Iggy Azalea

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Iggy Azalea
Iggy Azalea August 2015.jpg
Azalea in August 2015
Amethyst Amelia Kelly

(1990-06-07) 7 June 1990 (age 28)
Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
  • Rapper
  • singer
  • songwriter
  • model
Years active2011–present
Awards Full list
Musical career
Associated acts
Website iggyazalea.com

Amethyst Amelia Kelly (born 7 June 1990), known professionally as Iggy Azalea ( /əˈzliə/ ), is an Australian rapper, singer, songwriter and model. [1] Azalea moved to the United States at the age of 16 to pursue a career in music, and has since resided in Los Angeles. Her stage name comes from the name of her dog and the street she lived on. She earned public recognition after releasing music videos for her songs "Pu$$y" and "Two Times" on YouTube. In 2012 Azalea signed a recording contract with Grand Hustle Records, which is owned by American rapper T.I., after gaining attention from her first full-length project, a mixtape titled Ignorant Art .

YouTube video-sharing service owned by Google

YouTube is an American video-sharing website headquartered in San Bruno, California. Three former PayPal employees—Chad Hurley, Steve Chen, and Jawed Karim—created the service in February 2005. Google bought the site in November 2006 for US$1.65 billion; YouTube now operates as one of Google's subsidiaries.

Grand Hustle Records, also known as Hustle Gang Music, is an Atlanta, Georgia-based record label, founded in 2003, by American hip hop recording artist T.I. and his business partner Jason Geter. Up until December 2012, the label was distributed by Atlantic Records. It currently operates as an independent record label. The label is home to artists such as B.o.B, Young Dro, Travis Scott and Trae tha Truth, the latter of whom also serves as the label's vice president. The label also houses a roster of record producers, including DJ Toomp, Lil' C, Mars, Nard & B, TrackSlayerz and more.

T.I. American rapper and actor

Clifford Joseph Harris Jr., known professionally as T.I. and Tip, is an American rapper and actor. Harris signed his first major-label record deal in 1999 with Arista subsidiary LaFace. In 2001, Harris formed the Southern hip hop group P$C, alongside his longtime friends and fellow Atlanta-based rappers Big Kuntry King, Mac Boney, and C-Rod. Upon being released from Arista, Harris signed to Atlantic and subsequently became the co-chief executive officer (CEO) of his own label imprint, Grand Hustle Records, which he launched in 2003. Harris is also known as one of the artists who popularized the hip hop subgenre trap music, along with Young Jeezy and Gucci Mane.


Azalea's debut studio album, The New Classic (2014), peaked among the top five of several charts worldwide and received generally mixed reviews. It topped the Billboard Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums making Azalea the first non-American female rapper to reach the top of the chart. [2] The album was preceded by her debut single "Work", and generated the US Billboard Hot 100 chart-topping single "Fancy". Azalea was featured on Ariana Grande's single "Problem", which peaked at No. 2 while "Fancy" was No. 1. Azalea joined The Beatles as the only acts to rank at numbers one and two simultaneously with their first two Hot 100 entries. [3] [4] [5] She achieved three top-ten hits simultaneously on the Hot 100 with the aforementioned songs along with the album's fifth single, "Black Widow", later that year. [6] Following a slew of moderately successful singles, Azalea released the EP Survive the Summer (2018).

<i>The New Classic</i> 2014 album by Iggy Azalea

The New Classic is the debut studio album by Australian rapper Iggy Azalea. It was released on 21 April 2014, by Def Jam Recordings in United States, Virgin EMI in United Kingdom and affiliated record labels in other countries. Azalea came to prominence, after releasing her debut mixtape Ignorant Art and subsequently aligning herself with American rapper T.I. and his Hustle Gang imprint. Azalea first mentioned plans for the album in December 2011, but after numerous delays and label conflicts, Azalea eventually secured herself a record contract through Island Def Jam Music Group. Though generally categorized as a hip hop album, The New Classic also incorporates elements of other genres, such as EDM, dance-pop and trap music in its production.

Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums is a chart published by Billboard magazine that ranks R&B and hip hop albums based on sales in the United States and is compiled by Nielsen SoundScan. The name of the chart was changed from Top R&B Albums in 1999. The chart debuted in the magazine as Hot R&B LPs in 1965, and were also called Top Black Albums; from 1969-1978 they were identified as Soul charts. The US Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums tracks the albums of quiet storm, urban contemporary, soul music, R&B, new jack swing, hip hop, and sometimes house music artists.

Work (Iggy Azalea song) 2013 song by Iggy Azalea

"Work" is the debut single recorded by Australian rapper Iggy Azalea for her debut studio album, The New Classic (2014). It was released as the album's lead single on 17 March 2013. The track was written by Azalea, Trocon Markous Roberts, Natalie Sims, and The Invisible Men who produced it with 1st Down of FKi. Hailed by Azalea as her most personal song, "Work" was developed with motivational and inspirational intentions to portray her life story; specifically dealing with her struggle as an up-and-coming rapper, and her relocation from Mullumbimby, New South Wales to Miami, Florida at age 16. In sequence with its lyrical story, the snap and trap track begins with a sad-stringed verse segment before significantly increasing in tempo at its drum and synth-heavy refrain.

As of 5 December 2018, Azalea's official YouTube channel has accumulated 2.6 billion views, while she has had 13 music videos receive over 100 million views on Vevo.

Vevo is an American multinational video hosting service founded on December 8, 2009, as a joint venture among three major record companies: Universal Music Group (UMG), Sony Music Entertainment (SME) and EMI. In August 2016, Warner Music Group (WMG), the third-largest record company, agreed to license premium videos from its artists onto Vevo.

Early life

Azalea grew up in Mullumbimby, New South Wales Burringbar Street, Mullumbimby, NSW 2014.jpg
Azalea grew up in Mullumbimby, New South Wales
An aerial perspective of Mullumbimby, NSW, where Azalea grew up Aerial panorama of Mullumbimby, NSW.jpg
An aerial perspective of Mullumbimby, NSW, where Azalea grew up

Amethyst Amelia Kelly was born in Sydney and brought up in Mullumbimby, New South Wales. Her father, Brendan Kelly, was a European-Australian painter and comic artist, [7] while her mother, Tanya, [8] cleaned holiday houses and hotels. [9] Azalea lived in a house that her father built by hand from mud-bricks, surrounded by 5 hectares (12 acres) of land. [9] [10] [11] According to Azalea, she has some Aboriginal (Indigenous Australian) ancestry: "My family came to Australia on the First Fleet. My family's been in that country for a long time, over 100 years. [12] If your family's lived in Australia for a long time, everyone has a little bit of [Aborigine blood]. I know my family does because we have an eye condition that only Aboriginal people have." Azalea has also said that her father "made her look at [art] as a teenager", which has always influenced her life and work. [9] She began rapping at age 14. [11] Before embarking on a solo career, Azalea formed a group with two other girls from her neighbourhood: "I was like, I could be the rapper. This could be like TLC. I'll be Left Eye." [13] Azalea eventually decided to disband the group because the other girls weren't taking it seriously: "I take everything I do serious [sic]. I'm too competitive." [13]

Sydney City in New South Wales, Australia

Sydney is the state capital of New South Wales and the most populous city in Australia and Oceania. Located on Australia's east coast, the metropolis surrounds Port Jackson and extends about 70 km (43.5 mi) on its periphery towards the Blue Mountains to the west, Hawkesbury to the north, the Royal National Park to the south and Macarthur to the south-west. Sydney is made up of 658 suburbs, 40 local government areas and 15 contiguous regions. Residents of the city are known as "Sydneysiders". As of June 2017, Sydney's estimated metropolitan population was 5,230,330 and is home to approximately 65% of the state's population.

First Fleet 11 ships that left Great Britain to found the penal colony in Australia

The First Fleet was the 11 ships that departed from Portsmouth, England, on 13 May 1787 to found the penal colony that became the first European settlement in Australia. The Fleet consisted of two Royal Navy vessels, three store ships and six convict transports, carrying between 1,000 and 1,500 convicts, marines, seamen, civil officers and free people, and a large quantity of stores. From England, the Fleet sailed southwest to Rio de Janeiro, then east to Cape Town and via the Great Southern Ocean to Botany Bay, arriving over the period of 18 to 20 January 1788, taking 250 to 252 days from departure to final arrival.

Rapping is a musical form of vocal delivery that incorporates "rhyme, rhythmic speech, and street vernacular", which is performed or chanted in a variety of ways, usually over a backing beat or musical accompaniment. The components of rap include "content", "flow", and "delivery". Rap differs from spoken-word poetry in that rap is usually performed in time to an instrumental track. Rap is often associated with, and is a primary ingredient of hip-hop music, but the origins of the phenomenon predate hip-hop culture. The earliest precursor to the modern rap is the West African griot tradition, in which "oral historians", or "praise-singers", would disseminate oral traditions and genealogies, or use their formidable rhetorical techniques for gossip or to "praise or critique individuals." Griot traditions connect to rap along a lineage of Black verbal reverence that goes back to ancient Egyptian practices, through James Brown interacting with the crowd and the band between songs, to Muhammad Ali's quick-witted verbal taunts and the palpitating poems of the Last Poets. Therefore, rap lyrics and music are part of the "Black rhetorical continuum", and aim to reuse elements of past traditions while expanding upon them through "creative use of language and rhetorical styles and strategies. The person credited with originating the style of "delivering rhymes over extensive music", that would become known as rap, was Anthony "DJ Hollywood" Holloway from Harlem, New York.

In pursuit of her desire to move to America, Azalea dropped out of high school. She worked and saved the money she earned by cleaning hotel rooms and holiday houses with her mother. She claims to have hated school, which, apart from art class, only made her miserable. She also said she had no friends and was teased for her homemade outfits. [14] Azalea travelled to the United States in 2006, shortly before she turned 16. She told her parents she was going "on a holiday" with a friend, but eventually decided to stay and shortly afterward told them she was not coming back home: "I was drawn to America because I felt like an outsider in my own country, I was in love with hip hop, and America is the birthplace of that, so I figured the closer I was to the music, the happier I'd be. I was right." [15] She recalled, "My mum was crying, saying, 'Just be safe.' I was thinking, 'I'm going by myself. I'm fucking crazy!'." [16] After her arrival in the US, she received her GED, and resided in the country on a visa waiver for six years, returning to Australia every three months to renew it. Azalea worked in the US illegally until February 2013 when she was granted a five-year O visa. [17]

Holiday festive day set aside by custom or by law

A holiday is a day set aside by custom or by law on which normal activities, especially business or work including school, are suspended or reduced. Generally, holidays are intended to allow individuals to celebrate or commemorate an event or tradition of cultural or religious significance. Holidays may be designated by governments, religious institutions, or other groups or organizations. The degree to which normal activities are reduced by a holiday may depend on local laws, customs, the type of job held or personal choices.

Hip hop music music genre consisting of a stylized rhythmic music that commonly accompanies rapping

Hip hop music, also called hip-hop or rap music, is a music genre developed in the United States by inner-city African Americans in the late 1970s which consists of a stylized rhythmic music that commonly accompanies rapping, a rhythmic and rhyming speech that is chanted. It developed as part of hip hop culture, a subculture defined by four key stylistic elements: MCing/rapping, DJing/scratching with turntables, break dancing, and graffiti writing. Other elements include sampling beats or bass lines from records, and rhythmic beatboxing. While often used to refer solely to rapping, "hip hop" more properly denotes the practice of the entire subculture. The term hip hop music is sometimes used synonymously with the term rap music, though rapping is not a required component of hip hop music; the genre may also incorporate other elements of hip hop culture, including DJing, turntablism, scratching, beatboxing, and instrumental tracks.

General Educational Development

The General Education Development (GED) tests are a group of four subject tests which, when passed, provide certification that the test taker has United States or Canadian high school-level academic skills. It is an alternative to the US High school diploma, HiSET and TASC test. The GED Testing website currently does not refer to the test as anything but "GED".

Musical career

2006–2012: Beginnings and Glory

When she first arrived in the United States in 2006, she stayed in Miami, Florida, and afterwards lived briefly in Houston, Texas. Azalea settled for a few years in Atlanta, Georgia, working with a member of the Dungeon Family named Backbone. During that period, she met future collaborators FKi and Natalie Sims. [18] [19] She took her stage name from the name of her childhood dog, Iggy, and the street she grew up on, Azalea Street, where her family lives to this day. [20] She said people would laugh at her because "they thought my raps sucked." But having grown up getting laughed at, she was able to shrug it off. [21] Meanwhile, she'd met someone from Interscope Records who encouraged her to move to Los Angeles, and so in the summer of 2010, she decided to do so. She was briefly managed by Interscope. [15] [21] It was around this time she adopted her stage name. She also started making stop motion animated videos with freestyle rap because she felt like she had found her sound. [22]

Miami City in Florida, United States

Miami, officially the City of Miami, is the cultural, economic and financial center of South Florida. Miami is the seat of Miami-Dade County, the most populous county in Florida. The city covers an area of about 56.6 square miles (147 km2), between the Everglades to the west and Biscayne Bay on the east; with a 2017 estimated population of 463,347, Miami is the sixth most densely populated major city in the United States. The Miami metropolitan area is home to 6.1 million people and the seventh-largest metropolitan area in the nation. Miami's metro area is the second-most populous metropolis in the southeastern United States and fourth-largest urban area in the U.S. Miami has the third tallest skyline in the United States with over 300 high-rises, 80 of which stand taller than 400 feet.

Florida State of the United States of America

Florida is the southernmost contiguous state in the United States. The state is bordered to the west by the Gulf of Mexico, to the northwest by Alabama, to the north by Georgia, to the east by the Atlantic Ocean, and to the south by the Straits of Florida. Florida is the 22nd-most extensive, the 3rd-most populous, and the 8th-most densely populated of the U.S. states. Jacksonville is the most populous municipality in the state and the largest city by area in the contiguous United States. The Miami metropolitan area is Florida's most populous urban area. Tallahassee is the state's capital.

Houston City in Texas, United States

Houston is the most populous city in the U.S. state of Texas and the fourth most populous city in the United States, with a census-estimated population of 2.312 million in 2017. It is the most populous city in the Southern United States and on the Gulf Coast of the United States. Located in Southeast Texas near Galveston Bay and the Gulf of Mexico, it is the seat of Harris County and the principal city of the Greater Houston metropolitan area, which is the fifth most populous metropolitan statistical area (MSA) in the United States and the second most populous in Texas after the Dallas-Fort Worth MSA. With a total area of 627 square miles (1,620 km2), Houston is the eighth most expansive city in the United States. It is the largest city in the United States by total area, whose government is similarly not consolidated with that of a county or borough. Though primarily in Harris County, small portions of the city extend into Fort Bend and Montgomery counties.

On 27 September 2011, Azalea released her first full-length project, a mixtape titled Ignorant Art , saying she made it "with the intent to make people question and redefine old ideals". [23] Her song "Pu$$y" was included on the mixtape, alongside guest appearances from YG, Joe Moses, Chevy Jones, and Problem. In November 2011, she released a music video for her song "My World", directed by Alex/2tone. The video features a cameo appearance from character actor and former wrestler Tiny Lister, which earned her more attention due to its rising popularity online. [24] "It's supposed to have like, all the ridiculousness of a big-budget '90s video, but then chopped and screwed," said Azalea, of the video. [25] In December 2011, Azalea revealed she would release her debut studio album, entitled The New Classic , as soon as she signed a major record label deal: "Once that's sorted out and I establish an overall sound and direction for the album, I will be able to know what artists would make for a dynamic collaboration". [26] On 11 January 2012, Azalea released the music video for "The Last Song", her third video from Ignorant Art. [27] In an interview with Billboard , released on 27 January, Azalea hinted at an Interscope Records signing, while also revealing hopes of releasing The New Classic in June, and for her debut single to precede it in March. [28]

"I'm working with a different production company for my album than what I did for my mixtape Ignorant Art, and I don't know who yet. I'm still looking. T.I.'s gonna be helping me with it, kinda like A&Ring, kinda like executive-producing. He called me up and was like, 'Yo.' And I was like, 'Definitely. You're Tip. I love you, of course.' So he's gonna be kinda helping me out, like just kinda reaching out to people and helping me find production and pointing me in the direction of things that I might like. We're gonna start on that next week together. I'll probably fly out to Atlanta and we'll do it in between there because he's weird with traveling and stuff. I understand. We're in touch with each other. I have legal issues, he has legal issues. I get it. So hopefully that will be really dynamic and it'll help speed things along."

– Azalea speaking on her phone call and decision to work with T.I.. [29]

Azalea reached out to Southern rapper T.I., for the direction of her debut album. T.I. was set to executive produce The New Classic, soon after a phone call the two had. At the time, Azalea was eyeing a summer release for The New Classic: "Hopefully if all goes to plan, my album will be out in June and I'll have it recorded by the end of the month." [29] However, after Interscope did not allow T.I. to be an ongoing part of her deal, Azalea opted not to sign with the major label and stay independently signed to Grand Hustle Records, until the release of her first album, which had then been postponed. [30] In early 2012, Azalea was featured on the cover of XXL , as part of its annual "Top 10 Freshman List", along with fellow up-and-coming rappers French Montana, MGK, Danny Brown, Hopsin, and Roscoe Dash. [31] On 1 March 2012, T.I. announced he signed Azalea to Grand Hustle Records, along with rappers Chip and Trae tha Truth. [32] On 26 March 2012, Azalea posted "Murda Bizness", the intended lead single for The New Classic, on her YouTube account. The song was produced by Bei Maejor and features a verse from her Grand Hustle label-boss T.I..

In April 2012, via her Twitter feed, Azalea announced plans to release an extended play (EP) entitled Glory , later in May: "I'm just onto something right now, the last two weeks and it's glory. Azaleans need something new." [33] Also in April, Azalea starred alongside Grammy-nominated producer Diplo and FKi in the world's first fully interactive 'shoppable' music video for Canadian fashion retailer, SSENSE. [34] In May 2012, it was confirmed by T.I., on MTV's HipHopPov, that Azalea had not yet secured distribution for her deal with Grand Hustle Records, and was described by T.I. as a "free agent". It was later revealed in the interview that she was in negotiation with labels other than Interscope, possibly Def Jam Recordings (wherein Bu Thiam, whom of which originally placed a bid to sign her is VP of A&R). [35] Azalea was also featured on Steve Aoki and Angger Dimas' collaborative electronic track "Beat Down", which was released on 31 May 2012. [36]

Azalea performing at Converse Get Dirty Festival in Austria, April 2013 Iggy Azalea - Converse Get Dirty Austria Edited.jpg
Azalea performing at Converse Get Dirty Festival in Austria, April 2013

On 24 June 2012, Azalea released "Millionaire Misfits", the second offering from her EP Glory; the first being "Murda Bizness". On 21 July, the official music video for "Murda Bizness" was released online. Glory , although not released in May, as it was originally scheduled, was released 30 July 2012. Azalea was also one of the acts on MTV's 2012 Closer to My Dreams Tour, along with Tyga and Kirko Bangz. [37] On 28 September 2012, Azalea announced she would be releasing her second mixtape on 11 October 2012. Titling it TrapGold , the mixtape was produced entirely by Diplo and FKi. She later premiered teaser visuals for the track "Bac 2 Tha Future (My Time)". [38] On 9 October 2012, Azalea made her US national television debut, appearing alongside T.I., B.o.B and other Grand Hustle artists in a cypher, at the 2012 BET Hip Hop Awards. Later that month, she embarked on yet another North American mini-concert tour with Roc Nation singer-songwriter Rita Ora, on her Ora Tour. [39] Azalea then headlined a tour in Europe to support TrapGold. [40] On 16 December 2012, Azalea performed live alongside Natasha Bedingfield and Bootsy Collins, covering Deee-Lite's 1990 hit disco song "Groove Is in the Heart", on the annual television series VH1 Divas .

2013–2015: The New Classic and breakthrough

In January and February 2013, Azalea worked on tour while still in progress on her upcoming singles and summer release of The New Classic. She was the opening act for Rita Ora's Radioactive Tour, in the United Kingdom. [41] As part of her set for Ora's Radioactive Tour, Azalea premiered her commercial debut single "Work", which also serves as the lead single for her debut album. The single premiered on BBC Radio 1Xtra on 11 February 2013. [42] On 13 February 2013, it was announced Azalea had signed a record deal with Mercury Records. [43] The music video for her debut single "Work", was directed by Jonas & François and released 13 March 2013. [44] In March 2013, Azalea also joined renowned East Coast rapper Nas, on the European leg of his Life Is Good Tour. [44]

On 15 April 2013, Vevo announced Azalea as its second LIFT artist of 2013 and that she would film live festival performances, fashion and style pieces and behind-the-scenes interviews as part of the eight-week-long campaign. It was also revealed that the music video for her second single "Bounce", would premiere on Vevo at the end of the month. [45] On 16 March 2013, it was announced that Azalea would perform in the beneficent concert "Chime for Change", scheduled to take place on 1 June in London, alongside Beyoncé, Jennifer Lopez and others. On 23 April 2013, Azalea announced that she had signed a solo record deal with Island Def Jam. [46] On 26 April 2013, Azalea's second European single "Bounce", premiered on BBC Radio 1. [47] She also noted that the third international single taken from her debut album is entitled "Change Your Life" and features a verse from T.I.. Azalea also confirmed that she is not signed to Grand Hustle Records; however, heavily affiliated with the label. [48]

Azalea performing at Irving Plaza in New York City on The New Classic Tour, May 2014 Iggy Azalea - Irving Plaza, New York City.jpg
Azalea performing at Irving Plaza in New York City on The New Classic Tour, May 2014

On 25 May 2013, Azalea, as part of Radio 1's Big Weekend in Derry, performed an acclaimed carnival themed set on the In New Music We Trust stage. The setlist contained songs from previous EP's and album material such as "Bounce" and "Work". The show was the start of a short set of UK pre-album promotional appearances. [49] In June 2013, Azalea confirmed that the album was nearly finished and that it's slated for release in September 2013. [50] On 29 July 2013, Azalea revealed she will be opening for Beyoncé on the 17-date Australia leg of her Mrs. Carter Show World Tour in October and November. [51] The third single from The New Classic, titled "Change Your Life", was premiered by BBC Radio 1Xtra's MistaJam, on 19 August 2013. [52] [53] On 3 October 2013, Azalea made her first appearance on BET's 106 & Park , where she was interviewed and performed "Change Your Life", alongside T.I. [54] [55] [56]

Azalea's debut album was slated for an October release but in an interview with Australia's Herald Sun , she revealed due to other commitments such as supporting Beyoncé on her Mrs. Carter Show World Tour her record label would not allow her to release The New Classic until March 2014. She said: "The official date? Fucked if I know! It's done, it's so depressing to say this but it's the beginning of March, it's so far away but I just have to accept that." She explained the reasons behind the delay: "It was supposed to be October but obviously I'm going on tour with Beyoncé and they said I'm not allowed to put an album out while I'm on tour because I'll be trapped in Australia and I won't be able to do any TV appearances and I thought that's fair enough, that's three weeks and then they said 'You can't put an album out around Christmas time, that's a bad time' and I said 'What about January?' 'Well nobody gets back off holidays and then it's the BRIT Awards, you can't release an album, it's terrible for marketing' which brings me to February." [57] On 10 November, Azalea performed "Blurred Lines" with Robin Thicke at the 2013 MTV Europe Music Awards. [58]

On 5 December 2013, an unfinished song by Azalea titled "Leave It" and the tag produced by DJ Mustard, was leaked. [59] [60] [61] Azalea later revealed the song was in fact produced by The Invisible Men and The Arcade, whom she collaborated with on the entire album. [62] In February 2014, Azalea announced that she would be releasing a new single titled "Fancy", featuring English singer-songwriter Charli XCX. [63] The song was premiered on BBC Radio 1 Xtra at 7 pm GMT on 6 February 2014. After the song's premiere, it was revealed "Fancy" was the song that had leaked titled "Leave It". On 17 February 2014, the song was serviced to urban contemporary radio in the United Kingdom as the album's fourth single and became her highest charting song at the time. [64] The music video for "Fancy", inspired by the 1995 American comedy film Clueless was released on 4 March. [65] "Fancy" went on to become Azalea's most successful single to date, becoming her first single to chart on the US Billboard Hot 100. [66] It also reached number-one on Billboard's Hot Rap Songs chart, [67] as well as number-one the US Dance Club Play chart. [68]

Azalea's often-delayed and long-awaited debut album, The New Classic, was released on 21 April 2014. [69] Upon its release, the album debuted at number-three on the Billboard 200 chart, with first-week sales of 52,000 copies in the United States. The New Classic was the highest-charting female rap album since American rapper Nicki Minaj's Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded (2012). Azalea also logs the highest bow for a female rapper's debut album since Pink Friday (2010), which had entered at number-two with 375,000 copies sold. [70] [71] Azalea was then featured on American singer Ariana Grande's single "Problem", which was released on 28 April 2014. The song was released as the lead single from Grande's second studio album. Shortly after, Azalea also appeared on Jennifer Lopez's single "Booty".

Azalea performing at the ACL Music Festival, October 2014 Iggy Azalea - ACL Music Festival (2).jpg
Azalea performing at the ACL Music Festival, October 2014

On 28 May 2014, The New Classic's fourth single "Fancy", reached number-one on the US Billboard Hot 100 chart, with Azalea being the fourth solo female rapper ever to top the Hot 100. On the same day, "Problem" rose to number-two on the Hot 100, with Azalea becoming the only artist since The Beatles, to rank at numbers one and two simultaneously, with their first two respective Hot 100 entries. "Fancy" also topped the Billboard Hot R&B/Hip Hop Songs chart. [72] On 24 June 2014, Azalea's song "Black Widow", featuring Rita Ora, was serviced to rhythmic contemporary radio, as her debut album's fifth single in the US. It eventually peaked at number-three on the Billboard Hot 100. [73] A reissue of The New Classic, titled Reclassified , was released in November 2014; featuring five new songs, including new singles "Beg for It" and "Trouble".

On 10 December 2014, when reflecting on the year she's had and the struggles she faced in the years before, Azalea announced plans of an arena tour for 2015 and a second studio album via her Twitter account. The same day, she revealed the title of the tour, The Great Escape Tour, and the concept behind it, which is Azalea picturing herself as "a musical escape artist for people." Azalea also stated that the name of the tour went along with the title of her upcoming second studio album, which would also be promoted on the tour. [74] Azalea declared she had started to work on her second studio album in January 2015. [75] On 4 May 2015, she released a duet with Britney Spears titled "Pretty Girls." [76] On 29 May 2015, it was reported The Great Escape Tour had been canceled and there would be a new tour planned around Azalea's new album to be released in 2016. [77] Azalea later clarified she "had a different creative change of heart" and would also be taking a break to figure out the progression she wanted for her sound and visuals. [78] In June, when asked details on her new music, she explained she had scrapped six months of work to start from scratch. [79] On 30 August, Azalea performed "Cool for the Summer" with Demi Lovato at the 2015 MTV Video Music Awards, after a collaboration between the two was announced for Lovato's fifth studio album Confident . [80]

2016–2018: Career setbacks and Survive the Summer

Azalea at the 2018 MTV Video Music Awards Iggy Azalea VMA 2018.jpg
Azalea at the 2018 MTV Video Music Awards

In October 2015, Azalea revealed the initial title of her second album to be Digital Distortion. [81] A buzz track off the album, "Azillion", was made available for free streaming on SoundCloud on 9 January 2016. [82] The project's lead single "Team" was released on 18 March 2016 along with a dance video. [83] An accompanying music video premiered on 31 March. [84] In March 2016, Azalea revealed she had started a production company, having "bought the rights to a couple of books that I really like, and also some television shows from Australia that I really believed in and was a fan of when I was a kid, and I had some ideas to rework [them]." [85] In July 2016, she announced that her company, Azalea Street Productions, had signed a deal to create original content for NBCUniversal. [86]

On 12 June 2016, Seven Network revealed that Azalea had signed on to be a judge on The X Factor Australia for its eighth season, broadcast from October to November 2016. [87] In September 2016, Azalea explained she was delaying the release of her album to 2017, despite it initially being set for July 2016, after ending the relationship with her fiancé, "[I] just needed to have some me time to get my life in order and process the changes that are happening in my private life," and wanting to record new songs that reflected her mindset: "when I wrote [my album] I was about to get married ... I don't want to go and promote my album and get asked about my relationship that has just crumbled." [88] [89] Azalea released two singles, "Mo Bounce" and "Switch", on 24 March 2017 and 19 May 2017 respectively. [90] [91] The latter track features Brazilian singer Anitta. [91] Azalea promoted "Switch" through a performance on the 2017 iHeartRadio Much Music Video Awards.

On 7 November 2017, Azalea stated that she wasn't allowed to release music until January 2018, as she signed with a new label. She additionally announced the new title of her second album, Surviving the Summer, and put four new tracks for free download via WeTransfer. [92] [93] The media has dubbed the songs as a four-track mixtape or EP called 4 My Ratz. [94] [95] In January 2018, Azalea announced the title of the lead single from Surviving the Summer, "Savior" featuring Quavo, which was released on 2 February 2018.

On 8 June 2018, the rapper revealed that Survive the Summer is an EP. She also stated that the reason behind the postponed release date—originally for 2 June, then 30 June release—was the changing president of her record label, Island Records. [96] On 5 July, Azalea released two tracks from the EP: "Tokyo Snow Trip" and "Kream", the latter featuring Tyga. [97] Survive the Summer was released on 3 August 2018, and it debuted at number 144 on the Billboard 200.

2019: In My Defense

On 3 November 2018, Azalea left her record label, Island Records, according to her tweet, which she was signed to in 2017, [98] and established her own record label, which was then-named New Classic Records. Two weeks later, she announced she had signed a $2.7 million dollar distribution deal with an unidentified company. She stated that she would be an independent artist, be able to sign other artists, and own all her masters, with exceptions to her music licensed under Universal. On 20 November 2018, it was announced that she had signed a partnership deal with Empire Distribution. [99] She would later rename her record label to Bad Dreams in January 2019. [100] [101]

Azalea announced in early February 2019, that she had completed work on her second studio album, In My Defense. She further stated her plans to release it in Spring of that same year. On 27 February, Azalea announced that "Sally Walker" would be the first single off the album. Her previous single, "Kream", was certified Gold for selling 500,000 copies in the US that same day.

At the end of March 2019, 14 days after Azalea’s new single was released, ‘Sally Walker’ has accumulated over 38 million views on YouTube, has a combined total sales of over 82,000 copies sold on all platforms and has debuted on Billboard’s Hot 100 Chart, taking its spot at number 62, making it the highest charting single from Azalea on the Billboard charts since ‘Team’, released in 2016, which charted at number 42. Azalea promoted the song further on "Jimmy Kimmel Live!".


Public image

After at first resisting suggestions to try modeling, [102] in 2012 Azalea signed with Wilhelmina Models International Inc., a model and celebrity agency in the fashion industry. [103] She featured in promotional ads for Los Angeles-based lifestyle brand Dim Mak's 2012 fall/winter collection. [104] Also in 2012, Azalea was the face of Levi's "Go Forth" campaign. [105] Azalea also appeared in House of Holland's first eyewear collection campaign. [106] In July 2014, MTV announced that Azalea would be the host of the revived House of Style . [107] Azalea appeared in the seventh installment of The Fast and the Furious film series, Furious 7 , released in 2015. [108] In August 2014, the New York Post 's Page Six reported that Azalea had formed a footwear collaboration with Steve Madden. [109] Their shoe collection was unveiled in February 2015. [110] In October 2014, Azalea and her boyfriend Nick Young were announced as the new faces of Forever 21's 2014 holiday campaign. [111] In April 2015, she signed on to be the 100th birthday ambassador of Australian underwear and clothing company Bonds. [112] In 2018, Azalea was announced as Monster Products's new spokesperson and starred in their Super Bowl LII commercial. [113]

Musical style and influences

Although Azalea is Australian, she raps with a Southern U.S. accent. [114] When she first moved to America, she was involved in the Southern hip hop scene of Miami and later Atlanta, which made it easy for her to cultivate the Southern influence in her music: "I lived in the South for five years; you pick up things from your surroundings and teachers. The people who taught me to rap are all from the South and so was the music I had listened to as a teen." [115] While Azalea's debut extended play Glory was intended to focus on hardcore-rap, the EP also touched up on other genres including electronic dance music. [116] [117] Music critics have defined her singles "Fancy" and "Team" as electro-hop. [83] [118]

At the age of 11, Azalea was infatuated with hip hop when she heard Tupac Shakur's "Baby Don't Cry (Keep Ya Head Up II)": "It was the song that made me fall in love with music and also what sparked my Tupac fascination. That would later make me pick up my own pen and write songs". [115] In her early interviews, Azalea regularly mentioned Shakur's influence: "I was sickly obsessed. I had every picture of Tupac ever printed on my wall". [11] She has credited Beyoncé as an influence [119] and Missy Elliott as the female rapper who she is influenced by and admires the most. [115] Outside of music, her fashion sense is influenced by Grace Kelly, Lil' Kim, Gwen Stefani, the Spice Girls, Fran Drescher, Eve, Trina, Fergie, and Christina Aguilera. [115] [120] [121] [122] Azalea has also been credited as a director for some of her music videos, and often mentions the importance she attributes to them: "For me, visuals are as important as the music, I just love escapism and giving people something to escape to. To me, that's what art is." [123] [124] [125]

Azalea at the ESPYs in 2014 Iggy Azalea 7-16-2014 -10 (14701391283).jpg
Azalea at the ESPYs in 2014


In 2012, Azalea caused controversy for her song "D.R.U.G.S", a remix of Kendrick Lamar's "Look Out for Detox", having adapted one of its lyrics to "When the relay starts, I'm a runaway slave / Master," leading her to release a letter online apologizing, stating that it was a "tacky and careless thing to say." [126] According to the UK newspaper The Guardian , there have been "accusations of racism against Azalea" focused on her "...insensitivity to the complexities of race relations and cultural appropriation." [127] Salon writer Brittney Cooper critiqued Azalea's "co-optation and appropriation of sonic Southern Blackness, particularly the sonic Blackness of Southern Black women." [128] Her use of an African American English accent [129] has been compared to blackface [130] [131] and part of a "broad, vague area of white people pretending to be black: those who do it culturally, rather than cosmetically," [132] but also conversely as "wilful ignorance." [133] Both supporters and critics of Azalea's rise to fame within the hip-hop industry noted that it was important to be inclusive while acknowledging and respecting the role of African-Americans in pioneering hip-hop. [134] After being asked to analyze and compare her speaking and rapping voice, linguistics professor David Crystal said Azalea might be doing it unconsciously to accommodate to the American rapping style, adding: "There are hardly any echoes of [Azalea's] original Australian accent in her speaking voice—just the odd word (e.g. "own", "believe") and inflection. She has developed a mixed accent (like so many people have these days) as a result of her traveling around." [135] When asked about the validity to the criticisms leveled against her, Azalea stated: "Do you not like me because I rap with an American accent and I'm not American? Well, that's valid on some level because that's your opinion and I can't change that," continuing "But I'm not trying to sound black—I just grew up in a country where on TV and in music and film, everyone was American or any Australian person in them put on an American accent. So I never saw it as strange at all." [22]

In 2018, Azalea claimed that U.S. history of racism causes its audiences to dismiss her and claims that she "grew up in a situation that didn't involve any privilege and I worked really hard," later reiterating on US race relations "I make 'black' music. I don't want people to think it's not something I care about. I want to make music for girls in the gym." [136] She stated "it's important for music to reflect what is going on socially and for there to be those kinds of voices within the industry. But I want to be that person you can listen to for four minutes and not think about that stuff at all, and it’s important to have that too [...] I'm not here to offer that commentary, but that doesn't mean I don't care." [22] In 2016, she lamented that, "many people think I still live in that bubble and that I don't understand that the United States is set up in a way that doesn't benefit minorities. I've lived here for 10 years now, and I don't want it to be that way either. I'm marrying a black man and my children will be half black – of course I care about these things." [137] She further dismisses the legitimacy of the racial controversy, believing sexism to be the true cause of criticism. [138] In a feature covering Azalea's career, Clove Hope wrote, "Rather than seeing race as an issue, Iggy focused on the trend of women in rap being over-policed and accused of not writing their own rhymes, while in the process overlooking how artists like herself and Macklemore hold a broader industry advantage, even as they feel like outcasts in their field." [139] In 2014, journalist Natalie Morin tracked down a history of homophobic and racist statements and sentiments from Azalea's social media accounts, which Azalea deleted, acknowledged and claimed were before her rise to fame. [140] In 2016, Azalea was planning to release her sophomore album titled Digital Distortion, explaining its concept addressing the criticisms against her, "some of them were fair and some of them, I think, were unfair. I just think it’s interesting that we live in this age of digital distortion where we’re all distorting each other and distorting ourselves and our perception of who we all are, and none of it is really accurate anymore." [22] She later credited the support she received from fellow rappers as giving her motivation facing the controversial claims in the media, "I grew up loving Missy Elliot, loving Lil' Kim or Trina and so I’m lucky I have those women I really idolized support me. So, I get a little bit confident in that, knowing the people I look up to appreciate what I’m doing." [141]

Personal life

In late 2011, Azalea began dating American rapper A$AP Rocky, whom she met through American record producer Chase N. Cashe. She confirmed that they were dating in a January 2012 interview with Vibe and, around this time, got the title of Rocky's breakout mixtape Live. Love. A$AP tattooed on her fingers. [142] She claimed she and Rocky both had tattoos dedicated to the relationship but his were not visible. [142] In July 2012, Rocky stated they were no longer dating [143] with Azalea later removing her tattoo. [144]

She began a relationship with Los Angeles Lakers basketball player Nick Young in November 2013. Azalea and Young were featured in the March 2014 issue of GQ magazine. They resided together in Tarzana, California. [145] On 1 June 2015, they announced their engagement. [146] On 19 June 2016, Azalea announced that she and Young had split after a video leaked on the internet showing Young bragging about cheating on Azalea. [147] In late 2018, Azalea began dating rapper American Playboi Carti. [148]

In March 2015, while talking about her body shape with Vogue , Azalea revealed she had undergone breast augmentation, saying, "I did change something: Four months ago, I got bigger boobs! I'd thought about it my entire life," adding she was sick of having to sew padding into her stage costumes and wanted to be able to wear lingerie without wiring. After initially resolving never to discuss it publicly as she didn't want other girls to feel bad about their bodies, she concluded, "But then, I decided I wasn't into secret-keeping." [149] In August 2015, she talked about having a nose job with Seventeen magazine, adding, "Your perception of yourself can change a lot over time, so I think it's important to wait and make sure it's the right choice. Plastic surgery is an emotional journey. [...] There are things that I didn't like about myself that I changed through surgery. There are other things I dislike but I've learned to accept. It's important to remember you can't change everything. You can never be perfect." [150]

In March 2018, Azalea was approved for permanent residence in the United States. [151]

Awards and nominations

Iggy Azalea has been nominated for numerous major music awards. Azalea was the first female, and first non-American rapper to be featured on XXL's "Top 10 Freshman List". [31] In 2014, she received two American Music Awards in the Rap/Hip-Hop categories, along with four more nominations, and one MTV Video Music Award for her collaboration with Ariana Grande, along with seven more nominations, making her the most nominated artist at these respective award show editions. [152] [153] She has also won three Teen Choice Awards and one MTV Europe Music Award. [154] [155] Azalea won the 2014 ARIA Award for Breakthrough Artist and the 2015 People's Choice Award for Favorite Hip-Hop Artist. [156] [157]

In November 2014, she was placed at number-one on the Maxim Hot 100 list in Australia because "few Aussies, female or otherwise, have had a bigger 2014 than Iggy." [158] Azalea also ranked at number 46 on the 2014 edition of the AMID (Australasian Music Industry Directory) Power 50, a list that compiles the most influential figures in the Australasian music world. [159] [160] Azalea received four nominations at the 57th Annual Grammy Awards, including Best New Artist, Record of the Year and Best Pop Duo/Group Performance for "Fancy" and Best Rap Album for The New Classic. [161] Azalea joined the list of the 9th Annual Billboard Women in Music honorees as a chart-topper. [162] In late 2014, it was announced she was placed at number-one on Billboard Year-End's Top New Artists chart. [163] [164] In 2015, Azalea also led the 2015 iHeartRadio Music Awards nominations with five. [165] She received twelve nominations at the 2015 Billboard Music Awards. [166] In 2016, Azalea was presented with the Woman of the Year award by GQ Australia. [167]





Opening act

See also

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Survive the Summer is the fourth extended play (EP) by Australian rapper Iggy Azalea. It was released on 3 August 2018 through Island Records. Work began in mid-2017 after the album, Digital Distortion, was cancelled. Developed as a visual extended play, initially the album songs were planned to be accompanied by non-linear short films that were going to illustrate the musical concepts conceived during its development. However, in a later interview, Azalea stated that this was undecided. This had to do with the fact the music video for "Kream" took a lot of her video budget for the EP. It features production by Bedrock, Ronny J, GT, and Wallis Lane.

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"Sally Walker" is a song by Australian rapper Iggy Azalea from her second studio album, In My Defense (2019). It was released as the lead single from the album on 15 March 2019, independently by her own label Bad Dreams Records via Empire Distribution. The song was written by Azalea alongside its producer J. White Did It. The music video, directed by Colin Tilley, accompanied its release the same day.


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Preceded by
Saturday Night Live musical guest
25 October 2014
Succeeded by