Halsey’s Hard Rock concerts aid LGBTQ+ organizations, set standard for future

In honor of Pride Month, Grammy-nominated singer Halsey collaborated with Hard Rock International to house three live string-ensemble shows at Hard Rock Live venues across the country. The concert series – which began June 24 in Hollywood, Florida and ended on Sunday in Wheatland, California – benefited LGBTQ+ organizations, including Outright International and the Human Rights Campaign via the Hard Rock Heals Foundation.

“Through this collaboration, there’s $250,000 going to Outright International and the Human Rights Campaign all through Hard Rock Heals, which is pretty unbelievable,” Halsey said at the partnership launch in London on June 3. “Having this come together in this way is just like … on my soul feels really good.”

Memorabilia donated by Halsey in Hollywood ahead of her collaboration with Hard Rock. (Keilyn Quintero/Caplin News)

The 28-year-old pop singer also donated memorabilia to Hard Rock ahead of the shows. In Hollywood, she donated an outfit she wore on stage during the Hopeless Fountain Kingdom Tour, a hand-painted tapestry and a signed guitar. She has also designed two Hard Rock x Halsey T-shirts as part of the 2023 Pride Retail Collection which can be purchased in stores and online. A portion of the proceeds from the T-shirt collection are also being donated to LGBTQ+ organizations.

Accustomed to her usual high-energy shows, fans in South Florida were blown away by the first performance of the mini concert series on June 24 at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Hollywood where Halsey performed an entire string-arranged set – something she’s never done before. In a time where many artists are afraid to speak up on important issues, both fans and the benefiting organizations share enthusiasm for Halsey’s partnership with Hard Rock to aid the LGBTQ+ community and induce positive change.

A sign outside the venue in Hollywood explaining which LGBTQ+ organizations will be receiving proceeds from the partnership. (Keilyn Quintero/Caplin News)

One organization, Outright International, is dedicated to strengthening the LGBTQ+ human rights movement across the globe. One of their main goals is to ensure that those voices are heard and to initiate change and progress in those communities. The organization expressed its gratefulness for the Hard Rock x Halsey partnership.

“There’s an immeasurable impact on the LGBTQ+ community from support like this,” said a spokesperson for Outright International. “Halsey is widely welcomed at Outright. Staff and leadership have shown great enthusiasm towards the partnership because it gives our work extra mileage to reach everyone that needs it.”

However, Halsey’s fans and members of Outright International share one concern: LGBTQ+ organizations don’t receive enough funds. They mention that there’s a desperate need for this kind of support to the LGBT+ community and are pleased with the collaboration. According to Outright International, from 2015 to 2019 LGBTQ+ organizations only received 0.13% of philanthropic support.

“This movement is grossly underfunded,” said Elise Colomer-Cheadle, director of development for Outright International. “While we are seeing positive growth patterns, the resources pale in terms of the need.”

Halsey is known for being an advocate for minority groups — especially the LGBTQ+ community. Her loyal fanbase expresses gratitude towards her for using her large platform time and time again to raise awareness on a variety of social issues whenever possible.

Nina Jacobs, 24, a concert-attendee who became a fan in 2015, said that too many artists show solidarity for minority groups with “performative lip service,” but no actions. Halsey is the exact opposite.

“Many artists are choosing to stay quiet to avoid controversy or political backlash, but Halsey has never been a person to shy away from that,” Jacobs said. “It’s really touching that Halsey continues to show her support for the LGBT+ community. I feel proud that she’s being as vocal as ever in her support.”

During the performance in Hollywood, Halsey sang reimagined songs from her entire discography, including songs from her 2014 EP “Room 93” and her 2015 debut record, “Badlands,” which made her a household name around the world. The string ensemble gave longtime fans the rare opportunity of experiencing something new while supporting a great cause.

Mel Singleton, 24, has also been a Halsey fan since 2015 and has been to numerous concerts over the years. Singleton is honored that they got to attend such a personal and meaningful show and can’t wait to see what’s next in Halsey’s career.

“I think it’s amazing that Halsey partnered with Hard Rock because not only does she get to benefit the LGBTQIA+ community, but she also gets to create and explore this interesting genre mashup,” said Singleton. “I adored the show. It felt like I was getting lost in my teenage self while I listened. Halsey’s stage presence is a force to reckoned with!”

Since Halsey just signed with Columbia Records, she teased a fifth album and a full-length tour multiple times throughout the concert series. She also described her split from Capitol Records as a “divorce.”

“I just left my last record company that I was with for like 10 years, that means you can almost guarantee that I’m going to put out an album pretty soon,” said Halsey at the string-ensemble show in Gary, Indiana on June 30. “I’m in the studio right now working on new music … some of it is shaping up to be really f—ing cool.”

Keilyn Quintero is a senior majoring in digital communications and media with a track in digital journalism. After she graduates, she wishes to pursue a career as a music journalist.