Halsey wins the Innovation Award at the BandLab NME Awards 2022

The trailblazing artist was recognised for their inventive, ever-changing music

Halsey has won the Innovation Award at the BandLab NME Awards 2022 in recognition of their drive to constantly reinvent themselves while inspiring the music world to evolve as well.

She joins previous winners The 1975 and Damon Albarn in receiving the honour for their imaginative and innovative contributions to music.

Introducing Halsey, presenters Abby Roberts and Jamz Supernova described her as “a real trailblazer in the industry [that’s] always pushing boundaries,” and an “all around absolute legend”.

NME, thank you so much for this year’s Innovation Award. This is the coolest award I’ve gotten in my life, ever. It means the world to me,” Halsey said of the honour. Watch her full acceptance speech above.

BandLab NME Awards Innovation Award Halsey

“I’m so fucking bummed I can’t be there celebrating with you guys in person, but since I can’t be, every single person in the audience has to do a shot.”

In her acceptance speech, Halsey also teased “something really special” to make up for their absence from the show this year. “Since I can’t be there, NME and I working on something really special for you guys that I think you’re really gonna fucking like. In the meantime, thanks so much for this, it is going right next to my bed.”

Speaking to NME for a recent cover story, Halsey previously said she was “very surprised” to receive the Innovation award.

“I wasn’t expecting [this], I was very surprised,” they said. “But it’s really, really awesome – I think you start to get really sad and nervous about how your music connects when you’re not around to bring it to life, and to know that it’s still resonating is really, really cool.”

Halsey is also nominated for the Best Album In The World gong for her 2021 release ‘If I Can’t Have Love, I Want Power.’ The album saw them entering a new experimental era by teaming up Nine Inch NailsTrent Reznor and Atticus Ross and leaning into a new sound.

In a four-star review, NME’s Nick Levine described the album as a “sonic leap” for the singer, adding that it was a “defiant artistic statement of their singular talent”.

This win comes years after Halsey spoke to NME about their desire to “be voted ‘worst band/artist’ at the NME Awards”, a tongue-in-cheek comment she made after becoming a cover star in October 2018.

“I guess I just thought the only way I would ever get an NME Award was if it was gonna be that,” she said. “I would be like, ‘Hey, you know, at least I’m being recognised for something’.”

Check back for the latest news, interviews, winners and more from the BandLab NME Awards 2022.