#2 Top Female Rapper
Iggy Azalea was born Amethyst Amelia Kelly in Sydney, Australia. Her family relocated to Mullumbimby, New South Wales, Australia, when she was still an infant. The family lived in a house that her father built by hand from mud bricks, surrounded by (12 acres) of land. Her father, Brendan Kelly, was a painter and comic artist, while her mother, Tanya, cleaned holiday houses and hotels. Azalea has said that 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. 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.” Her surname Kelly is of Irish origin. Azalea has said that her father “made her look at [art] as a teenager”, which has always influenced her life and work. Azalea began rapping at age 14. 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.” Azalea eventually decided to disband the group because the other girls weren’t taking it seriously: “I take everything I do serious . I’m too competitive.”
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. Azalea travelled to the United States in 2006, right before she turned 16. She told her parents she was going “on a holiday” with a friend, but eventually decided to stay and shortly afterwards 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.” She recalled: “My mum was crying, saying, ‘Just be safe.’ I was thinking, ‘I’m going by myself. I’m fucking crazy!” After her arrival in America, she obtained her GED and resided in the U.S. on a visa waiver for six years, leaving the country every three months to renew it. She is currently in the country on a five-year O visa, having previously earned money illegally.
Amethyst Amelia Kelly (born 7 June 1990), better known by her stage name Iggy Azalea(/əˈzeɪljə/), is an Australian rapper, songwriter, and model from Mullumbimby, New South Wales.
Azalea left for the United States at the age of 16 to pursue a career in hip hop music, first residing in Miami, Florida, and then other parts of the southern United States, including Houston, Texas and Atlanta, Georgia. She first gained recognition after the music videos for her controversial songs “Pu$$y” and “Two Times”, went viral on YouTube. In September 2011, she released her debut mix tape Ignorant Art and subsequently aligned herself with Atlanta-based rapper T.I.. In March 2012, T.I. announced Azalea’s signing to his record label imprint grand Hustle. In July 2012, she released an EP executive-produced by T.I., titled Glory. After being signed by Wilhelmina Models, she began work modeling and was announced as the “New Face of Levi Jeans”. Also in 2012, Azalea became both the first female and the first non-American rapper to be featured on XXL’s annual Top 10 Freshmen cover issue.
After label conflicts, her debut studio album The New Classic was finally released on 21 April 2014, under Virgin EMI and Def Jam Recordings. The album debuted among the top five of several charts worldwide and received generally mixed reviews. The album was preceded by four singles, “Work”, “Bounce”, “Change Your Life” (featuring T.I.) and “Fancy” (featuring Charli XCX). “Fancy” went on to reach number one on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100chart, with Azalea becoming only the fourth solo female rapper ever to top the Hot 100.
#2 Top Female Rapper