Halsey and Capitol Records are going their separate ways, spokesperson for both the artist and the label confirmed to Variety Saturday.
“After eight great years the decision to leave Capitol is bittersweet, but we are excited about exploring a new partnership and sharing new music with fans,” said Halsey’s managers, Anti-Pop’s Jason Aron and Anthony Li, in a statement.
“Everyone at Capitol poured their hearts and souls into helping Halsey achieve their dreams and present their music to the world,” the record company said in its own statement. “We are incredibly proud of all we accomplished together, and wish Halsey the very best in all their future endeavors.”
The severance comes about a year after Halsey took a dispute with the record company public on social media, which seemed to end peacefully at the time. The artist was believed to have been negotiating an exit strategy with Capitol during recent months.
The star has not mentioned any news related to the separation on social accounts, as of this writing.
The news was first reported early Saturday by Hits.
Halsey’s grievances with Capitol went very public in 2022, when the artist was putting out a new track, “So Good.” Halsey took to social media to complain that the label was declining to put the fresh song out unless the artist would concoct a TikTok campaign around it. Eventually, a detente seemed to have been reached, with “So Good” hitting DSPs as Capitol issued a conciliatory statement.
For Halsey, things reached a boiling point in May 2022, as they wrote that the song and a music video for it had been finished for more than a month, but claimed the label wouldn’t go ahead with releasing the single “unless they can fake a viral moment on TikTok… Basically I have a song that I love that I wanna release ASAP. But my record label won’t let me.” Fans took to their own social media accounts, damning Capitol for allegedly stalling the song’s release.
On May 31 of last year, Capitol used its socials to issue an open letter to Halsey, writing, “Halsey, we love you and are here to support you. We are committing to a release of ‘So Good’ on June 9th, 2022… We are an artist-first company that encourages open dialogue. We have nothing but a desire to help each one of our artists succeed, and hope that we can continue to have these critical conversations.”
The label did not add “…in private” to that last statement, but might well have, in the wake of ongoing tweets from Halsey fans slamming the label. In any case, the artist took a lighter tone in a handful of related posts from that point on, leaving Capitol out of it as they wrote to followers, “Now I can go back to using TikTok for my real plan: Using witchcraft to take over the world. … Thanks for keeping up with this fiasco. Hope you love the song.”
Halsey’s last track to come out through, “Die 4 Me,” a solo version of a song they previously cut as a duet with Post Malone, was released Feb. 23. It didn’t make much impact, marking an inauspicious close to a relationship that once yielded great results and saw Halsey elevated to the ranks of pop stardom.
All four of Halsey’s albums have reached either No. 1 or No. 2 on the Billboard 200. The first three, “Badlands,” “Hopeless Fountain Kingdom” and “Manic” were all certified double-platinum.
The artist’s last album, released in August 2021, “If I Can’t Have Love, I Want Power,” produced by Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross, found Halsey new favoritism among critics and other tastemakers, even as it didn’t produce the same commercial results as the previous three. It reached Variety‘s 10 best albums list for 2021, among other accolades, but after a No. 2 launch on the Billboard 200, with no hit single attached, it had a short stay on the album chart.
“So Good” — the non-album track that Halsey had the public dispute with Capitol over last year, and a much more upbeat release than anything on the dark “If I Can’t Have Love” album — had mixed results after it was released, cracking the top 10 of the mainstream top 40 and adult top 40 charts and reaching the top 20 at AC. It peaked at No. 51 on Billboard’s Hot 100.
Halsey has had two songs reach the summit of the Hot 100: “Without Me,” in 2018, preceded by a collaboration with the Chainsmokers, “Closer,” in 2016.