Halsey

  • Alternative electropop singer and songwriter born Ashley Frangipane in Edison New Jersey in 1994.
  • Frangipane played several musical instruments as a child, and she began to play the guitar when she was 14 years old. She attempted suicide when she was 17, after which she was diagnosed bipolar. After high school, she was kicked out of her home by her parents, so she lived in the basement of a house in Manhattan with stoner friends, and occasionally at homeless shelters.
  • In 2012, she began to write music as an outlet to her teenage angst. She posted her songs to social media sites, using the moniker se7enteenblack. In 2014, she met a man at a party and they recorded a song together titled Ghost, which Haley uploaded to SoundCloud soon after it was recorded. It quickly gained popularity on the site, and she was contacted by several record companies. She signed with a label, and chose Halsey for her stage name, which is an anagram of Ashley, and also was a street in Brooklyn where she hung out.
  • She began to tour as an opening act for indie rock band The Kooks, performing her original songs. Ghost was re-recorded with an electropop sound and it was released as a single in July 2014. Later that year, it was included on an EP titled Room 93. In 2015, her debut studio album was released – Badlands. It debuted at #2 on the Billboard album chart, and four singles were released. Her first to chart was New Americana, which peaked at #60 on the Hot 100 and #18 on the Alternative Airplay chart. While the music on the album was not appealing to pop radio, she quickly established a fan base among indie music lovers, and the album eventually was certified 2x platinum.
  • In 2015, she was the featured artist on a single by Justin Bieber titled The Feeling. This increased her exposure greatly. In 2016, she was the featured artist for the electropop mega-hit Closer by the Chainsmokers – Halsey co-wrote the song, which topped the Hot 100 for twelve weeks. Billboard eventually named it the #4 song for the entire 10s decade, and in 2018, Billboard announced that it was the #13 song all time for the 60 year history of the Hot 100 chart (just behind Hey Jude from the Beatles).
  • Her second studio album, Hopeless Fountain Kingdom, was released in 2017. It topped the album chart and was certified platinum in sales. The single Now or Never peaked at #17 on the Hot 100 and at #3 on the Mainstream Top 40 chart, and Bad at Love reached #5 and #2 respectively, while topping the Dance Club Songs chart. Another song from the album that reached #1 on the Dance Club Songs chart was Alone, which featured rap artists Big Sean and Stefflon Don. Also in 2017, she released Him & I with hip hop artist G-Eazy – the song reached #14 on the Hot 100, and it topped the Mainstream Top 40 chart.
  • In October 2018, Halsey had her first #1 solo hit on the Hot 100 chart, Without Me. It was a huge global hit, reaching the top 10 on 28 international charts, and it was certified 9x platinum in the U.S. Billboard named it the #3 song for 2019, and the #12 song for the entire 10s decade. It later was included on her 2020 album Manic – the album peaked at #2 on the album chart and was certified platinum. Other hits from the album were Graveyard (#1 on the Dance Club Songs chart) and You Should Be Sad (#13 on the Mainstream Top 40 chart).
  • She had continued success in 2019. She had her second appearance on Saturday Night Live – this time, she was both musical guest and host. She was the featured singer and co-wrote the song Boy With Luv by Korean boy band BTS – the song peaked at #8 on the Hot 100, and it was the most viewed music video of all time over a 24 hour period, getting 74.6 million views on its first day of release. Also in 2019, she released the single Nightmare, which reached #15 on the Hot 100.
  • Her 2021 album If I Can’t Have Love, I Want Power already has been added to my favorite albums playlist. I really like her indie approach to writing music, yet her songs are obviously produced for pop music success. She made Time magazine’s list of the 100 most influential people in the world in 2020 – that is an accomplishment that must be recognized. Here’s the video to her #1 hit, Without Me. Give this rising star a listen.

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