Not only is Iggy Azalea the biggest thing in American music right now – having equalled The Beatles success by nabbing the top two spots on the Billboard charts simultaneously – she’s arguably Australia’s biggest export.
But living the #fancy life wasn’t always in the cards for the 23-year-old, born Amethyst Amelia Kelly. She was raised in the small country town of Mullumbimby, in the Byron Shire of New South Wales (near the Queensland border). And now her mum, Tanya has revealed exactly what that was like for a pre-superstar Iggy.
"Her father built a mud brick house on the property and as a five-year-old Amethyst used to hypnotise the chooks and walk around with one on her head," she told The Northern Star newspaper.
"She used to hold stalls selling lemonade and mandarins out the front of the house and she loved walking around town all dressed up.
Mullumbimby is often called ‘The Biggest Little Town in Australia’, but Iggy is easily the biggest thing to come out of it.
"I always knew Amethyst would do something to do with words and now she's a modern day poet," Tanya reveals,
“Her first ever hip hop performance was on the Australia Day long weekend at Lismore PCYC with a break dancing crew.”
Desperate to escape the small town atmosphere and try her luck in America, Iggy departed for Miami, Florida at just 16-years-old.
“My mum was crying, saying, 'Just be safe.' I was thinking, 'I'm going by myself. I'm f*ing crazy!’” she recalls. She’d quit high school and gotten a job cleaning hotel rooms to save money for the trip.
Stateside, she settled in Atlanta, Georgia, which is where she came up with her stage name. Iggy was the name of her childhood dog, and Azalea was the street her family moved to when she was 10 (in fact, they still live in the same house). She raps with a Southern accent, even though she still has her Australian one, because of the influence Georgia had on her.
It wasn’t until late 2011 that Iggy’s career took off, following an earlier run-in with someone from Interscope Records which inspired her to move to LA. At the same time, she began dating well-known rapper ASAP Rocky, which helped boost her career. Late last year, she got together with LA Lakers basketball player Nick Young (and they’re pretty darn cute together).
“She always had the ambition to be the female equivalent of Eminem,” Tanya adds. With two record-breaking, history-making chart toppers and no doubt more on the way, we’d say that’s a realistic goal.