Ashley Nicolette Frangipane (born September 29, 1994),[1] known professionally as Halsey (/ˈhɔːl.zi/),[2] is an American singer and songwriter. 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. Her professional name, Halsey, is a reference to the Halsey Street station of the New York City Subway in Brooklyn[a] as well as an anagram of her first name, Ashley.

Halsey was born as Ashley Frangipane in Clark, New Jersey, where she was raised. She is the daughter of Nicole, who works for security in a hospital, and Chris Frangipane, who manages a car dealership.[4][5] She is of Italian, Hungarian, and Irish descent on her mother’s side and African-American on her father’s side.[6][7] Halsey has two younger brothers, Sevian and Dante.[5] Growing up, Halsey played the violin, viola, and cello until moving onto the acoustic guitar when she was 14.[8] In one of her first interviews, Halsey stated she was diagnosed with bipolar disorder around the age of 16 or 17.[9] When she was 18, Halsey encountered financial trouble and music became a way to pay her rent.[non sequitur] She played numerous acoustic shows in different cities under various stage names.[8] 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.[10] Halsey originally planned on going to college to major in fine arts, but after realizing she could not afford it, she instead enrolled in a community college as a creative writing major.[11]

In an interview, Halsey allegedly used the term “tri-bi” (biracial, bisexual, and bipolar) to identify herself,[12] although she has since distanced herself from it, claiming she was misquoted.

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.[14] In 2014, Halsey recorded a song called “Ghost” and posted it on SoundCloud.[15] 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.[16] Four of the five songs on the extended play contained an accompanying video.