Before Iggy Azalea became world's biggest little pop star

Iggy Azalea
Iggy Azalea

AMETHYST Kelly didn't study music while she was at Mullumbimby High but, as Iggy Azalea, she's now the biggest little pop star in the world after becoming the first non-US act since the Beatles to debut at numbers 1 and 2 in the Billboard Top 100.

Iggy's mother, Tanya, revealed it was actually the young Amethyst's primary school English teacher, Mrs Betterson, who introduced her to the hip hop genre that has propelled her into stardom.

"Amanda Betterson had a real influence on Amethyst being poetic," Tanya said.

"She used to actually teach the kids to do rapping and hip hop in class.

"I always knew Amethyst would do something to do with words and now she's a modern day poet."

Born on June 7, 1990, at Sydney's Ryde Hospital to Tanya and Brendan, Iggy was first exposed to the alternative lifestyle of the Northern Rivers when her family moved to eight acres at Myocum when she was about 18 months old.

I always knew Amethyst would do something to do with words and now she's a modern day poet

"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," Tanya said.

In 1998 the family moved to Stuart St in Mullumbimby, where Iggy, now aged 7, displayed her entrepreneurial side.

"She used to hold stalls selling lemonade and mandarins out the front of the house and she loved walking around town all dressed up," Tanya said.

The family moved to another home in Mullumbimby when Iggy was 10, and her creative side expanded into film.

"All the kids around the neighbourhood used to come to my house to make movies directed by Amethyst, do voice overs and dress-up."

As a 13-year-old year seven student, Iggy's mind was opened to the world of hip hop.

"Her first ever hip hop performance was on the Australia Day long weekend at Lismore PCYC with a break dancing crew," Tanya said.

As her love of the hip hop scene grew, Iggy regularly travelled to Sydney where she recorded music and made friends, which led to her moving to the United States as a 16-year-old. Her eccentric parents, determination, personality and the alternative Mullumbimby lifestyle are credited by her family as shaping the artist we know today as Iggy Azalea.

Extremely proud of her daughter's achievements, Tanya said Iggy is expressing what she wants to from her heart through her music.

"She always had the ambition to be the female equivalent of Eminem," Tanya said.

"It just goes to show if you put your mind to it, you can do anything."

Topics:  editors picks iggy azalea mullumbimby rap music

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