Ashley Nicolette Frangipane born September 29, 1994), known professionally as Halsey , is an American singer and songwriter. Gaining attention from self-released music on social media platforms, she was signed by Astralwerks in 2014 and released her debut EP, Room 93, later that year.
Halsey released her debut studio album, Badlands, in 2015. It was certified Double Platinum by the RIAA, as were its tracks "Colors" and "Gasoline". In 2016, she was featured on the Chainsmokers' single "Closer", which topped the charts in over 10 countries. Her second studio album, Hopeless Fountain Kingdom , consisted of more "radio-friendly" music than her previous releases; its singles "Now or Never" and "Bad at Love" reached the top 20 of the Billboard Hot 100, with the former peaking in the top five. Halsey's third studio album, Manic , became her best selling album worldwide, while its lead single "Without Me" became her most successful single as a lead artist. Her fourth studio album, If I Can't Have Love, I Want Power , moved away from her previous sound in favor of a darker industrial sound; described by Halsey as "the album always wanted to make", it was produced by Nine Inch Nails members Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross and received widespread critical acclaim.
In 2020, Billboard reported that Halsey has sold over 1 million albums and received over 6 billion streams in the United States. She is noted for her distinctive singing voice. Her awards and nominations include four Billboard Music Awards, one American Music Award, one GLAAD Media Award, an MTV Video Music Award, two Grammy Awards, and being named Songwriter of the year by BMI Film & TV Awards in 2021. She was also included on Time magazine's annual list of the 100 most influential people in the world in 2020. Aside from music, she has been involved in suicide prevention awareness, sexual assault victim advocacy, and racial justice protests.
Halsey was born Ashley Nicolette Frangipane in Edison, New Jersey, on September 29, 1994, the daughter of Nicole and Chris Frangipane. Her parents dropped out of college after her mother discovered that she was pregnant with her. Her mother now works as an EMT, while her father manages a car dealership. Her mother is of Hungarian and Italian descent, while her father has African-American and Irish ancestry. She has two younger brothers named Sevian and Dante. She played the violin, viola, and cello until moving on to the guitar when she was 14 years old. She grew up listening to Alanis Morissette, Justin Bieber, and Brand New. Throughout her childhood, her family moved frequently, as her parents worked many jobs. By the time she reached her teen years, she had enrolled in six schools.
Frangipane was bullied at school, and her suicide attempt at the age of 17 led to her being hospitalized for nearly three weeks. Following this, she was diagnosed with bipolar disorder, with which her mother was also diagnosed. She began using drugs soon after, saying her bipolar disorder caused her to become an "unconventional child". Also when she was 17, she became romantically involved with a man who was 24 and resided on Halsey Street in Brooklyn, New York, from where she took her stage name. She said, "That's where I first start writing music and where I started to feel like I was a part of something bigger than my town in middle of nowhere New Jersey. Halsey is kind of like a manifestation of all the exaggerated parts of me, so it's like an alter ego." In 2012, she graduated from Warren Hills Regional High School in Washington, New Jersey.
After graduating, Frangipane enrolled in the Rhode Island School of Design, but she withdrew due to financial hardship and instead attended community college. She eventually dropped out of community college and was kicked out by her parents, whom she said "just didn't agree with a lot of things about ". Soon after, she lived in a basement in lower Manhattan with a group of "degenerate stoners" she knew through her then-boyfriend. When she was not living there, she occasionally lived in one of New York's many homeless shelters, and she considered prostitution as a way to make money. When describing this period of her life, she has said, "I remember one time I had $9 in my bank account, and bought a four-pack of Red Bull and used it to stay up overnight over the course of two or three days, because it was less dangerous to not sleep than it was to sleep somewhere random and maybe get raped or kidnapped." She would occasionally stay with her maternal grandmother during this time.
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