But it turns out, Azalea knew about Lovato’s relapse before the news went public.
“I had known about it, as a close friend,” Azalea, 28, told Entertainment Tonight on Tuesday. “So I had really wanted for her to be the one to tell people that. And I worried a lot, as her friend, that something was going to leak or somebody would somehow take that and use it negatively against her, or to make her seem like she’s got a secret.”
“It’s not my business to say to my friend, ‘You need to fess up,'” Azalea continued. “But as a friend, you worry and you’re like, ‘Oh, my God, my friend, she has this thing that people can use against her and I really want her to own it.’ And she did!”
Shortly after Lovato released her new single “Sober” – which contained the relapse admission — Azaela wrote that she was “proud” of her friend for sharing the difficult truth.
“Waking up listening to @ddlovato ‘sober,’ ” the rapper, 28, wrote on social media. “I’m proud of you for having the guts to reveal your truth to the world again. NOT. EASY.”
Adding that she was “here” for her friend, Azalea wrote, “I pray you’ll choose recovery again. All of us who love you only want to see you happy and healthy.”
Azaela went on to tell ET that she didn’t know Lovato was recording the song (“she didn’t tell me that”), but was happy for Lovato.
“I was just really proud of her that she was honest, because it’s really hard to be honest with yourself,” she said. “So, to be honest with the whole world, [to share] something that you struggled with very publicly, it’s something that is very admirable. I was very proud of her to see her write that song and put it out.”
Support goes both ways in Lovato and Azalea’s friendship, too — as Azalea has previously spoken out about how Lovato inspired her to accept help regarding her own mental health.
During an interview with Billboard in March, the “Fancy” rapper revealed that in 2017 her management team Phillymack (who also manage Lovato), advised her to attend a mental health “retreat” in Arizona following her well-documented social media feuds with fellow artists.
Despite her initial resistance to the idea, Azalea said she used Lovato’s life and career as an inspiration of how positive the outcome could be. She also went on to call Lovato one of “the only people who have been there for me,” adding that the 25-year-old “often” calls her on the phone to check up.
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Meanwhile Lovato has remained thankful to her fans for their continued support during her difficult time.
“To my fans, my family, and my supporters, the ones who never left me, you are my light. I am forever grateful,” she captioned an Instagram video from a recent concert, which included the text: “Thank you Lovatics.”
The former Disney Channel star has been open about her battles with addiction, mental illness and disordered eating for years. In “Sober,” she sings, “Mama, I’m so sorry I’m not sober anymore / And daddy please forgive me for the drinks spilled on the floor.”
She also went on to apologize “for the fans I lost who watched me fall again / I wanna be a role model, but I’m only human.”