Today's Birthday 31/5

Greta Stonehouse
Today's Birthday, May 31: Azealia Banks, US rapper, singer, songwriter (1991 - )

Today's Birthday, May 31: Azealia Banks, US rapper, singer, songwriter (1991 - ).

Azealia Banks' controversial social media outbursts have kept the young star in the headlines for all the wrong reasons.

Recently her online posts took a tragic turn alleging she had been sexually assaulted via an Instagram Story in April this year - a month after releasing her second studio album Fantasea II: The Second Wave.

Born Azealia Amanda Banks in Manhattan borough New York, her father died when she was just two-years-old. Banks said her mother became increasingly aggressive and physically abusive towards her after that. Aged 14 she moved out with her older sister.

While at LaGuardia High School of Performing Arts she appeared in the musical City of Angels.

An agent encouraged the eleven-year-old to try for acting roles on Nickelodeon and Disney shows. Discouraged by her lack of success she swapped acting for a career in music.

In 2008 she released her self-produced music on MySpace under the moniker Miss Bank$. She was picked up by XL Recordings but left later in the year citing conflicting ideas.

For a time she danced in Queens strip clubs in New York and sold keychains at a Manhattan jazz club to make ends meet.

She originally released her lead single 212 from her EP 1991 as a free digital download on her website. The single skyrocketed and received universal acclaim. It was ranked number nine by Pitchford Media in 2011.

But in the years since then it's been her Twitter views rather than musical ability that have garnered the most attention.

She had a long-standing beef with Aussie rapper Iggy Azalia and a launched a twitter tirade against T.I . But it was her feud with former One Direction singer Zayne Malik where she made racially charged slurs that culminated in a suspension from Twitter. She was also axed from at a UK festival following the altercation.

In 2015 she made headlines after video footage showed her in a tug of war over luggage with a flight attendant - and yelling homophobic slurs at him.

In April this year she released her newest single Anna Wintour from her latest album Fantasea II.