Biggie Problems Plague Iggy Azalea

Iggy AzaleaPerhaps it was foresight and aptly named. The Great Escape Tour, Iggy Azalea’s stadium venture around the United States, keeps escaping from fans and being cancelled. Her new single is not doing well. Then there is that controversy and petition drive that arose out of this month’s Billboard Music Awards. It certain seems like biggie problems plague the career of Australian female rapper Iggy Azalea.

Azalea’s fans planning to see her in their city this autumn were shocked when they received emails yesterday from promoters announcing that the Great Escape Tour “has been cancelled and refunds are available at point of purchase.” The notification gave no reason. It just noted that a new tour would be planned in conjunction with her next album, which is expected to be released in 2016.

The biggie problem here is that the tour had been scheduled for Spring 2015. Then it was postponed to Fall to give the 24-year-old rapper more time to prepare. That notice cited “tour production delays” as the reason. The statement from Def Jam, her record label, said that it was important to the artist that “she delivers the show she envisaged to share with her fans and that requires more time in development.” Azalea herself said she was being a “psychopath” about it and did not want to make sacrifices, cuts or changes to get the tour on the road in time.

Okay, another six months should have been enough. But it certainly seems like there were two possible reasons for the second cancellation: First, the issue may have been content. Why else wait for a new album of material? Second, how were sales going? A stadium tour is an expensive undertaking and no one wants to see sections of empty seats. It has been a year since she had to the top two slots on the charts. A hot new album and fresh airplay would help sell tickets.

The sales (and airplay) issue is a biggie problem right now for Iggy Azalea. He collaboration with Britney Spears, Pretty Girls, was expected to be a contestant to top songs of the summer. It debuted on the Billboard Hot 100 charts at number 29 a couple of weeks ago and in the top 10 right off on iTunes.

Two weeks later, Pretty Girls needs a makeover. It has dropped to the 39th place on Billboard’s charts and, as of today, to the number 47 spots on iTunes.

Her 2015 Billboard Music Award for top rap song (Fancy, with Charli XCX) ignited an online petition drive to have the award taken away. Nicki Minaj fans gathered more than 21,000 signatures for their petition, which argued that Fancy was released in the United Kingdom on Feb. 17, 2014. The initial date for a song to be eligible for the 2015 awards was March 14. The first time the song appeared on charts in the U.S. was March 22. However, it today’s global online music age the Minaj fans argued that Fancy came out before the eligibility period started.

Billboard has not indicated if the timing is initial release or first chart appearance. However, they have said they are not taking away the prize.

The Aussie was very hot musically (and broke records) last year. Hopefully, for her sake and her disappointed ticket holders the biggie problems that seemed to plague Iggy Azalea of late would turn out to echo the lyrics from her hit song with Ariana Grande: “I got 99 problems, but you won’t be one.” As indicated in the song, she could use “one less problem.”

By Dyanne Weiss

USA Today: Reports: Iggy Azalea cancels fall tour
MTV: Iggy Azalea Has Reportedly Cancelled Her Tour
NME: Petition to strip Iggy Azalea of Billboard Award hits 20,000 signatures
iTunes: Top Songs Chart

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