Australian rapper Iggy Azalea needs 'mental break' from touring

Iggy Azalea arriving at the 2015 Billboard Music Awards in Las Vegas, Nevada on May 17, 2015. -- PHOTO: REUTERS 
Iggy Azalea arriving at the 2015 Billboard Music Awards in Las Vegas, Nevada on May 17, 2015. -- PHOTO: REUTERS 

NEW YORK (AFP) - Hip-hop star Iggy Azalea, whose meteoric career rise has brought both a wide fan base and intense criticism, has said she canceled her tour because she needed a "mental break".

The Australian rapper, who had already delayed a widely anticipated tour of major United States (US) and Canadian arenas, last week called it off entirely.

Azalea said she that wanted to "start totally anew" after spending some two years performing songs including her hit Fancy. "Mentally, to be honest with you, I just feel I deserve a break," she told Seventeen magazine in an interview published late Monday.

"There are people thinking it's me giving up, or me failing at something, somehow," she said.

"I said to a friend the other day, 'The only reason why at this point I would stay and do this tour is to save face publicly, or to not endure publicly what people will say if I cancel it,' and that's not a good enough reason to do something," she said.

Amid question marks on her career, she is moving forward in another direction in her life - marriage.

She posted pictures on Instagram on Tuesday of an engagement ring on her finger as she kissed longtime boyfriend Nick Young, who plays for the Los Angeles Lakers basketball team.

Karen Civil, a prominent hip-hop journalist, posted a video of Young popping the question at his 30th birthday party on Monday night.

Azalea, who turns 25 on Sunday, scored a breakthrough commercial success last year with her debut album The New Classic, making her a rare white woman to find mainstream success in hip-hop.

But she also faced a backlash from critics and fellow artists, notably the rapper Azealia Banks, who accused the Australian of exploitation and inauthenticity by performing in a noticeably African American accent.