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A couple years ago I saw a picture of Halsey on tumblr before she had any hit songs and was really known by the public. I thought she was really unique looking because she had long blue hair and she was really pretty, so I went to find out more about her. When I looked into her more, the first two things I found was that her name is Ashley Frangipane and a youtube video of her singing ‘Colors’ in front of a small group of people. I instantly loved it and wanted to listen to it all the time but it wasn’t on itunes or spotify yet. I kept track of her progress until her first EP, Room 93, came out followed by her album Badlands and her most recent album, Hopeless Fountain Kingdom.

Since the first time I heard her, singing ‘Colors’ without any pressure from press or fame, to now being played on all the top radio stations and seeing her live twice, her reputation has never waivered and her songs have stayed powerful. What I admire about Halsey is that she is not afraid to be herself and stand up for what she believes in and every song on her two albums shows her character, struggle, and passion. She even admits in interviews that she doesn’t view herself as a good singer; she just wanted a way to get people to listen to her poems and feel the emotion of her words.

Halsey is an icon for feminism, LGBT, and self love. Her songs incorporate love stories about herself with men and women, and she always portrays herself as strong, not the victim. Some of my favorite songs that incorporate her sexuality are “Strangers” and “Bad Love” and also the song “100 Letters” is a story about her getting out of a bad relationship. All three of these are on her most recent album, Hopeless Fountain Kingdom. Halsey is very open about what she has been through, being a role model for girls across the world. She had a tough life growing up; she ended up dropping out of community college and at one point didn’t even have a home. Once fame took over, she started sharing stories about being bipolar, bisexual, and loving yourself to her audiences and even gave a speech about her experiences with sexual abuse at the New York City Women’s March.

Through all of this a lot of people still view Halsey has a typical pop star but when you dig a little deeper, she is so much more and has inspired so many people throughout her musical career.

Erin Janiga is a freshman at James Madison University.
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