Billboard Women in Music Honoree Iggy Azalea: 'If I Lose Every Award to Sam Smith, I'm Okay With It'

Miller Mobley
"I really loved Sam Smith's record," says Azalea, photographed on April 2, 2014 at Drift Studios in New York. "The Grammys are coming up, and if I lose every award to Sam Smith, I'd be fine with it."

This year, Iggy Azalea became music's first white female rap star. The 24-year-old surpassed Lil' Kim as the woman rap artist with the longest-leading single in chart history ("Fancy"), was featured on the soundtrack to the Disney film Million Dollar Arm and performed on Dancing With the Stars. But most significantly, the Australian-born entertainer became the first act since The Beatles to secure the top two spots with debut singles when "Fancy" joined "Problem," her collaboration with Ariana Grande, atop the Billboard Hot 100. Says Azalea, "It has been a pretty awesome year."

The Summer of Iggy: Iggy Azalea Cover Photo Shoot

WHEN PAPS STALK YOUR PRIVATE ERRANDS
"Everything gets so scrutinized now. We have so many outlets that it's hard sometimes to just be normal. Right now I'm getting [my A$AP Rocky] tattoo removed and I know there's seven paparazzi outside taking pictures of me having a conversation with you and I would prefer to do that in private. But someone's going to sell these pictures to a blog so we can talk about it on Twitter."

Iggy Azalea: The Billboard Photo Shoot

EARLIEST MUSICAL MEMORY
"I played the violin for a bit, but now I can't really play an instrument. I can rap. I first rapped probably when I was 13. People who say they rapped when they were 6 are just lying. To be good, you have to know words."

Women in Music 2014: See All the Coverage

BECOMING A RAP SUPERSTAR
"I don't know one girl my age who isn't a fan of rap music. We have very few characters that we can identify with, so it's cool I get to be one of those girls."

Robert Christgau: Iggy Azalea's 'New Classic' Is Plenty Authentic -- and Damn Good to Boot

WOMEN IGGY LOVES
"I've always loved Fergie and Gwen Stefani. I loved Eve and Lil' Kim and Missy Elliott. I loved Trina and Christina Aguilera as well. I wanted to be a mix of all of them, which I think I am — I hope!"

Iggy Azalea Claims Longest Hot 100 Reign For A Female Rapper With 'Fancy'

2014 HIGHLIGHTS
Spent seven weeks at No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 with "Fancy."

Debuted at No. 3 on the Billboard 200 with The New Classic.

Hosted an update of MTV's House of Style.

Discovered Cinemax series The Knick: "There's gangsters, racial shit, drama, affairs -- it has everything"

Additional reporting by Nick Haramis.


This article first appeared in the Dec. 12 issue of Billboard.