Everything Iggy Azalea Has Been Up to Since 'The New Classic'
It’s fair to say it hasn’t been Iggy Azalea’s year -- or years.
The Australian rapper's most recent announcement, that Def Jam CEO Steve Bartels refused to release any more singles from her upcoming sophomore album Digital Distortion, is only the latest disappointment in her once-promising career. Digital Distortion itself was originally slated for release in July 2016, but following her breakup with former fiancé, NBA player Nick Young, Azalea decided to push the release of the album to an as-yet-undetermined 2017 release date.
This on the heels of numerous feuds, a few flops and a canceled 2015 tour.
But once upon a time, back in 2014, the Sydney-born rapper achieved a chart record previously met only by The Beatles, holding both the No. 1 and No. 2 songs on the Billboard Hot 100 for her first hit singles "Fancy" and her feature on Ariana Grande's "Problem," respectively. "Fancy" was heralded as the song of the summer that year and spent seven consecutive weeks at No. 1, and her debut album The New Classic was nominated for four Grammys (best rap album, best new artist and record of the year and best pop duo/group performance for "Fancy").
Somehow, in the span of just three years, Azalea transformed from one of the world's most celebrated burgeoning rappers to hip-hop pariah. What went wrong?
Ahead, we trace the rapper's career and reputation over a span of four years, from her label signing to the halt of the Digital Distortion rollout.
May 28, 2014: The rapper joins The Beatles as the only acts to rank at No. 1 and No. 2 simultaneously for their first Hot 100 hits, a feat not accomplished since "I Want to Hold Your Hand" and "She Loves You" premiered at Nos. 1 and 2, respectively, in 1964.
June 9, 2014: Azalea talks about her background -- and disses Lorde's performance with the remaining members of Nirvana -- in her Billboard cover story.
July 23, 2014: T.I. addresses rumors that he ghostwrites for Azalea, saying in an interview with Bijou Star TV that he "ain't no ghostwriter."
August 8, 2014: "Fancy" becomes the second-longest-running No. 1 single on Hot Rap Songs, with 16 weeks at No. 1; Missy Elliott's "Hot Boyz," featuring Nas, Eve and Q-Tip, holds the record with 18 weeks at No. 1 in 1999.
August 19, 2014: YouTubers Danny Padilla and Mason Sperling create a parody video of "Black Widow," featuring impressions of characters like Mickey Mouse and Batman. Numerous other parody videos cement the single's hit status.
August 22, 2014: The rapper falls off the stage while performing "Fancy" at a pre-MTV Video Music Awards concert at the Avalon in Los Angeles. Azalea was uninjured, and posted a video of the fall on Instagram with the caption: "Sorry but it would be a crime not to share this with you all, I know I laughed."
August 24, 2014: Ora and Azalea perform "Black Widow" at the 2014 MTV Video Music Awards at the Forum in Inglewood, California.
September 3, 2014: "Fancy" is named Billboard's song of the summer after topping every one of the weekly Songs of the Summer charts.
September 17, 2014: Azalea files a lawsuit against her former boyfriend, rapper Jefe Wine, for releasing her unreleased masters and forging a contract allowing him to distribute them. Wine allegedly also claimed to have a sex tape of the rapper, which was not mentioned in the suit and never confirmed by Azalea.
October 31, 2014: Azalea dresses as a character from 2004 movie White Chicks for Halloween. The move was a response to an insulting meme rapper Snoop Dogg had posted earlier that month comparing the rapper to the main characters: two black men who go undercover as white women. Snoop later publicly apologized to Azalea after receiving a phone call from T.I.
November 3, 2014: Azalea suffers a wardrobe malfunction while performing at a bar mitzvah, tearing her pants while performing. Videos of the incident circulate the Internet.
December 12, 2014: The rapper addresses rumors that she was born a man on Twitter, tweeting, "Am I still gonna get my billboard women in music award tomorrow, now that I supposedly have a penis or nah?"
December 31, 2014: Azalea announces via Twitter that she has been diagnosed with TMJ, or temporomandibular joint dysfunction, the medical term for jaw pain or dysfunction. She also reveals that she plans to start work on her second album and will attend Britney Spears' New Year's Eve show in Las Vegas.
January 7, 2015: In an interview with Vanity Fair, Azalea addresses cultural appropriation criticism from rappers like Azealia Banks, saying, "They don't say that stuff about Macklemore. So, yes, I think [the criticism] has 100,000 percent to do with the fact that I have a vagina."
March 10, 2015: Azalea announces she is rescheduling the Great Escape Tour for the following September and that musicians Nick Jonas and Tinashe will no longer be her opening acts. Reports surface that Azalea, who handed over control of her social media accounts to management earlier that month due to clashes with artists like Banks, will cancel the North American tour due to a "conflict between her and management." A rep for Azalea denies this to Billboard.
May 4, 2015: "Pretty Girls" is officially released. Azalea fangirls over Britney's vocals, while Britney promises more surprises to come..
June 2, 2015: Azalea and Nick Young announce their engagement. The rapper flaunts her ring on Instagram before deleting the post. The proposal took place at Young's 30th birthday party. Azalea officially escapes the Great Escape Tour that same day. The reason behind the cancellation is "a different creative change of heart" and "exhaustion," according to the rapper. Azalea also mentions that saving face publicly is not worth keeping the tour going.
August 4, 2015: Azalea opens up about plastic surgery to Seventeen. She is not afraid to admit that she has been under the knife more than once and says "denying it is lame." Breast implants were first on the list, closely followed by a nose job.
August 8, 2015: New hints about her upcoming sophomore album drop on Twitter. Azalea says she has recorded six new songs with fewer than 12 tracks planned for the album. The single is set for release in 2016.
December 27, 2015: Azalea says the first single from the upcoming album will be called "Team" -- meaning she's got her own back and she's her own team.
January 21, 2016: Azalea blames her label for not allowing her to make a music video for "Azillion." "Ted Cockle doesn't wanna see me shine. what can i say," the rapper says on Twitter.
March 2, 2016: Azalea and Azealia Banks feud on Twitter over comments Iggy made in an interview with Elle Canada. "Mentioning me is the only thing that will get you attention," Banks tweets. "Because ur music and nose job are trash."
March 19, 2016: With a dress ready and the honeymoon planned, Azalea decides to postpone her wedding to go on tour at the end of 2016.
April 8, 2016: During a stop on The Ellen DeGeneres Show, Azalea discusses the D'Angelo Russell video controversy, in which her fiancé Nick Young allegedly cops to cheating. A still-very-much-engaged rapper brushes it off.
June 14, 2016: Azalea joins the X Factor Australia judging panel, citing her wish to be closer to home and family in Sydney and desire to seek out new talent.
June 19, 2016: The wedding is now canceled -- not just postponed. Azalea announces her split from Young, citing trust issues as the primary reason. The announcement comes shortly after the then-Lakers player discussed wedding plans on Billboard's Balling Out Podcast.
June 30, 2016: Azalea takes to Twitter with more details about her recent breakup with Nick Young. "I broke up with Nick because I found out he had brought other women into our home," writes the Australian rapstress. She then shares her heartache at the news that his baby mother is pregnant and that she had to find it out via E! News.
March 2, 2017: After months of silence, Azalea teases a new song. The track is said to belong on Def Jam's Direct Deposit compilation series.
March 3, 2017: Azalea releases "Can't Lose," featuring Lil Uzi Vert. In addition to being part of the Direct Deposit series, Azalea says it will appear on Digital Distortion too.
March 21, 2017: Azalea signs a management deal with Jordan Feldstein's Career Artist Management.
March 23, 2017: "Mo Bounce," Azalea's latest single, is released. "Mo Bounce" will also appear on Def Jam's latest Direct Deposit album.
March 24, 2017: Azalea takes "Mo Bounce" literally and twerks and bounces her way through the music video.
March 24, 2017: Azalea surprises fans with a release date for the upcoming album Digital Distortion, promising a June 30 drop date that will never materialize.
June 14, 2017: Azalea performs "Switch" on James Corden's The Late Late Show.
June 22, 2017: After six years, the Azealia-Azalea feud may finally come to an end. The Aussie rapper makes the first move, posting a long, emotional message on Twitter, empathizing with Banks. She also adds that the two share an astrological sign: Gemini. The beef began in December 2012, when Banks voiced her disagreement over XXL magazine's choice of Azalea as the lone female rapper on its Freshman Class cover.
June 23, 2017: Halsey calls Azalea a "f---ing moron," adding, "I watched her career dissolve and it fascinated me."
June 27, 2017: On an Australian radio show, Azalea calls Halsey's comments "strange," as they were unprovoked. "And I don't know her. I've never met her," says Azalea, wishing that Halsey learns to be a bit more empathetic toward people and refrains from expressing strong personal opinions in the future.
July 4, 2017: Azalea announces a collaboration with former rival Azealia Banks. She and Banks are planning to work together on Azalea's upcoming album.
July 9, 2017: According to Azalea, label boss Steve Bartels refuses to release any more singles from her upcoming album Digital Distortion. Azalea is adamant that the album is not canceled; it simply will have no more singles. The release date is unclear, as the record has been pushed back multiple time since first being teased in December 2015. Azalea goes as far as promising her fans a third album, although it is unclear how many years that might take considering the setbacks the second one faced.