Halsey is living proof that the internet makes fame more accessible than it’s ever been. She may have started by making smart use of social media platforms, but she’s since become an international name with a list of prestigious awards and was even named one of the 100 most influential people in the world by Time Magazine. In addition to that, she’s become a face for social justice in the past few years. But who is Halsey, and how did she become the woman she is today?
Ashley Nicolette Frangipane was born on September 29, 1994, in Edison, New Jersey. When her mother found out she was pregnant with the future superstar, she and the singer’s father both dropped out of college to care for their young child. Currently, her mother works as an emergency room technician and her father manages a car dealership. Her mother is Italian and Hungarian and her father is African American. Frangipane has two younger brothers Sevian and Dante.Considering she grew up in a musical household, Frangipane can play a variety of different instruments. For example, she grew up playing the violin, viola, and cello. When she was 14 years old, she started playing acoustic guitar and listened to many influential artists. She states that she is heavily influenced by the music she listed to growing up which was the likes of Alanis Morisette, Justin Bieber, and Brand New. Pretty early on, she realized that she wanted to eventually pursue music full time. Since Frangipane comes from a working-class background, it should come as no surprise that growing up, she moved around a lot. Her parents worked many different jobs and at times struggled to make ends meet. By the time the singer was a teenager, she had switched school upwards of six times. Sticking out like a sore thumb in school due to all the moves and not feeling like she fit in, she struggled emotionally. When she was 17 years old she had tried to commit suicide which led to a 17-day stay in a hospital. While hospitalized, she was diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder. Her mother also suffers from a brain disorder. Frangipane states that she had an unconventional childhood due to her untreated mental illness. By the time she was 17 years-old Frangipane had started dating a man who was 24 years-old who happened to live on Halsey Street, in Brooklyn. She has stated in the press that her relationship at this time was the period where she realized that she wanted to seriously pursue music professionally. She believed that she was bigger than her hometown and wanted to get out. In 2012, she graduated from high school in New Jersey. Frangipane was accepted to Rhode Island School of Design and while attending, she realized that she could afford the expensive tuition. She eventually dropped out of her college courses and went to a community college instead. Shortly after she started attending community college, she realized that wasn’t the route she wanted to take. Her parents kicked her out of their family home and she eventually went in love in a lower Manhattan basement apartment with a bunch of drug abuse. When she wasn’t living in the basement, she found shelter in various homeless shelters and considered prostitution as a form of employment. At the time the singer remembers having less than $10 in her bank account at a time. She would live off of Redbull to stay up because she was too afraid to fall asleep at that time.
Since she began writing music by the time she was 17, she started to realize she had a collection to put online. Frangipane started posting demos to apps like Kik, YouTube, and Tumblr under the name se7enteenblack. At the time she became best known for a parody she wrote about singer/songwriter Taylor Swift and her relationship at the time with Harry Styles. The song was based on Swift’s major hit song “I Knew You Were Trouble” and Frangipane wrote a follow-up. The song was posted online in early 2013 which gained quite a bit of traction with her followers online. Frangipane was discovered after attending a party in 2014. She told the press that he loved the sound of her voice and asked her to help record vocals for a song. Drawing from her personal experiences, she sang from the heart and as a result, the song “Ghost” was posted on Soundcloud. Within hours of the posting of the song, it became very popular on the platform. As a result of the song’s popularity record executives began to reach out to the future star. She signed a record deal with Astralwerks because she believed that the label could give her creative freedom she would otherwise not get anywhere else. After signing her contract, Frangipane decided to perform a variety of acoustic shows in New York under several different stage names. Landing on the right stage name was not a problem for Frangipane. She chose Halsey because it represented an anagram for her first name and references Halsey Street which she was all too familiar with considering her ex-boyfriend lived off that road. Considering she had written poems for years, Frangipane had a bunch of serious material up her sleeve that would benefit her in the future. In August of 2014, the singer began touring with the band The Kooks. On that short tour, Frangipane performed a variety of songs. She released her debut extended play release, Room 93 and she began to get enjoy local acclaim. The EP even charted in the higher end of the Billboard Charts. Shortly after the release of Room 93, the singer announced that she had begun work on her debut album. She performed songs for her upcoming album at South by Southwest in 2015 where it was reported that she was the most tweeted about the performer of that year. She went on tour co-headling with the Young Rising-Sons in March and June of 2015. Later that year she opened for Imagine Dragons on their Some + Mirrors tour.
“Badlands” was released on August 28, 2015, and was the studio debut from Halsey. When promoting the album Frangipane described the release as a concept album about a dystopian future. The future society was known as The Badlands and she said it was a metaphor about what she was feeling at the time. She wrote every song on the album when she was 19 years-old and production was handled by quite a few producers. One of those producers was her boyfriend at the time, the Norwegian artist Lido. Although the Badlands was received well by critics, Frangipane was particularly hard on herself. She has started that the alum didn’t have a proper stand-out hit song. Some critics even referred to her as a Tumblr artist who made it big. Badlands was certified Platinum two times by the Recording Industry Association of America for selling two million albums in the united states alone. Considering her high profile status, she became a highly sought after singer and collaborated with many famous faces over the years. In 2015, Frangipane was featured on Justin Bieber’s song “The Feeling” for his 2015 hit album Purpose. Considering the song wasn’t featured as a standout hit from the album, it was pretty popular at that time. It even entered the top forty of the Billboard Hot 100 and ended up getting certified Gold in the United States and Silver in the United Kingdom.In February of 2016, the singer signed a deal with MAC cosmetics to represent their Future, Foward Line. She even released a lipstick and named it after herself. May of that year she released the song “Tokoyo Narita (Freestyle)” which was produced by Lido. In the summer of that year, she released a song with The Chainsmokers entitled “Closer.” She even co-wrote the song for the group. Closer landed on the Billboard charts and topped the top 100 for 12 weeks in a row. She even earned her first Grammy nomination for the song.
Second Studio Album
The singer began work on her second album in 2016 and 2017. In early 2017, she released the single “Not Afraid Anymore” which appeared on the soundtrack for the S&M hit movie Fifty Shades Darker that was part of the Fifty Shades of Grey franchise. In April of that year, she released “Now or Never” which was from her second studio album Hopeless Fountain Kingdom. The song was a hit pretty instantaneously debuting on the Billboard charts at number 52 and eventually peaking at number 17. Hopeless Fountain was officially released on June 2. Her studio album was more polished and it showed considering it had many radio-friendly songs that were released throughout that year. She stated that the album was a comment on the story of Romeo and Juliet and ultimately a metaphor for her breakup with the music producer Dido. In the concept album, there are a couple of topics that are discussed. For example, it dives deep into the lives of bisexual characters. On January 13, 2018, Frangipane was a guest on the show Saturday Night Live and she performed her song “Bad at Love” with rapper G-Eazy. In early October of 2018, the singer released the single “Without Me” which was her first track on her new label Captial Records. The music video was released which was a comment on her breakup with the rapper G-Eazy. It featured a lookalike and she stated that the song was very personal to her. It became her most successful song as a leading artist and landed at number one on the Billboard Charts. In Feburary of 2019, Frangipane was a guest star on the show Saturday Night Live but this time she was featured as a host in addition to being a musical guest. Her performance received critical acclaim and it brought in a younger audience who hoped to catch the star perform live.
Halsey credits a lot of the world’s biggest stars from the ‘90s as who prompted her to pursue music. She cites Alanis Morisette, The Cure, and Nirvana as some of her biggest influences. She states that the emo-music scene also influenced citing that Panic at the Disco changed her life. Dolores O’Riordran is one of her biggest vocal influences as well and she credits Lady Gaga for giving her the strength to be herself. Over the years, the singer has seen her fair share of controversy for being outspoken in the press. She received a lot of criticism for claiming that she is tri-bi (bisexual, bipolar, and bi-racial) which critics said she was trivializing issues that shouldn’t be looked at lightly. Additionally, she also has had a few negative run-ins with fans which included kissing a bunch of underage concertgoers. Considering she is bisexual, she drew criticism from fans for collaborating with the rapper Quavo after he made negative remarks about the LGBT community in the past.
The singer has been in her fair share of high-profile relationships that have translated into her music. She was involved with the producer Dido who helped work on her album Badlands. She also was involved with rapper G-Eazy throughout the year 2017 and they broke up in July of 2018 just to reunite and eventually break up for good in September. She started dating Yungblud in November of 2018 after meeting at a bar in Los Angeles.They ended up collaborating for the song “11 Minutes” but in September of 2019, it was confirmed that the couple broke up. The singer met actor Evan Peters (who is best known for his roles in the hit FX show American Horror Story) in September of 2019 and the two began dating. Their whirlwind romance was shortlived and it was reported that the two had broken up in March of 2020. The singer confirmed the split by liking a tweet that just happened to mention the breakup. Halsey is a multi-talented performing artist who is known for being open and honest about her struggles. Her honesty and rawness has made her a musical force to be reckoned with and sometimes a subject of controversy. But whatever Halsey is involved in, you can count on it to be interesting. Many musicians have praised her for performance skills and staying power in the industry. This artist isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. Sources: https://www.refinery29.com/en-us/2018/07/204397/halsey-bipolar-mental-illness-interviewhttps://hits1061seattle.iheart.com/content/2019-10-30-halsey-was-legit-scared-into-confirming-her-relationship-with-evan-peters/https://web.archive.org/web/20190626185222/https://www.allthingsgomusic.com/interview-halsey/