Ashley Nicolette Frangipane (born September 29, 1994),[2] known by her stage name Halsey /ˈhɔːl.zɪ/,[3] is an American singer and songwriter. She started songwriting at the age of 17. In 2014, she signed her first recording contract with Astralwerks and released her debut EP, titled Room 93. Her debut studio album, Badlands, was released in 2015.

Early life

Halsey was born and raised in New Jersey as Ashley Frangipane. She is of Italian, Hungarian, and Irish descent on her mother's side and African-American on her father's.[4][5] Growing up, Halsey played the violin, viola, and cello until moving onto the acoustic guitar when she was 14.[6] In one of her first interviews, Halsey stated she was diagnosed with bipolar disorder around the age of 16 or 17. When she was 18, Halsey encountered financial trouble and music became a way to pay her rent. She played numerous acoustic shows in different cities under various stage names.[6] She chose "Halsey" as her moniker because it is an anagram of her real name as well as a street in Brooklyn where she spent a lot of time as a teenager.[7] Halsey originally planned on going to college to major in fine arts but after realizing she could not afford it instead enrolled in a community college as a creative writing major.[8]

In an interview, Halsey allegedly used the term "tri-bi" (biracial, bisexual and bipolar) to identify herself,[9] although she has since distanced herself from it, claiming she was misquoted.[2]

Career

Halsey began her career by posting cover songs on YouTube under her real name. In 2012, she recorded a parody of Taylor Swift's "I Knew You Were Trouble" called "The Haylor Song" about Swift's relationship with One Direction member Harry Styles, and posted it on her Tumblr account.[2] In 2014, Halsey recorded a song called "Ghost" and posted it on SoundCloud.[2] The song gained Halsey attention and she signed with the Astralwerks record label. She subsequently released her debut EP titled Room 93 on October 27, 2014.[13] Four of the five songs on the extended play contained an accompanying video.[6]

Halsey toured with The Kooks in 2014 as the opening act.[2] At South by Southwest in 2015, Halsey was the most talked about performer of the festival on Twitter.[15] Through March and April 2015, Halsey led a co-headlining tour with Young Rising Sons.[2] She also supported Imagine Dragons on the Smoke + Mirrors Tour during the North American leg between June and August 2015.

Her debut album, Badlands was released on August 28, 2015.[2] In an interview, Halsey described Badlands as an "angry feminist record,"[18] but later commented she had been misquoted and actually meant to refer to it as an "angry female record".[2] In an interview with Billboard in June 2015, Halsey announced that she had already begun writing material for her second studio album.[20] To promote her music, Halsey has been featured in a few interviews and performances, including The Late Show with Stephen Colbert and Last Call with Carson Daly.[21][22]

Artistry

Halsey is an electropop artist.[23][24][25] Growing up, Halsey's father listened to The Notorious B.I.G., Slick Rick, Bone Thugs-n-Harmony, and 2Pac while her mother listened to The Cure, Alanis Morissette, and Nirvana. She says this has influenced her as a musician and her style.[7] She has called Panic! at the Disco the "band that changed [her] fucking life.”[26] The biggest influence on her live performances is Adam Lazzara, the frontman of Taking Back Sunday;[27] Halsey has said "One of the most inspiring things I’ve ever seen is watching [Taking Back Sunday] live and watching Adam use that microphone as a prop and I thought yep, I’m gonna do that."[28] Halsey's other influences include Kanye West,[29] Brand New, and Bright Eyes,[28] as well as the film directors Quentin Tarantino, Harmony Korine, and Larry Clark.[30] She has said "Being a musician people ask you a lot about what musicians inspire you, and there's plenty of musicians that I love and respect, but I think that I'm the most inspired by cinema."[30]

Discography

Studio albums

List of studio albums, with selected chart positions and sales figures
TitleAlbum detailsPeak chart positionsSalesCertifications
US
[31]
AUS
[32]
BEL
(FL)

[33]
CAN
[4]
GER
[35]
IRE
[36]
NL
[37]
NZ
[38]
SWE
[39]
UK
[40]
Badlands2210337353139

Extended plays

List of studio albums, with selected chart positions
TitleAlbum detailsPeak chart positions
US
[31]
US
Alt.

[5]
US
Heat

[5]
Room 93
  • Release: October 27, 2014
  • Label: Astralwerks (2547223807)
  • Formats: CD, DL, 12" vinyl
159203

Singles

List of singles, with selected chart positions
TitleYearPeak chart positionsCertificationsAlbum
US
[5]
US
Alt.

[5]
AUS
[50]
BEL
(FL)

[33]
CAN
[51]
IRE
[36]
ITA
[52]
NZ
[38]
UK
[53]
"Hurricane"2014Room 93
"Ghost"Badlands
"New Americana"20156018578924184
"Colors"201699
"Castle"[59] (The Huntsman: Winter's War version)76Badlands and The Huntsman: Winter's War
"—" denotes a recording that did not chart or was not released in that territory.

Other charted songs

TitleYearPeak chart positionsAlbum
AUS
[62]
"Hold Me Down"201678Badlands

Other appearances

List of singles as featured artist, with selected chart positions
TitleYearPeak chart positionsCertificationsAlbum
US
[63]
AUS
[32]
CAN
[64]
GER
[35]
IRE
[36]
NL
[37]
NZ
[38]
SWE
[39]
UK
[40]
"The Feeling"
(Justin Bieber featuring Halsey)
2015312225873125203434Purpose
"Hands"
(Various Artists for Orlando)
2016N/A

Tours

Headlining
Co-headlining
Opening act

Awards and nominations

YearAwardsCategoryRecipientOutcome
2015MTV Europe Music AwardsArtist on the RiseHerselfNominated
2016People's Choice AwardsFavorite Breakout Artist
NME Awards [67]Best New Artist