Australian rap star Iggy Azalea was not the winner of the Best Rap Album at the 2015 Grammys, losing out to US singer Eminem for his album The Marshall Mathers LP2.
Azalea, 24, from Queensland, earned four Grammy nominations – she walked away with no wins – but there was significant backlash against her nod in the rap album category.
The singer was accused of appropriating black artists because she is thought to emanate the distinctive sounds of black rappers.
The ‘Fancy’ and ‘Black Widow’ singer has yet to be accepted by the US music community, with the Washington Post’s pop music critic recently describing her as as “a white, 24-year-old Barbarella from Australia who raps with the inflection of a black girl from Atlanta”.
Azalea, who was also nominated for record of the year, best pop duo and best new artist, has also been repeatedly criticised by New York rapper Azealia Banks for trying to be like “black women”.
“I just really want to know what your fascination with Black women is. Why do you want to act like us,” Banks tweeted.
Last year there were howls when white rapper Macklemore claimed the Best Rap Album Grammy over Jay-Z, Kanye West, Drake and Kendrick Lamar.
There was some obvious cries of disbelief given the white Eminem was the eventual winner in 2015.
WHEW! Iggy Azalea does NOT win Best Rap Album! Thank goodness a white artist who appropriated black music wasn’t rewarded AGAIN! #Eminem
— RobGeorge (@RobGeorge) February 9, 2015
On the eve of this year’s Grammys the most viewed story on Vulture.com was titled: “Please, Don’t Let Iggy Azalea Win Best Rap Album”.
“It’s not that she’s white – it’s that she’s a white girl turning her ‘blaccent’ on and off with a disturbing ease,” Vulture’s Lindsay Zoladz wrote.
Buzzfeed also joined the ranks of Azaelia haters when it published “21 Gifs To Express Your Rage If Iggy Azalea Wins The Best Rap Album Grammy, which featured violent gifs like the one below.
However, Sean “Diddy” Combes defended the Australian singer and said her popularity could give her the edge.
“She has some big records, and people don’t realise a lot of people that are the voters, they kind of just know the names that are in the mainstream,” Combes said.
“If she worked hard to get where she’s gotten, nobody should hate on it. And the only people hating are the ones that are not nominated.”
Adelaide singer-songwriter Sia Furler also received four nominations, for Song of the Year, Best Pop Solo Performance and Best Music Video, She is not expected to give an acceptance speech if she wins a Grammy.
The publicity-shy Furler, who has worn brown paper bags on her head to hide her face, could follow the Oscar lead of Marlon Brando and send a proxy to accept her trophy.
Brando infamously asked Native American actress Sacheen Littlefeather to go on stage at the 1973 Academy Awards to accept his best actor Oscar for The Godfather.
Furler has been using 12-year-old American dancer Maddie Ziegler as a proxy in TV performances and music videos.
They arrived at the ceremony together, with Furler wearing an outrageous white wig, covering most of her face.
Furler recently admitted in a Twitter post she “anticipated some ‘pedophilia’ cries” when Ziegler appeared with 28-year-old Hollywood actor Shia LeBeouf in her music video for new song ‘Elastic Heart’.
Australia can claim some of early success in the first category announced at the 57th Grammy Awards ceremony under way in Los Angeles.
Winds of Samsara, by South Africa’s Wouter Kellerman and India’s Ricky Kej, won the New Age Album Grammy on Sunday (Monday AEDT).
The album features a song ‘Grace’ by Australian composer Fiona Joy.
The main ceremony will be broadcast on Foxtel in Australia.
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