Halsey is fit to “Be a King” for Budweiser’s latest campaign, which was announced Wednesday (Oct. 14).
The multi-platinum pop star revealed an accompanying “Make Your Name – Be a King” mini-film that shows her poetic metamorphosis from Jersey girl Ashley Frangipane to global sensation Halsey, an anagram of her birth name that was also inspired by the Halsey Street station at the New York City Subway. The two-minute clip captures her five-year quest through her never-before-heard spoken word poetry.
“I grew up in New Jersey and started romanticizing New York at a very young age. It was so close, but always felt so far, and being able to move there quickly became the goal. When I finally got there (while it was extremely difficult at times) I felt like I could finally be the artist I wanted to be, and access parts of myself I just wasn’t able to in my small hometown,” Halsey tells Billboard.
Being a king is all about chasing after a dream and making a name for yourself, whether it’s rearranging the letters in your name to make a moniker that matches a subway station in the next state over, or it’s leaving your home country in pursuit of making the best beer in the world, like Budweiser founder Adolphus Busch set out to do in 1876.
“Budweiser views being a king as a mindset, and I was honored that they choose me to break down the gender association of the word ‘King’ and allow me to tell my story,” the Hopeless Fountain Kingdom singer tells Billboard. “I think being a king is about finding self-confidence, embracing your power and celebrating all of the little things that have made you who you are. Nothing is ‘required’ to be a king besides self-belief and acceptance.”
Halsey also designed a limited-edition merchandise collection in partnership with Budweiser that’s available for pre-order at her webstore. It features lines of her spoken-word poetry that she reads in the campaign visual, and all profits from merch sales will benefit the National Alliance to End Homelessness.
“Budweiser is focused on celebrating stories of ambition which inspire our consumers to step up and Be a King. This attitude to life has been ingrained in Budweiser since Adolphus Busch came to the US with the dream of creating the King of Beers,” Steve Arkley, Budweiser global vp, said in a press statement. “Halsey embodies this same self-belief with an incredible true story of overcoming challenges to make her own name.”
Watch her “Make Your Name – Be a King” mini-film and check out the official merch below.