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Biracial Singer Halsey Acknowledges She’s ‘White-Passing,’ Says ‘I Am a Black Woman’

Halsey became a mainstream success with the song “Closer.” (Tony Barson/Getty Images for iHeartMedia)

Singer Halsey is known for keeping it 100 in interviews and her songs and that’s no different when it comes to owning her racial makeup.

The “Now Or Never” performer is the child of a white mother and a Black father, but that isn’t so apparent by simply looking at her.

“I’m white-passing,” she said in Playboy’s Sept./Oct. music issue. “I’ve accepted that about myself and have never tried to control anything about Black culture that’s not mine. I’m proud to be in a biracial family, I’m proud of who I am and I’m proud of my hair. One of my big jokes a long time ago was ‘I look white, but I still have white boys in my life asking me why my nipples are brown.’

“Every now and then I experience these racial blips. I look like a white girl, but I don’t feel like one. I’m a Black woman. So it’s been weird navigating that. When I was growing up, I didn’t know if I was supposed to love TLC or Britney [Spears].”

Halsey didn’t know if she should be a TLC fan or a Britney Spears fan growing up. (Ramona Rosales/Playboy)

Growing up, the 22-year-old said people would greet her car dealership manager father with, “Yo brotha! What’s up?!” despite the fact that he wore suits and was “clean-shaven, handsome [and] played golf on the weekends.”

Halsey said the way people react to discovering she’s biracial stems from white guilt, which she acknowledged is “funny.” However, that doesn’t take away from the racial climate being difficult not just for Black people and other nonwhite people, but, according to Halsey, white allies, too.

“This is a really hard time for white allies,” she says of a period where America has seen an uptick in police violence against Black people and a surge of outright white supremacy flowing throughout the nation. “People don’t want to do too much but want to do enough, and in my bubble of Los Angeles, I’m surrounded by a lot of good people with a lot of good intentions. But as I learned in this past election, my bubble is just a small fraction of how this country operates. That is ultimately my greatest frustration with the public perception of any sort of activism: the mentality of ‘Well, it’s not affecting me.’ Open your f—— eyes.”

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