What's in a name? Singer Halsey decided to answer that question for herself.
In a new interview with Cosmopolitan, the "Be Kind" singer, born Ashley Nicolette Frangipane, opened up about the real reason she started using a stage moniker.
"People hear about me and they want to paint my story as a rags to riches tale, but that's not true. It was a very slow and painful process," she shared. "When I look back on it, I'm so proud of that teenage girl who dropped [my first album] Badlands because I had all the odds against me. I didn't know anybody in the music industry. I was from New Jersey. I had no f--king money, and there was no way I was going to college."
The 26-year-old LGBTQ+ activist, who recently released a book of poetry, I Would Leave Me If I Could, continued, "Me wanting to do this was so far fetched, and the fact that I changed my name in the process—I think I had the foresight to know that being me wasn't enough. I had to become somebody completely different. At the time, I felt that Ashley didn't deserve to be famous and successful because she wasn't that special, but if I made Halsey, maybe she could be."
Halsey noted that changing her name revealed an "opportunity to create a new persona" that could reach new heights despite her "upbringing or socioeconomic situation."
As the newest face for Budweiser's "Be a King" campaign, Halsey further explained, "There was no way that Ashley was going to become a king, but I made a new name for myself and took her to paranormal, supernatural heights."