Ashley Nicolette Frangipane (/ˌfrændʒəˈpɑːni/; born September 29, 1994), known professionally as Halsey (/ˈhɔːlzi/), is an American singer and songwriter. After gaining attention from self-released music posted on social media platforms, Halsey was signed by Astralwerks in 2014. She released her debut EP, Room 93, later that year, and toured with larger acts to promote her music. Her debut studio album, Badlands (2015), debuted at number two on the US Billboard 200, and was certified Platinum by the RIAA. Its third single, “Colors”, was certified Double Platinum.
Halsey rose to stronger prominence in 2016 as a featured vocalist on The Chainsmokers’ single “Closer”, which topped the charts of over ten countries. Her second studio album, Hopeless Fountain Kingdom (2017), debuted at number one in the US, and similar to her debut album, was certified Platinum in the country. The album consisted of more “radio friendly” music than her previous releases; its singles “Now or Never” and “Bad at Love” peaked in the top twenty of the US Billboard Hot 100, with the latter peaking in the top five. In 2018, Halsey released a single titled “Without Me”, which became her first number one single in the US as a lead artist.
Halsey is noted for her distinctive singing voice. Her music is categorized as indie pop ballads, usually based on her personal experiences. Her awards and nominations include four Billboard Music Awards, four iHeartRadio Music Awards, two Teen Choice Awards, one GLAAD Media Award, one Global Award, a Guinness World Record,, and a Grammy Award nomination. Outside of her career, she has been involved in suicide prevention awareness and sexual assault victim advocacy.
2017–2018: Hopeless Fountain Kingdom
Halsey announced work on her second studio album prior to the release of Badlands, with progress on the record continuing throughout 2016 and 2017. In January 2017, she released the single “Not Afraid Anymore”; it appears on the soundtrack of the film Fifty Shades Darker (2017). “Now or Never” was released on April 4 as the lead single from her second studio album, and because it preceded the release of her second studio album, it was released as an instant grat with the album’s pre-order. The song debuted at number 52 on the US Billboard Hot 100 and later peaked at number 17. It was certified 2x Platinum by the RIAA. “Now or Never” also reached the top 20 of Australia and Malaysia, and sold 500,000 units outside of the US. Two promotional singles were also made available prior to the release of the album: “Eyes Closed” and “Strangers”‘.
Halsey released her second studio album, Hopeless Fountain Kingdom, on June 2. The album consisted of more “radio friendly” songs in comparison to her previous work, which she attributed to her desire to prove she was “more than capable” of creating “radio-ready” music. Much like her debut album, Hopeless Fountain Kingdom is a concept album that revolves around a pair of lovers in a tale based on Romeo and Juliet; the project was inspired by her breakup with Lido. The album also focuses on Halsey’s bisexuality and on bisexual characters. Hopeless Fountain Kingdom debuted atop the Billboard 200 and the Canadian Albums Chart. First week sales in the US were of 106,000 equivalent album units, with 76,000 being pure album sales. Similar to her debut album, Hopeless Fountain Kingdom was certified Platinum by the RIAA. Due to the album reaching number one, Halsey became the first woman to achieve a number one album in the US in 2017. To promote the album, Halsey embarked on the Hopeless Fountain Kingdom World Tour, which began on September 29, 2017, her twenty-third birthday. Halsey also performed surprise DJ sets at Emo Nite in Los Angeles in 2017.
The second single from Hopeless Fountain Kingdom, “Bad at Love”, was released on August 22. The song peaked at number five in the US, which made it her highest peak as a lead artist at the time. It was certified 4x Platinum by the RIAA, and sold more than 300,000 records outside the US. In December, Halsey’s collaboration with then boyfriend G-Eazy “Him & I” was released, and later peaked at number 14 on the Billboard Hot 100, and was certified 2x Platinum by RIAA. The song also reached the top ten of 13 other countries’ charts. In mid 2017 she collaborated with the band Thirty Seconds to Mars on the song “Love Is Madness” for their album America.
On January 13, 2018, Halsey was a featured as a musical guest on Saturday Night Live and performed “Bad at Love” and “Him & I” with G-Eazy. On March 15, Halsey released “Alone”, along with a new version featuring American rapper Big Sean and British rapper Stefflon Don. It was released as the third and final single from Hopeless Fountain Kingdom, and in April she released its music video. “Alone” was certified Platinum by RIAA and reached number one on Billboard’s Dance Club chart, though only peaked at number 66 on the Billboard Hot 100. Halsey sang with Khalid for Benny Blanco’s debut single “Eastside”, which was released on July 12, along with a music video discussing various parts of Halsey’s life. The song peaked at number nine on the Billboard Hot 100 and topped the charts of five other countries. It was certified 2x Platinum in the US, and sold over one million units outside the country. Also this year she appeared in two films: she voiced Wonder Woman in Teen Titans Go! To the Movies, and cameoed as herself in A Star Is Born, directed by Bradley Cooper. Halsey was also a key advisor on the U.S. version of The Voice in its fifteenth season.
On October 4, Halsey released a non-album single titled “Without Me”. ‘Without Me’ is her, “… first solo-record since 2017.” She stated that this song is also very personal to her. On October 29, the official music video for “Without Me” was released, featuring a “G-Eazy lookalike” following their second breakup. This song went on to become Halsey’s most successful single as a lead artist to date, becoming her first number-one single on the Billboard Hot 100. It topped the chart for two non-consecutive weeks and remained in the top five for 22 weeks. It also reached the top three of the UK, Malaysia, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and Ireland. The song has been certified 3x Platinum in the US, Platinum in the UK, and 5x Platinum in Australia and Canada. Due to “Without Me” reaching number one on the Billboard Hot 100, Halsey became the eighth woman to achieve multiple number ones on the chart during the 2010s.
2019: Upcoming third album
Halsey released or was featured on various collaborations during the first several months of 2019, including a remix of “Without Me” featuring American rapper Juice WRLD on January 9, the song “11 Minutes” with Yungblud (featuring Travis Barker) on February 14 and accompanying music video on February 22, and the song “Boy With Luv” by BTS on April 12, the music video for which became the most–viewed music video within the first 24 hours on YouTube with 74.6 million views. On April 19, she and 29 other musical acts were featured on the Lil Dicky song “Earth,” a charity single about climate change awareness.
On February 9, Halsey appeared on Saturday Night Live as the host and musical guest. Her performance was praised, with ratings for the show rising and a younger audience watching. In March, Halsey announced that her third studio album, would be released in 2019. On May 17, Halsey released a new single, “Nightmare”, which debuted in the top fifteen of the US.