Born in Australia, Amethyst Amelia Kelly – otherwise known as Iggy Azalea – moved to the U.S. as a 16-year-old to pursue a hip hop music career. Her move to the U.S. wasn’t a simple one. She had dropped out of high school (where she claims she didn’t fit in) and saved money that she earned by cleaning hotel rooms with her mother in order to make the trip happen. She had told her mother and father that she was just going on a holiday with her friends… but once she got to the U.S. she admitted to them that she would not be moving back to Australia. She has said in interviews that she felt like an outsider in her own country, and felt drawn to the U.S. because it was the birthplace of hip hop. After settling in the U.S., she got her GED and moved around several southern states.
Azalea chose her stage name from the name of her childhood dog (Iggy) and the street she grew up on (Azalea Street). After releasing the songs “Pu$$y” and “Two Times” on YouTube in 2012 and her mix tape Ignorant Art, she got the attention of Grand Hustle Records who signed her.
In 2014, she released her first studio album titled The New Classic. Although it received mixed reviews, it did reach the top of the Billboard Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums. This made Iggy Azalea the first female rapper who was not American to top the charts. In addition, her single “Fancy” topped the Billboard Hot 100 chart, making her just the fourth female rapper to reach number one. The single remained number one for 7 weeks in a row, which also made chart history. While “Fancy” was topping the charts, Azalea and Ariana Grande released the single “Problem”, which sat at number two while “Fancy” was number one. This made her the only artist other than The Beatles to have number one and two at the same time with their first two Hot 100 songs.
These days, she’s not only known as a rapper, but she’s a successful songwriter, singer, director and model as well. On March 18, 2017, Azalea released “Team”, her first single from her second studio album Digital Distortion.