Halsey shared an emotional story on Saturday when she spoke at the Ending Youth Homelessness: A Benefit for My Friend’s Place gala in Los Angeles, revealing that when she was living on the streets at 19 she considered prostitution to survive.
Back in 2016, the 24-year-old “Closer” singer told Rolling Stone that she wound up homeless when her parents kicked her out of their home when she quit community college.
“When I was living in New York, I was a teenager. My friends were picking out decorations for their dorms, and I was debating on whether or not I should let a stranger inside of me so I could pay for my next meal,” Halsey, 24, told the audience at the event, held at the Hollywood Palladium.
“It wasn’t because I did something bad. It wasn’t because something was wrong with me, and it wasn’t because my parents didn’t love me — because they did very much. But a series of unfortunate circumstances led me to be in that position, and it can happen to absolutely anyone,” she added.
Her fortune changed, she said, when she met Jeremy Vuernick of Capitol Music Group, who signed her to a record deal. “When I met him, I had crazy hair, I had one demo in my pocket and I was carrying a grey duffle bag. Sat down in his office, at his cubicle, and he asked me, ‘What’s in the bag?’ I looked him dead in the eyes and I said, ‘This is my house.'”
“I need you guys to realize that and while it’s very exciting that I am a record-selling, show-playing pop star, when I tell people that story, they go, ‘Oh my gosh, you went from being homeless to being a pop star, that’s amazing, we should help these people because we don’t know what they could become,'” she said. “Wrong. We shouldn’t help because we think there’s a chance that they could turn into a celebrity. We shouldn’t help because they could really make something of themselves — because they are something right now.”
She concluded: “I know better than anyone how important having a creative outlet is when you’re in a time of need, but this is so much bigger than arts and crafts. This is life or death, and I hope that you take it very, very seriously. I really do.”