Born in Harlem in 1991, Azealia Banks grew up in a self-described abusive household. When she was two years old, her father died from pancreatic cancer. His death left Azealia’s mother so distraught that she became emotionally and physically abusive to both Banks and Banks’ older sister. Both girls endured years of physical torment until the older sister moved out of the household. Shortly after her sister left, Banks followed and moved in with her sibling, turning her life around by focusing on becoming an actress and singer.
While attending a Catholic school in Harlem, Banks began trying out for various plays and TV shows. She had a modest degree of success acting in off-Broadway plays like “Rabbit Sense,” “Sleepover,” and “City of Angels.” Her role in “City of Angels” led to her being signed with an agent, who had her audition for shows on the Nickelodeon network, as well as TV shows like “Law & Order.” Ultimately, however, her acting endeavors proved unsuccessful, and she chose instead to focus on her musical talent.
Shortly after choosing to end her acting pursuits, Banks began releasing music through the social networking site MySpace. She attracted the attention of a record executive at XL Recordings and signed a development deal with that label. Her deal with the label also proved short-lived, as she was released from her contract because of conflicting ideas with producer Richard Russell, who had worked with her after she signed with XL Recordings. Nonetheless, she forged ahead, writing and releasing songs while working odd jobs, which included selling key chains and dancing at a strip club in Manhattan, to keep herself financially afloat as she awaited her big break into music. She also launched her own website, which became a venue through which she released her new songs to the public.
How Much Is Azealia Banks Worth Now?
In 2011, she released a song called “212” on her website that went on to achieve a significant level of success in Europe. This song became the lead single on her self-released album, “EP 1991,” in December of that year. Hitting the top spots on music charts in Ireland and the U.K., this album would help her gain the attention of record producer Paul Epworth, who would go on to help her launch an official debut album and give her a foothold into the music industry permanently.
That official debut album, entitled “Broke with Expensive Taste,” would hit the market in late 2014 and garner favorable reviews from fans and music critics. Its lead song, “Yung Rapunxel,” actually was released via SoundCloud in 2013, giving audiences an idea of Banks’ music and what they could expect from her as a performer. Prior to her album’s release, however, she released mixtapes, including “Fantasea” that continue to be well received among her growing fan base. She has collaborated with hip hop and rap stars like Kanye West and Scissor Sisters, endeavors that have helped her grow as a performer herself. She also gained attention by engaging in notable feuds with celebrity blogger Perez Hilton and rapper T.I.
Despite only being in the music business for three years, she has built an Azealia Banks net worth that stands at $3 million. During 2013 and 2014, she performed at venues like the Glastonbury Festival. She also has garnered attention for her language that she uses in interviews and on social media sites like Twitter. She has used homophobic slurs to describe her critics and received backlash from LGBT groups like GLAAD. Nonetheless, music industry insiders note that her defiance and cutting edge style help her sell more albums and recruit more fans to her music.