Ashley Nicolette Frangipane (born September 29, 1994), known by her stage name Halsey, is an American singer/songwriter and recording artist. She started songwriting at the age of 17. In early 2014, she signed her first recording contract with Astralwerks. In late 2014, Halsey released her debut EP, titled Room 93. Halsey released her debut studio album, Badlands, in August 2015, which included two tracks from Room 93: "Ghost" and "Hurricane".
Halsey was born in New Jersey as Ashley Frangipane. She has two younger brothers, Dante and Sevian. She is biracial, with an African American father and an Italian American mother. She had musical roots growing up, originally playing the violin, viola, and cello until moving onto the acoustic guitar when she was 14. The first song she learned to play on the guitar is said to be Taylor Swift's song 'Fifteen'. Around the age of 16 or 17, she was diagnosed with bipolar disorder. 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. 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.
Halsey originally planned on going to college to major in fine arts but instead enrolled in a community college as a creative writing major after realizing she couldn't afford it. Halsey is also bisexual.
Halsey began her career by posting cover songs on YouTube under her own name. Her first break hit in 2012 when she recorded a parody video of Taylor Swift's "I Knew You Were Trouble" called "The Haylor Song." In 2014, Halsey recorded a song called "Ghost" and posted it on SoundCloud. 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. Four of the five songs on the extended play contained an accompanying video.
At South by Southwest in 2015, Halsey was the most talked about person on Twitter.
Recently, she produced a tribute to Jaden Smith with her Norwegian ex-boyfriend, Lido (Peder Losnegård). Halsey toured with The Kooks in 2014 and is traveling across the US, along with musical artist friends Young Rising Sons, and OLIVVER. On this tour, she has been singing songs from the EP, and singing new songs, including "Colors", "Control", "Castle", "Haunting" and "Roman Holiday".
Through March and April 2015, Halsey led a co-headlining tour with Young Rising Sons. She also supported Imagine Dragons on the Smoke and Mirrors Tour during the North American leg between June 3, 2015 and August 1, 2015. Her debut album, Badlands, a concept album, was released on August 28, 2015. In an interview, Halsey described Badlands as an "angry feminist record," but later commented she had been misquoted and actually meant to refer to it as an "angry female record". In an interview with Billboard on June 21, 2015, Halsey announced that she had already begun writing material for her second studio album.
Halsey has been featured in a few interviews and performances, including The Late Show with Steven Colbert and Last Call with Carson Daly.
Halsey is described as a electropop and indie pop singer. 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, The Cranberries, Nirvana, and Alanis Morissette. She says this has influenced her as a musician and her style. She references these influences in her track "New Americana".