The Hopeless Fountain Kingdom singer delivered a powerful, stripped-down performance of her Number One hit “Without Me.” While singing a piano ballad rendition of the track, a shocking backdrop of words including “Ashley, I Cheated in Minneapolis,” “At home in Los Angeles,” “In Austin,” “More Places I Can’t Even Remember” appeared in white letters behind her. “Without Me,” a song presumed to be about her breakup with rapper G-Eazy, also has a direct reference to Justin Timberlake’s infidelity anthem “Cry Me A River.”
For her second spot, Halsey traded in her lace dress for painter’s overalls, while she performed the Benny Blanco hit “Eastside,” which features the singer and Khalid. Instead of standing with the mic as most SNL musical guests do, she sat on the floor and made a painting in the subdued performance.
While delivering her opening monologue, Halsey acknowledging her New Jersey roots with a distinctive state accent and called out how much she looked up to the women of SNL.
“I always especially admired the women on this show. They never cared what they looked like, what they sounded like or what anybody thought of them. They were just funny,” she told the audience. The episode marked Halsey’s third SNL appearance in 13 months: The singer previously served as musical guest in January 2018 and made a cameo during Lil Wayne’s musical guest spot in November 2018.
Following her SNL duties, Halsey tweeted to her fans:
SORRY IT TOOK SO LONG TO TWEET. THAT WAS. THE BEST THING….
If you believed in me.
Thank you.@nbcsnl 🖤 till next time
— h (@halsey) February 10, 2019