TIME magazine unveiled its list of the 100 most influential people in the world on Sept. 22 with the TIME100 primetime special, and Halsey was on hand to help celebrate this year’s class of artists, activists, musicians, politicians, and other personalities that help shape the world. The 25-year-old New Jersey native, who herself is one of the most powerful voices of her generation, delivered a performance of 4 Non Blondes‘ 1992 anthem “Dear Mr. President.”
It’s pretty hard to top Linda Perry‘s powerful vocals from a song almost 30 years old, but Halsey really nailed it. She looked amazing in a gold colorful tank dress and black boots. The singer wore her hair up, but with long tight braids falling down from the updo. When she came to the chorus lyrics, “It’s such a wonderful country/But the man he’s burning it down,” her voice was enough to generate chills.
In the 2019 TIME 100, Halsey celebrated her “Boy With Luv” collaborators BTS by penning a loving ode to the K-Pop superstars. “With positive messages of self-confidence, intricacies of philosophy hidden in their sparkly songs, true synergy and brotherhood in every step of their elaborate choreography, and countless charitable and anthropological endeavors, BTS have put their 14 best feet forward as role models to millions of adoring fans and anyone else who finds themselves drawn to BTS’s undeniable allure,” wrote Halsey.
She also demonstrated why she deserved a place on the TIME100 a day before the Sept. 21 primetime special – while also showing off her clout. After watching Drake eat spaghetti Bolognese off the plaque Spotify awarded him for “In My Feelings” crossing the 1 billion stream mark, Halsey one-upped the rapper. She busted out her two Spotify 1 Billion plaques – one for “Closer,” her 2016 hit with The Chainsmokers, and one for her 2018 single, “Without Me” – and put on Drake’s “Popstar” to enjoy a feast of Takis and M&Ms. “2 outta 3 of my billion plaques received. Check mate @champagnepapi,” Halsey captioned the video.
“And they owe me one more, too,” said Halsey, likely referencing “Eastside,” the 2018 song with Benny Blanco and Khalid. “A flex if I’ve ever seen one,” commented Josie Canseco. “This!” added Ruby Rose. Diplo also weighed in. “I did this with my three already, except I actually ruined them with ranch sauce,” he said.
With “Closer,” “Without Me,” and “Eastside,” Halsey became the first and only female artist to have at least three songs chart on the Billboard Hot 100 for 50 weeks each. Along with that honor, she’s gone platinum several times over, with over 25 billion streams worldwide and more than 100 million adjusted records sold. In 2019, she won an AMA, an MTV Video Music Award, two Teen Choice Awards, an iHeart Radio Music Award, and the Hal David Starlight Award, presented by the Songwriters Hall of Fame.
Halsey’s influence will soon extend past the Spotify, iTunes, and Billboard charts. She’s going to make her major acting debut in The Player’s Table, a TV series based on Jessica Goodman’s best-selling novel, They Wish They Were Us. Set at a prep school in Long Island, high school senior Jill Newman (Euphoria’s Sydney Sweeny) “works to uncover the truth about her best friend’s death three years ago and the role she and her fellow “players” — members of the secret society that rules the school— may have had in it,” per Deadline. Halsey, who also will serve as a producer on the series, will play Rachel Calloway, a “formidable, emotionally troubled young woman who ignites Jill’s journey of finding the truth behind [the] murder.”