Halsey to try writing her own stuff. The article reads:

"Li suggested that Halsey try her hand at more serious recording at a friend’s studio in New Jersey. “He was like, ‘You can write some songs for synch,’ ” she recalls. “I just wanted to make a quick couple of hundred dollars writing yogurt commercials.” She took the train out to New Jersey and in an hour knocked out the spare, icy single “Ghost.” Li encouraged her to come up with a name and without a lot of consideration she picked Halsey, both an anagram of Ashley and the name of her boyfriend’s Brooklyn subway stop. They put the song up on iTunes, and something magical happened -- stoked by her Internet fan base, the tune shot up the alternative chart overnight. By the following morning, A&R reps from “Republic, Atlantic, Island, RCA -- the whole major-label circuit based out of New York” wanted to talk development deals. Li quit his band and became her manager."

7 / 9

She hates fame and celebrity

PHILADELPHIA, PA - SEPTEMBER 06: Halsey performs onstage during the 2015 Budweiser Made in America Festival at Benjamin Frank
Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for Anheuser-Busch

She puts it simply: “In my camp we have a different F-word and C-word. ‘Fame’ and ‘celebrity.’ I hate them.” 

8 / 9

She loves Kanye West

NEW YORK, NY - FEBRUARY 11: Kanye West attends Kanye West Yeezy Season 3 at Madison Square Garden on February 11, 2016 in New
Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for Yeezy Season 3

She really admires the rapper, telling Billboard:

“I love Kanye West. I think he’s a visionary. He’s one of those people for whom I separate his personality from his artistry. But I also sympathize with him in a weird way, because being a musician is tough. If you were asked to talk about yourself for six hours a day you would probably go crazy, too! Which is why I give Kanye the benefit of the doubt. Being him must be exhausting.”

9 / 9

Performing keeps her alive

AUSTIN, TX - OCTOBER 04: Halsey performs during Austin City Limits Festival at Zilker Park on October 4, 2015 in Austin, Texa
Erika Goldring/FilmMagic

The article concludes with more classic Halsey honest. She says:

“I could be having the worst day of my life, hate my body, think I’m fat, think I suck, and as soon as I hear the first few notes of my intro, that all goes away. Everything that I hate about myself goes away when I walk onstage. That’s why I cling to it so much -- it keeps me from killing myself.”


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