What Do Iggy Azalea and The Beatles Have in Common?
Australian rapper Iggy Azalea has continued her Billboard chart domination, securing a record that hasn’t been accomplished since The Beatles did it back when they first came to America, in 1964. Azalea’s first two charting singles, “Fancy” featuring Charlie XCX and Ariana Grande’s “Problem,” on which Azalea has a featured verse, currently occupy the No. 1 and No. 2 spots on the Billboard Hot 100.
The last time the same artist occupied the top two spots on the Billboard charts with their first two Hot 100 singles was in February 1964 after The Beatles gave their iconic performance on The Ed Sullivan Show, after which “I Want to Hold Your Hand” rose to No. 1 and “She Loves You” was No. 2.
That’s not the only record Azalea is smashing. After her debut album, The New Classic, saw her become the first white female to nab a No. 1 rap record, her ascension into the top spot on the singles chart also makes her the fourth female solo rapper ever to hit No. 1, per Billboard.
Lauryn Hill was the first, with “Doo Wop (That Thing)” in 1998, followed by Lil’ Kim in 2001 for “Lady Marmalade” and Shawnna in 2003 for her verse on Ludacris’s “Stand Up.” It’s worth noting that Lil’ Kim and Shawnna were essentially contributing to other artists’ songs for their No. 1 hits, while Azalea’s “Fancy” is her own, featuring pop star Charlie XCX on the hook. Billboard also noted that Azalea is just the third woman to occupy the No. 1 and No. 2 spots concurrently, after Mariah Carey and Ashanti.
Azalea moved from her native small town Australia to the Miami by herself when she was 16 to pursue her dreams of becoming a rapper, an experience chronicled in her first single, “Work.” That unconventional background has both helped and hindered her career, as it has gained her attention while some purists have been skeptical that a white female rapper from Australia could possibly be authentic. Critics point to the fact that the Southern twang she raps in is an affected accent distinct from the Australian one that escapes when she speaks in interviews as evidence that Azalea’s essentially a fake.