Amethyst Amelia Kelly (born 7 June 1990), known professionally as Iggy Azalea is an Australian rapper, singer, songwriter, model and television personality. 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, from the masculine Egnatius, 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 mix tape titled Ignorant Art.
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. 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. 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. Following a slew of moderately successful singles, Azalea released the EP Survive the Summer (2018).
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.
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. 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. 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. 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.
On 27 September 2011, Azalea released her first full-length project, a mix tape titled Ignorant Art, saying she made it "with the intent to make people question and redefine old ideals". Her song "Pu$$y" was included on the mix tape, 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. "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. 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". On 11 January 2012, Azalea released the music video for "The Last Song", her third video from Ignorant Art. 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.
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." 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. 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). Azalea was also featured on Steve Aoki and Angger Dimas' collaborative electronic track "Beat Down", which was released on 31 May 2012.
On 5 December 2013, an unfinished song by Azalea titled "Leave It" and the tag produced by DJ Mustard, was leaked. Azalea later revealed the song was in fact produced by The Invisible Men and The Arcade, whom she collaborated with on the entire album. In February 2014, Azalea announced that she would be releasing a new single titled "Fancy", featuring English singer-songwriter Charli XCX. 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. The music video for "Fancy", inspired by the 1995 American comedy film Clueless was released on 4 March. "Fancy" went on to become Azalea's most successful single to date, becoming her first single to chart on the US Billboard Hot 100. It also reached number-one on Billboard's Hot Rap Songs chart, as well as number-one the US Dance Club Play chart.
In October 2015, Azalea revealed the initial title of her second album to be Digital Distortion. A buzz track off the album, "Azillion", was made available for free streaming on SoundCloud on 9 January 2016. The project's lead single "Team" was released on 18 March 2016 along with a dance video. An accompanying music video premiered on 31 March. 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." In July 2016, she announced that her company, Azalea Street Productions, had signed a deal to create original content for NBCUniversal.
On 8 June, 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. On 5 July, Azalea released two tracks from the EP: "Tokyo Snow Trip" and "Kream", the latter featuring Tyga. Survive the Summer was released on 3 August 2018, and it debuted at number 144 on the Billboard 200.
On 3 November, Azalea left her record label, Island Records, according to her tweet, which she was signed to in 2017. Two weeks later, she announced she had signed a $2.7 million dollar distribution deal with an unidentified company. She created her own label "New Classic Records", where she would be signing upcoming hip hop artists. She would also be an independent artist and own all her masters, with exceptions to her music licensed under Universal. On 20 November, it was announced that she has signed a partnership deal with Empire Distribution.