"Fancy" is a song by Australian rapper Iggy Azalea featuring British singer Charli XCX, taken from the former's debut studio album, The New Classic (2014). It was released on 17 February 2014 by Def Jam Recordings as the fourth single from the album. "Fancy" was described as an electro-hop song. It was written by Azalea[1] and XCX, composed and produced by production team the Invisible Men, alongside additional producers The Arcade. It was leaked under the title "Leave It" in December 2013.

"Fancy"
Iggy Azalea - Fancy.png
Single by Iggy Azalea featuring Charli XCX
from the album The New Classic
Released19 March 2014
FormatDigital download
Recorded2013
StudioGrove Studios (London); Conway Studios (Los Angeles)
GenreElectro-hop
Length3:19
Label
Songwriter(s)
Producer(s)
Iggy Azalea singles chronology
"Change Your Life"
(2013)
"Fancy"
(2014)
"Problem"
(2014)
Charli XCX singles chronology
"SuperLove"
(2013)
"Fancy"
(2014)
"Boom Clap"
(2014)
Music video
"Fancy" on YouTube

"Fancy" reached number one on the Billboard Hot 100, becoming both Azalea's and XCX's first number-one on that chart. It held the spot for seven consecutive weeks. It also topped the charts in Canada and New Zealand and had general chart success around the world. It reached the top ten in several countries such as Azalea's native country Australia and the United Kingdom. It is XCX's second top-ten single, after her guest spot on Icona Pop's "I Love It" in 2013. "Fancy" was named Billboard's Song of the Summer for 2014, as well as the most-streamed song on Spotify and most-watched music video on Vevo in 2014. It won the Top Rap Song category at the 2015 Billboard Music Awards and was nominated for Record of the Year and Best Pop Duo/Group Performance at the 57th Grammy Awards.[2] It is one of the best-selling singles worldwide, with combined sales and track-equivalent streams of 9.1 million units according to IFPI.[3] In 2017, Billboard named "Fancy" as the biggest hit by a female rapper in history.[4]

The accompanying music video for "Fancy" was directed by Director X and released in March 2014. The visuals are inspired by 1995 American comedy film Clueless, with Azalea playing Beverly Hills socialite Cher Horowitz and XCX as Tai Frasier. The music video was nominated for four awards at the 2014 MTV Video Music Awards, although it did not win any of them. The song was performed by Azalea and XCX on Good Morning America, Jimmy Kimmel Live! and the 2014 Billboard Music Awards. "Fancy" was also covered by many artists, such as Anna Kendrick on the 39th season of Saturday Night Live, and received remix versions by rappers such as Da Brat and Lil' Kim.

CompositionEdit

"Fancy" is a three-minute and 19-second electro-hop song,[5] which was written by Iggy Azalea and Charli XCX. The song was also composed and co-produced by the Invisible Men (Jason Pebworth, George Astasio and Jon Shave) and the Arcade (Kurtis Mckenzie).[6] The song is played in the key of C minor without any chord progression followed, and Charli XCX's vocals range from G3 to C5. It is in common time and is played at a tempo of 95 beats per minute.[7] Stabby synths, hip hop chants, and finger snaps are heard in the original mix.[5]

ReleaseEdit

On 5 December 2013, an unfinished song by Azalea, which surfaced with the title "Leave It", was leaked online.[8][9][10] Azalea later revealed the song was produced by the Invisible Men and the Arcade, whom she collaborated with on her entire album.[11] On 5 February 2014, Azalea announced that she would be releasing a new single titled "Fancy", featuring English singer-songwriter Charli XCX, later that week.[12] The song was premiered on BBC Radio 1 Xtra the evening of 6 February 2014. After the song's premiere, it was revealed "Fancy" was the song that had leaked titled "Leave It".[13] On 17 February 2014, the song was serviced to urban contemporary radio in the United Kingdom as the album's fourth single.[14]

Critical receptionEdit

 
The guest appearance of Charli XCX on "Fancy" was well received by critics.

"Fancy" received overall positive reception from music critics. Brad Stern of MTV Buzzworthy remarked, "Not since Fergie's "Glamorous" has there been such a spectacularly sass-filled ode to the glam life," praising their chemistry, calling it "a match made in heaven that we never would've expected."[15] Chris Tomas of Hip Hop Wired wrote that the song "could be the hit record Iggy Azalea has been looking for," noting that "Charli XCX also provides a very potent chorus that women will be chanting in their clubs, cars, and the like."[16] Mike Wass of Idolator claimed the track is "the duet we've all been waiting for" and "a swag-drenched hip hop/pop delight."[17] Janice Llamoca of Hip Hop DX defined it as "a hip hop-slash-pop party anthem in which the emcee lyrically displays her confidence."[18]

Joe Gross of Rolling Stone gave the song a mixed score of 3 out of 5 stars, writing that Azalea "deftly handles the ratchet beat while Charli XCX's earworm hook holds it all down," writing that the song "[doesn't] bring '88 back [but] they can swing on chandeliers with the best of them".[19] Jamie Parmenter of Renowned for Sound noted that the song showed the influence of Missy Elliott, and that "Iggy is almost playing a character or parody of herself like Eminem is renowned for," praising Charli XCX for "nicely breaking up the song, sounding like an edgy Gwen Stefani, matching with Iggy's rebel style."[20] Bill Lamb of About.com, like Jake Gross, gave a mixed response, but echoed the same thought as Parmenter, praising "Charli XCX's Gwen Stefani styled vocals on the chorus" and noting that its lyrics has been done even better by Stefani nearly 10 years ago on 'Luxurious'." However, Lamb also stated that the entire song seemed "a bit too recycled" and had a "tiresome obsession with material culture delivered with a straight face."[21] The track was placed at number nineteen on Rolling Stones's 50 Best Songs of 2014 list.[22] It was named iTunes' best song of 2014 on Apple's annual Best-Ofs.[23] "Fancy" was also placed at number one on MTV's Best Songs of 2014.[24] The Village Voice's Pazz & Jop annual critics' poll listed "Fancy" at number 26 on their poll for the best music of 2014, along with Ariana Grande's "Problem", on which Azalea was featured.

Chart performanceEdit

 
Azalea performing during the ACL Music Festival in November 2014.

In the United States, "Fancy" has peaked at number 1, becoming Azalea's first song to chart on the top of the Billboard Hot 100. The song is Charli XCX's second top 10 as a featured artist on the Hot 100 — the first being "I Love It" — and her first number 1. On the issue-date 17 May 2014 "Fancy" reached number two of the Billboard Digital Songs chart, selling 222,000 units (up 104%), occupying simultaneously the top two slots of the chart as "Problem" by Ariana Grande, in which Azalea features, debuted at the summit of Digital Songs chart. With this achievement, Azalea becomes only the sixth artist to occupy the top two position and the first to do so since Taylor Swift with the singles "We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together" and "Ronan" in 2012.[25] Azalea also became just the third female artist to place her first two Hot 100 hits in the top five simultaneously, first two being Ashanti and Mariah Carey.[26] It also marked Azalea as the first female rapper ever to have two songs concurrently in the top five of the Hot 100 chart.[27] Moreover, Azalea passed Lil' Kim as the female rapper with the longest-leading No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100[28] and moves into a tie for fifth place among lead women who have scored the longest commands on the Hot 100 this decade. The song led the chart for seven weeks, before being succeeded by MAGIC's hit reggae/pop song "Rude". "Fancy" remained in the top ten for 17 consecutive weeks.[29]

On the following week, Azalea became only the second artist in the nearly 10-year history of the Hot Digital Songs chart to have the top two songs concurrently for two weeks and, eventually, for three consecutive weeks.[30] On the week-ending 31 May 2014 the song ascended to number 2 on the Billboard Hot 100, selling 234,000 units, topped the Streaming Songs chart with 8.4 million impressions and continued to dominate the On-Demand Songs chart for a third week.[31] As it led the Streaming Songs chart for a 13th week it tied Miley Cyrus' "Wrecking Ball" for the most weeks tallied at No. 1.[32] "Fancy" also reached number 1 on Billboard's Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs and Hot Rap Songs, where it remained for 16 and 18 weeks respectively making it the longest running No. 1 on these charts.[33][34] Additionally, she is the first female Australian artist to top the Hot 100 since Olivia Newton-John reached the summit in 1981 with "Physical".[35] Along with "Problem", Azalea has the distinction of being the first act to have its first two Hot 100-charting singles at No. 1 and 2 at the same time since The Beatles, as "Fancy" and "Problem" did, respectively.[36] She is also only the second female artist to have the top 2 singles for multiple weeks, with the first being Ashanti.[37] Azalea also became the fourth female rapper to top the Mainstream Top 40 chart.[38] The song set new single-week records on Spotify's U.S. streaming service for four consecutive weeks.[39] On 3 September 2014, "Fancy" was named Billboard's top Song of the Summer for 2014 having led their weekly Songs of the Summer chart from start to finish.[40] "Fancy" was also named the most streamed song on Spotify in America in 2014.[41] The song became the fifth best-selling song of 2014 in the United States with 3.97 million copies sold for the year.[42] By 5 February 2015, the song had sold 4,100,000 copies.[43]

In the United Kingdom, "Fancy" became her highest charting single as a lead artist at the time, debuting at number five on the UK Singles Chart and selling 38,320 copies in its first week.[44] In Australia, the song has been certified quadruple platinum for sales of over 280,000 copies.[45] In its ninth week on the New Zealand Singles Chart, the song climbed from number three to the top position,[46] giving Azalea her second number-one single there, after Ariana Grande's "Problem", having replaced herself at the top, and first number-one there as a lead artist. It also marks Charli XCX's second top-ten single, after Icona Pop's "I Love It", and first number-one single in New Zealand. It has also been certified Platinum in New Zealand.[47] The track had sold over 7 million copies worldwide, as of October 2014, making it one of the best-selling singles worldwide.[48] On 23 December 2014, it was certified Triple Platinum in Canada after peaking at number one on the Canadian Hot 100,[49] with 346,000 copies sold digitally throughout 2014.[50] According to the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI), "Fancy" achieved combined sales and track-equivalent streams of 9.1 million units in 2014, ranking as the seventh best-selling single of the year.[3]

Music videoEdit

BackgroundEdit

The music video for the song was shot in February 2014 in Los Angeles and premiered on 4 March 2014, on Vevo.[51] Directed by Director X, the visuals are inspired by the 1995 American coming-of-age comedy film Clueless, with Azalea playing Beverly Hills socialite Cher Horowitz and XCX as Tai Frasier (as well as a redheaded rival filling in as Amber, and the brief character appearance of Dionne and Murray lookalikes) in a remake of the cult classic originally starring Alicia Silverstone, Stacey Dash, Elisa Donovan and Brittany Murphy.[52] On 4 March, behind the scenes footage for "Fancy" was released shortly before the music video premiere.[53] Over 250 extras were individually styled, taking over two weeks to prepare the styling for the video.[54][55] The video shoot was the very first time Azalea and XCX met in person.[56]

SynopsisEdit

 
Azalea and XCX in a scene from the clip which pays homage to the 1995 film Clueless.

Many scenes in the video are remakes of key Clueless scenes, with outfits designed to channel the look of the film's clothing, but with a slight update.[55] Like Clueless, the music video for "Fancy" was shot in Los Angeles' Grant High School.[57]

The video opens with Azalea in her wardrobe finding the perfect outfit for a speech at school, using a tablet computer, similar to the protagonist of Clueless Cher Horowitz. After a scene with some cheerleaders, the video moves in the schoolyard; there, Charli XCX and Azalea are sitting on a table, with the former singing the hook. The video later includes a tennis lesson, with Azalea and others dancing close to a chain-link fence. Azalea with two other characters are seen driving in the highway; the characters of the best friend and her boyfriend are inspired by the role of Dionne Davenport and her boyfriend Murray. The video shifts to a modern version of the Christmas "Val party" from the movie, where the two protagonists arrive with their convertible. The video ends with Azalea and XCX in the school.

ReceptionEdit

Chanel Parks of The Huffington Post wrote: "While it might be a little, dare we say it, sacrilegious to replicate this cult classic – we were wondering when there was going to be a music video homage to our favorite movie of all time. So props to you, Iggy."[58] Brent Taalur Ramsey of Paste magazine praised the video, writing that "Azalea combined a quintessential 90s culture moment with her hip-hop vibes [...] this young Aussie brought it all together with some major beats and classic outfits—a sound and look that will be totally trending in the music world of 2014."[59] It was named one of the 24 most iconic fashion moments in music videos by Harper's Bazaar.[60] Amy Heckerling, the director of Clueless, reacted to Azalea and the video in an interview saying, "It looked like they had more money for the video than I had for the movie. But I was extremely flattered and I thought she was amazing."[61] Original actors from the movie including Silverstone, Dash, Donovan and Donald Faison also complimented the homage.[62][63][64][65]

The music video was nominated for four awards at the 2014 MTV Video Music Awards for Video of the Year, Best Female Video, Best Pop Video and Best Art Direction. On 19 June, the music video surpassed the 100 million view benchmark, making it Azalea's first Vevo Certified music video.[66] "Fancy" was named the most-watched music video of 2014 on Vevo in America.[67] It was the most-watched video in 2014 on YouTube in Australia.[68] It has amassed over 940 million views as of October 2019. Entertainment Weekly named it the best music video of 2014 saying, "A detail-obsessed ode to Clueless—that highway scene! Those knee socks!—that made everybody fall butt-crazy in love with Iggy. The nostalgia trip probably fueled a lot of the popularity of "Fancy," but don't get it twisted: Azalea is a star, and all she needed was the right role to convince the world that was true."[69] In January 2015, Billboard named it the fifth best music video of the 2010s so far.[70]

Covers and media usageEdit

Azalea and XCX appeared on an ad for Samsung's Milk Music streaming service performing the single.[71] On 5 April 2014, Anna Kendrick covered the song on the 39th season of Saturday Night Live.[72] American rock band The Killers covered "Fancy" during their headlining show in Montreal on 10 July 2014, as an intro to one of their original songs.[73]

 
Many artists including American rock band The Killers (pictured) covered the song.

On 17 July 2014, English actor Gary Oldman covered the song on Capital FM.[74] English rock band Kasabian also covered "Fancy" on BBC Radio 1's Live Lounge on 1 September 2014.[75] On 24 January 2015, Ed Sheeran covered the song during a show for VH1 at Whelan's in Dublin,[76] and on 1 February 2015, Nick Jonas also covered it during a live segment on Capital FM in London.[77] American cover band Postmodern Jukebox performed the track during live shows in 2015.[78]

"Weird Al" Yankovic parodied the song as "Handy" for his 2014 album Mandatory Fun. The parody's music video was released on 17 July 2014 through Yahoo! Screen's "Sketchy" channel.[79] On 7 July 2014, host Jimmy Fallon covered the song in the manner and appearance of Neil Young on The Tonight Show, backed up by the real Crosby, Stills and Nash.[80] On 2 September 2014, he did an impression of the track while singing "Old McDonald Had a Farm" as a part of The Tonight Show's "Musical Impressions Generator" segment.[81]

On 28 April 2014, Jimmy Fallon lip synched the song in a "Lip Sync Battle" against actress Emma Stone on The Tonight Show.[82] On 15 May 2014, "Fancy" was the featured song on Jimmy Kimmel Live's "New Lyrics for Old People" skit, featuring host Jimmy Kimmel and Iggy Azalea.[83] In August 2015, gin brand Tanqueray used a 1920s jazz version of the track for their "Tonight We Tanqueray" campaign.[84] Jazz fusion and funk band The New Mastersounds featured a reggae cover of the song on their 2015 album Made for Pleasure.[85] It was sampled on Jidenna's 2015 song "Classic Man."[86]

"Fancy" has been performed on various reality television singing competitions. It was covered by Rising Star contestant Egypt Dixon on the second week of the show. Reagan James performed "Fancy" on The Voice season 7. Mitch Miller performed a jazz-inspired version of the track on The Voice UK season 4's auditions,[87] while Joey Cook performed her rendition of the song on season 14 of American Idol.[88]

On 7 August 2014, English band Rizzle Kicks did a mashup of the song with Ed Sheeran's "Sing" on BBC Radio 1's Live Lounge.[89] Da Brat released a remix of the song in April 2014.[90] Lil' Kim released a remix of the track on 28 August 2014.[91] On 29 November 2015, The X Factor contestants 4th Impact performed the song as a mash-up with Gwen Stefani's "Rich Girl".

"Fancy" has been featured in TV series such as Revenge[92] and The Mindy Project[93] in 2014, and on the comedy films Get Hard (2015) and Ride Along 2 (2016).[94][95] A cover version by Tristan Prettyman appeared on the season 12 premiere of Grey's Anatomy.[96] The song also appears in video games Dance Central Spotlight (as DLC) and Just Dance 2016. On 14 June 2018, Alicia Silverstone performed the song in Lip Sync Battle as Cher Horowitz.[97][98]

Live performancesEdit

 
Azalea performing at the 2014 ESPY Awards.

"Fancy" was first performed at the mtvU Woodie Awards during the SXSW Festival in Austin on 13 March 2014.[99] Azalea and XCX also performed "Fancy" on Late Night with Seth Meyers on 17 March 2014.[100] On 22 April 2014, the pair recreated the Clueless-inspired video once again during another televised live performance on Good Morning America for the release of Azalea's debut album The New Classic.[101] They performed the song on Jimmy Kimmel Live on 16 May 2014,[83] at the 2014 Billboard Music Awards on 18 May 2014 and on the season 18 finale of Dancing with the Stars on 20 May 2014.[102][103] Azalea performed the song alone on the stage of the 2014 BET Awards on 29 June 2014 and at the 2014 ESPY Awards on 16 July 2014.[104][105]

On 8 August 2014, Azalea performed "Fancy" on The Today Show as part of the Toyota concert series in Rockefeller Center, New York City.[106] The song was also included in the setlist of her 2014 The New Classic Tour of North America and Europe, and also XCX's 2014 Girl Power North America Tour. The track was included on Azalea's medley performances on Saturday Night Live on 25 October 2014,[107] and at the 2014 American Music Awards on 23 November 2014, with XCX joining her on stage for the latter.[108] On 31 December 2014, Azalea and XCX performed the song on Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin' Eve.[109]

Track listingEdit

Credits and personnelEdit

Credits adapted from The New Classic liner notes.[114]

Locations

Personnel

ChartsEdit

CertificationsEdit

Region Certification Certified units/sales
Australia (ARIA)[45] 4× Platinum 280,000^
Canada (Music Canada)[49] 4× Platinum 346,000[50]
Denmark (IFPI Denmark)[169] Platinum 30,000^
Germany (BVMI)[170] Gold 150,000^
Italy (FIMI)[171] Platinum 30,000 
New Zealand (RMNZ)[47] Platinum 15,000*
Sweden (GLF)[172] 2× Platinum 80,000^
United Kingdom (BPI)[173] Platinum 600,000 
United States (RIAA)[174] 7× Platinum 7,000,000[43]
Streaming
Spain (PROMUSICAE)[175] Gold 100,000,000^
Summaries
Worldwide (IFPI) 9,100,000[3]

*sales figures based on certification alone
^shipments figures based on certification alone
 sales+streaming figures based on certification alone

Release historyEdit

Region Date Format Label
United Kingdom 17 February 2014[14] Urban contemporary radio Virgin EMI Records
United States 3 March 2014[176] Digital download Island Records
Australia 7 March 2014[177] Universal Music
United States 11 March 2014[178] Rhythmic contemporary radio Island Records
United Kingdom[179] 6 April 2014 Digital download Virgin EMI
Italy[180] Digital download Universal Music
2 May 2014[181] Contemporary hit radio

See alsoEdit

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