Australian rapper Iggy Azalea, caught in a controversy that forced her withdrawal from a gay pride event, has apologized for what critics called homophobic and racist social-media comments she made in the past.
"I am truly disappointed that I have to share this news, but I will no longer be performing at Pittsburgh Pride on June 13th," tweeted Azalea, who turned 25 on Sunday. "This has been a difficult decision as I truly support the event and LGBTIQA communities," the "Fancy" singer said, using the abbreviation for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex, queer/questioning and allied, "however I feel my participation at this point would only serve to further distract from the true purpose of the event."
She added, "I am a firm believer in equality. Unfortunately in the past as a young person, I used words I should not have. The last thing I want is for something so carelessly said to be interpreted as reflective of my character. . . . I am sorry to anyone I have offended or disappointed & I wish all my fans and friends participating in Pride the best of luck."
Several local groups had pulled out of the event, sponsored by the city's Delta Foundation, over Azalea's participation and related issues, such as the $45 cost of tickets, which critics called high for those of lesser means.
Pittsburgh Pride, billed as "the largest LGBT event in Pennsylvania," has headlined Melissa Etheridge, Adam Lambert, Chaka Khan and Patti LaBelle in its Pride in the Street concerts.
Azalea had remained committed to the event even though she had canceled her upcoming "Great Escape" tour on May 29, attributing it to a "creative change of heart," she told Seventeen magazine.