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Interview:
Weird Al parody affirms Iggy Azalea's impact
 

By GARY GRAFF
Digital First Media, @GraffonMusic

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Iggy Azalea has accomplished a lot in a short amount of time -- including a Top 5 album ("The New Classic") and a No. 1 hit, "Fancy," that was named Billboard magazine's Song of the Summer.

Another sign the 24-year-old Australian singer/rapper has made it big; a Weird Al Yankovic parody.

Yankovic recast Azalea's double-platinum, chart-topping "Fancy" as "Handy" on his latest album, "Mandatory Fun." An assist, he says, goes to his 11-year-old daughter, Nina.

"I used her to figure out when Iggy Azalea had reached the tipping point," explains Yankovic, who scored his first No. 1 album ever with "Mandatory Fun." "I was following Iggy on her rise up the charts and I thought, 'Oh, this might work,' and I asked my daughter, 'Are people talking about Iggy Azalea at school?' and she said, 'No, not so much.'

"Then I asked her again two weeks later and she said, 'Oh, yeah, that's all they're talking about right now.' So I said, 'OK, tipping point! It's time!' "

The process of making "Handy" didn't go altogether smoothly, however. Yankovic insists on getting the permission of artists he parodies, though that's not a legal requirement. when Azalea's management was slow to get back to him, he had to fly to Denver to talk to her personally about the track.

She consented quickly, however, and Yankovic -- who plans to tour in 2015 to promote "Mandatory Fun" -- says most the parodies went smoothly this time around.

"I was very lucky; This is my first album in along time that didn't have any actual drama," says Yankovic, who also parodies Imagine Dragons, Lorde, Pharrell Williams and Robin Thicke on the set. "It seems like my last few albums have always had some kind of problems around the release, and this is the first time where I've gotten everybody that I wanted, and I couldn't be happier about it."

Iggy Azalea and Magic!

7:30 p.m. Friday, Sept. 12

Meadow Brook Music Festival on the campus of Oakland University, Rochester Hills

Tickets are $40 pavilion, $20 lawn; $15 pavilion, $10 lawn for Oakland University students

Call 248-377-0100 or visit www.palacenet.com

Web Site: www.palacenet.com

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