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NME Festival blog: Watch Halsey deliver powerful and moving speech at New York Women’s March 2018

Halsey delivered a powerful and moving speech at the Women’s March 2018 in New York today (January 20).

The inaugural Women’s March was held in cities across the US and around the world on January 21, 2017 – the day after Donald Trump was inaugurated as the President of the United States. The protest was designed to advocate for women’s rights, healthcare reform, reproductive rights, LGBTQ rights, racial equality, and more.

Addressing the crowd in New York this afternoon, Halsey said the event was her second march. “I was in DC last year and I came back to do a speech this time, but I don’t really know how to do a speech unless it rhymes, so I’m going to do a little poem for you guys,” she said.

The singer then recited a poem she had written called A Story In Time, that opened with her recalling going to Planned Parenthood with a friend who had been raped as a teenager, and moved on to discuss further instances of sexual assault she had experienced later in life. The piece also reflected feelings of confusion and unease in situations with men she thought she could trust.

In it, she also spoke about a miscarriage she suffered while on tour. “I believe I’m protected cos I live on a screen/Nobody would dare act that way around me,” she rhymed. “I’ve earned my protection, eternally clean.

“Until a man that I trust gets his hands in my pants/But I don’t want none of that, I just wanted to dance/And I walk up the next morning like I’m in a trance/And there’s blood – is that my blood?”

She continued: “I’ve worked every day since I was 18/I’ve toured everywhere from Japan to Mar-a-Lago/I even went on stage that night in Chicago/When I was having a miscarriage.

“I pied the piper, I put on a diaper/And sang out my spleen to a room full of teens/What do you mean this happened to me?”

Halsey Women's March

Halsey on stage in New York in 2017

“This was really hard for me to do, but I’m glad I did it,” she wrote on Twitter after the march. “Thank you guys. This is why we rally.” You can watch her full speech above. 

Earlier this month, Halsey hit out at Firefly Music Festival for not featuring more female acts on their line-up.

“Damn guys come onnnnnn,” she wrote. “Where the women at? This was one of my favorite festivals I’ve ever played and it’s a shame there’s not more females on the bill. With the exception of (the amazing) SZA, the first like 20 acts on the bill are men. It’s 2018, do better!”


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