In the summer of 2014, you couldn't go anywhere without hearing Iggy Azalea's smash no. 1 hit, "Fancy," but these days, she's practically gone radio silent. What happened? There was a whole lot of drama.
She had a sex tape scandal
Azalea faced her first of many public woes in September 2014, when reports broke that a sex tape featuring the Australian-born rapper was being shopped around to numerous places, including the company that distributed Kim Kardashian's now-infamous video. The culprit turned out to be Azalea's ex-boyfriend, Hefe Wine, who also wanted the rights to music she had recorded before hitting it big. Thus began a long legal battle that was not settled until July 2015. According to TMZ, Azalea agreed to pay Wine a miniscule sum of money, worth less than a Honda Accord.
She feuded with Azealia Banks
As "Fancy" ascended to the top of the charts, Azalea began to receive flak from members of the hip-hop community, including Nicki Minaj, who claimed Azalea was misrepresenting and exploiting rap culture. Among those who came down hardest: rapper Azealia Banks, who took major issue with the four Grammy nominations Azalea received in December 2014. "When they give these Grammys out, all it says to white kids is: 'Oh yeah, you're great, you're amazing, you can do whatever you put your mind to," said Banks in an interview with Hot 97. "And it says to black kids: 'You don't have s**t.'"
Azalea later responded to Banks' interview in a series of angry tweets, writing, "Special msg for banks: There are many black artists succeeding in all genres. The reason you haven't is because of your piss poor attitude." Things eventually got so tense and so nasty, that even rappers Q-Tip and T.I. stepped in to defend Banks. In an especially heated moment, Q-Tip tweeted a long history of the origins of hip-hop directed solely at Azalea. Ouch.
Her arena tour fell apart
Amid her ongoing Twitter feud with Banks, Azalea announced her first arena tour, The Great Escape Tour, slated to launch in Fresno, Calif. in April 2015. Just weeks before she was supposed to hit the road, Azalea postponed the tour until the fall of that year, amid rumors that she was being difficult with her management team and refusing to promote the tour. Then, in May 2016, Azalea canceled the tour altogether, telling her fans she'd be back on the road after finishing her second album. Sources for Billboard claimed poor ticket sales factored into the tour's cancellation, with some venues reporting just 20 percent of tickets sold. Those reports were later denied by concert promoter AEG Live.
Fall: Her Arena Tour Falls Apart
Amid her ongoing Twitter feud with Banks, Azalea announced her first arena tour, The Great Escape Tour, which would begin in Fresno, Calif., in April 2015. Just weeks before she was supposed to hit the road, Azalea postponed the tour until the fall, amid rumors that she was being difficult with her management team and refusing to promote the tour. Then, in May, Azalea canceled the tour altogether, telling her fans she'd be back on the road after finishing her second album. Sources for Billboard claimed poor ticket sales factored into the tour's cancellation, with some venues reporting just 20 tickets sold. Those reports were later denied by concert promoter AEG Live.
She upset the gay community
Azalea was forced to cancel her 2015 Pittsburgh Pride performance after multiple groups pulled out of the gay pride parade over homophobic tweets Azalea posted prior to becoming famous. "I am a firm believer in equality," Azalea wrote, mere days before her scheduled performance. "Unfortunately in the past as a young person, I used words I should not have. The last thing I want is for something so carelessly said to be interpreted as reflective of my character." Ironically, Azalea was replaced by Nick Jonas, who was originally supposed to be her arena tour's opening act.
She feuded with Britney Spears
Never the one to avoid a heated debate over Twitter, Azalea enraged fans of Britney Spears—and possibly Spears herself—after she seemingly accused Spears of being the reason their joint single, "Pretty Girls," flopped on the charts. "its [sic] difficult to send a song up the charts without additional promo and tv performances etc. unfortunately im [sic] just featured…" Azalea tweeted to a fan who mentioned that the single had bombed. Spears' faithful threw their arms in the air at Azalea's tweet, to the point where Azalea felt the need to step in and make things worse, tweeting "my comment is factual, it applies to any song. I dont [sic] have to suck the womans [sic] a**hole 24/7 to be her friend, do i? bye girls." The following day, Spears appeared to tweet out a jab at both Azalea and the canceled Great Escape tour, writing, "Can't wait to get back to Vegas. So thankful I have shows for the rest of the year to look forward to… #YouWantAPieceOfMe." Game. Set. Spears.
Her second album remains in limbo
Azalea's sophomore album has been in a state of flux for well over a year. In June 2015, she told a fan on Twitter she scrapped an entire six months of work and started over. By August of that year, Azalea claimed she had six songs completed and announced plans to release a single in 2016. That song wound up being "Team," which flopped on the charts, peaking at no. 40 on the Billboard Hot 100.
The long-awaited album, reportedly titled Digital Distortion, was scheduled to hit shelves in July 2016 but got pushed back amid Azalea's ongoing personal drama. (We'll get to that one in a second.) "I needed a lot of time," she told People magazine. "I mean, you wake up one morning and your fiancé is having a baby with someone else, you're going to need some time, right?" She added, "I just kind of felt like, on top of me needing the personal time, then feeling, 'Okay, I'm single now. I want to have sexy songs. I want to say stuff about being single.'" According to Idolator, Digital Distortion is reportedly scheduled to be released in January 2017. We think so, anyway.
Her relationship with Nick Young fell apart
Remember when we said Azalea was dealing with some "personal drama?" Yeah, we weren't kidding. In June 2016, she abruptly called off her engagement to basketball player Nick Young, mere months after Young was caught on video bragging about cheating on her with other women. "Unfortunately although I love Nick and have tried to rebuild my trust in him—It's become apparent in the last few weeks I am unable to," Azalea wrote on Instagram (via People) in a since-deleted post. "I genuinely wish Nick the best. It's never easy to part ways with the person you planned you're [sic] entire future with, but futures can be rewritten and as of today mine is a blank page."
Shortly thereafter, it was revealed that Young was expecting a baby with his ex-girlfriend, Keonna Green. Which, yeah, ugh. On the bright side: rumors from multiple tabloids claim Azalea has moved on with rapper French Montana.
She had money problems
While Azalea's relationship was falling apart, TMZ reported the Internal Revenue Service had slapped her with a nearly $400,000 tax lien due to unpaid income taxes in 2014. Azalea quickly downplayed the reports, calling it a non-story on—where else?—Twitter. "They exaggerate everything. the IRS gave the option to pay them monthly or lump sum. i picked monthly, who wouldnt [sic]?" She wrote in one tweet. "But its [sic] funny to me because made the deal like 2 months ago but they are trying to make it into something now…" she wrote in another tweet, adding separately: "They were hoping some more Nick mess would happen and now that it hasn't and its [sic] getting boring they need 2 create something else."
She had suicidal thoughts
Right before the Young cheating scandal broke, Azalea spoke openly and honestly about how the hate she received from the music industry pertaining to her sound and her race sometimes caused her to have suicidal thoughts. "There were times when I just wanted to quit life—the whole thing, really," she revealed on the Cruz Show on Power 106 FM (via TMZ) in March 2016. "Sometimes I would drive through the canyons to get to my horses and I'd be like, 'What if I kept driving off the canyon?' Sometimes I'd feel like that."
"People in the industry that I worked with… [would say], 'Oh, this is it for your career now. So, what are you going to do?' And I live in this country on a work visa. So, if I don't have a job that means I go home. My whole life is here," she continued. "That's a lot for somebody to deal with…For somebody to come [and say]…'Okay, now we're taking everything from you— what you do, your friends, everything could be totally gone,' that's a lot. It can make a person feel like, 'Well, what do I have left to live for?'"
Given the amount of drama she's experienced in the last year or so, it's perhaps unsurprising that Azalea took a break from Hollywood to appear on The X-Factor in her home country of Australia.