American rapper Azealia Banks has sparked concern about her wellbeing after she posted a series of Instagram stories with shocking content.
The singer has posted a video string of messages, stating “I’m ready to go,” as the persistence of lockdowns, isolation and “public ridicule” has become too much for her to cope with.
She had earlier shared a video - which she has now deleted - of her exhuming her dead cat’s remains and attempting to “bring him back” to life - before boiling his skull.
Here is why fans and fellow celebrities are worried about Banks.
Who is Azealia Banks?
29-year-old Banks first found fame on MySpace in 2008, before being signed to record company XL when she was just 18.
She grew up in Harlem, New York with her mother. Her father passed away of pancreatic cancer when she was just two years old.
The singer and songwriter identifies as bisexual, however she has spoken of her dislike for living under one label.
She told The New York Times: “I'm not trying to be, like, the bisexual, lesbian rapper. I don't live on other people's terms."
Banks shared in 2016 that she had voted for Trump, posting on Twitter after his successful election: "He is my fucking hero right now. I am elated”. However, she later stated she regretted her decision as she felt he did not support women's rights.
Her career has been littered with controversies and arguments with other celebrities and public figures.
On 8 August 2020, she also disclosed how she hoped to die by euthanasia and would document it to share with the world.
In her Instagram posts on 12 January she made comments alluding to a wish to end her own life.
What did she post on Instagram?
On 12 January, Banks shared on the story feature of Instagram: "Yeah, I think I'm done here.
"This pandemic, extreme lack of social interaction, no intimacy, combined with constant public ridicule is making life harder than it's worth.
"I think I will end my tenure here on Earth soon."
In a second post, she stressed she did not want “sympathy” or “empathy”.
She wrote: "I'm not begging for attention or asking for sympathy/empathy.
"I'm just ready to go. Peacefully, of course.
"I will document my last times and release a film for you all to finally understand me, from my perspective."
She finished with a third post which read: “My soul is tired. I’m ready to go”.
After hours of followers and friends expressing their concerns for her welfare, she posted a selfie to her page, captioned: “I’m fine, better than I was before.”
The desperate messages which caused concern were posted hours after she shared a shocking video with her 683,000 followers on Instagram.
In the video she appeared to be digging up her cat, Lucifer’s, remains.
She said : “A lot of you guys don’t know, Lucifer the cat died three months ago, and we had to put him in the ground, and we're digging him up for the very first time. He's coming back to life c****.”
She then proceeded to boil what appeared to be the remains of her cat - including the animal’s skull.
The video has since been deleted, but created a Twitter storm of users condemning her behaviour.
How have her followers reacted to her comments about death?
Twitter followers were quick to express their sympathy, despite Banks stating she wanted none.
One Instagram user wrote: "I hate how Azealia is seen as a 'villain' and is blamed and ridiculed for everything she does despite explaining several times her mental health conditions, but Kanye is always coddled and excused for his behavior. The hate black women receive is appalling."
Another added: “I hope the people close to her are able to help her more… I am praying for her now. That’s all I can do.”
Fellow singer-songwriter Mary J Blige also posted: “Praying for her peace of mind. May she be surrounded with people who will protect and cover her with love and strength."
What public controversy has Banks been involved in?
Banks was previously suspended from Twitter after she posted derogatory racial comments about Zayn Malik.
This also resulted in her being dropped by her UK booking agency and removed from headlining the grime and hip-hop festival Born & Bred.
She got into hot water with US politician Sarah Palin, when she called on "the biggest burliest blackest n*****s" to "run a train on her" via Twitter.
Palin threatened to take legal action but it is not thought to have escalated to this.
Banks also got into a Twitter feud with Australian singer Sia, after Banks shared footage of her clearing out a wardrobe which she claimed had the remains of three-years-worth of sacrificed chickens.
Sia accused the singer of animal cruelty.
In 2019 she visited Sweden, where she posted on social media that she "would really love to see someone bomb the s**t out of this place, LMFAO. Give y'all white asses something to f**king cry about. Ugly blonde pigs you Swedes are."
Banks then accused air hostesses on her plane back to L.A. of racial abuse - the airline refuted the allegations and stated Banks had been erratic.