If anyone can quote “rags to riches” it’s Halsey. Before living life in the fast lane, the 24-year-old was a homeless teen who once considered prostitution as a way to make ends meet. On April 6, while delivering an emotional speech at the Ending Youth Homelessness: A benefit for My Friend’s Place, an L.A. based non-profit and homeless youth center, the singer opened up about her own experience of living on the streets. “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.”
“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,” she added. “But a series of unfortunate circumstances led me to be in that position, and it can happen to absolutely anyone.”
Halsey, whose real name is Ashley Frangipane, was kicked out of her parents’ home after dropping out of community college. The Billboard Music Award winner had her life changed for the better when Capitol Music Group’s Jeremy Vuernick gave her a record deal — when life was at an extreme low. “I was homeless in New York. I had crazy hair, I had one demo in my pocket and I was carrying a gray duffel bag …,” she shared. “He asked, ‘What’s in the bag?’ I looked at him and said, ‘This is my house,” the Grammy nominee recalls.
The “Bad at Love” singer, however, does not want her story to be the reason that people give back to the homeless community. Halsey went on to explain that people shouldn’t want to help the less fortunate solely because there is a chance that they may one day become famous. “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!’”
The musician continued “Wrong! We shouldn’t help because we think there’s a chance they could turn into a celebrity. We shouldn’t help because they could really make something of themselves because they are something right now!”
The “Closer” singer concluded her speech by announcing that she is rewarding the non-profit employees for all of there hard work and dedication. “I’m treating every My Friend’s Place employee to a spa day! To rejuvenate their minds, bodies, and soul(s), because I know how difficult it can be to give so much of yourself away every day.”
This is most definitely not the first time Halsey has given back to a foundation close to her heart. In January 2017, the singer donated $100,000 to Planned Parenthood, an organization she credits for helping her receive the diagnoses of “endometriosis“ — a disease that has “put her body through hell.” Halsey, we are so proud of you.
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