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Macklemore The Heist Tour 1 cropped.jpg
Macklemore performing in Toronto during The Heist Tour in November 2012.
Born Ben Haggerty
(1983-06-19) June 19, 1983 (age 32)
Seattle, Washington, U.S.
  • Rapper
  • singer
  • songwriter
Spouse(s) Tricia Davis (m. 2015)
Children 1
Parent(s) Bill Haggerty and Julie Schott
Musical career
Instruments Vocals
Years active 2000–present
Labels Macklemore LLC
Associated acts Macklemore & Ryan Lewis

Ben Haggerty (born June 19, 1983),[1] known by his stage name Macklemore (/ˈmæk.ləmɔːr/ MAK-lə-mor)[2][3] and formerly Professor Macklemore, is an American rapper from Seattle, Washington. His stage name originated from his childhood, it was the name of his made-up super hero. Since 2000, he has independently released one mixtape, three EPs, and two albums. He has significantly collaborated with producer Ryan Lewis as Macklemore & Ryan Lewis.

Macklemore and Lewis' single "Thrift Shop" reached number one on the US Billboard Hot 100 in 2013.[4] The single was premiered on commercial radio by radio personality Jay Postal on September 2, 2012, and was soon dubbed the first song since 1994 to top the Hot 100 chart without the support of a major record label by Billboard, although Macklemore, in a slightly unusual recording contract, pays a nominal percentage of sales to use Warner Bros. Records’ radio promotion department to push his singles.[5][6] Their second single, "Can't Hold Us" also peaked at number one of the Hot 100 Chart, making Macklemore and Lewis the first duo in the chart's history to have their first two singles both reach the peak position.[7] Macklemore and Lewis released their debut studio album The Heist on October 9, 2012, which charted at number 2 on the US Billboard 200. The pair won four Grammy Awards at the 2014 ceremony, including Best New Artist, Best Rap Album (The Heist), Best Rap Song and Best Rap Performance ("Thrift Shop").

Early life and influences

Haggerty was born to Bill Haggerty and Julie Schott. Haggerty is one of two boys and was raised with his brother Tim in Seattle, Washington.[8] His heritage is primarily Irish.[9] Haggerty was six years old when hip hop first came into his life by way of Digital Underground.[10][11] According to a YouTube interview with Macklemore, he listened to "parental advisory" music from the radio when he was an underage youth.[12]

Macklemore was 14 when he started writing lyrics.[10][11] When he started to rap, Macklemore listened to "a lot of East Coast underground hip hop", with Hieroglyphics, Freestyle Fellowship, Aceyalone, Living Legends, Wu-Tang Clan, Mobb Deep, Nas, and Talib Kweli being big influences on him.[13][12] Interested in reaching a younger generation through his music, he was a part of a program focusing on education and cultural identity called "Gateways for Incarcerated Youth" where he facilitated music workshops.[14] At Garfield High School, Macklemore and other students started a hip-hop group called Elevated Elements and released an album with them in 2000 called "Progress".[15] He earned a bachelor's degree from The Evergreen State College in 2009.[14][16]


2000–2008: The Language of My World

Macklemore & Ryan Lewis at Sasquatch! Music Festival (2011)

Macklemore recorded an EP titled Open Your Eyes in 2000 under the name Professor Macklemore, which he distributed himself. The origin of the name Macklemore is from when Haggerty attended Nathan Hale High School and was required to invent a superhero for an art project [17] Macklemore dropped "Professor" from his name, and released his first official full-length album, The Language of My World in January 2005. Macklemore first met Ryan Lewis in 2006.[18] Lewis spent a few years working on Macklemore's promotion as a photographer. They would soon become good friends. Lewis would go on to produce for Macklemore, the two eventually working full-time as a title-credited duo.[12] He appeared as a featured artist on The Physics' song "Good" in 2009.[19] In 2008, 2009, and 2011, Macklemore performed at Bumbershoot, a major arts and music festival in Seattle.[20] In 2009 he released the The Unplanned Mixtape. The latter would reach No. 7 on the iTunes Hip Hop chart. Macklemore's debut single "The Town" was released from The Unplanned Mixtape and later remixed by Sabzi of the Blue Scholars.[21][22]

2009–2013: Career with Ryan Lewis and collaborations; The Heist

Macklemore performing at The Heist Tour, in 2012

In 2009, Macklemore and Ryan Lewis formalized the collaboration as a duo Macklemore & Ryan Lewis. They released the EP The VS. EP. They also released "Irish Celebration" in December 2009 in anticipation of the release of The Vs. EP.[23] In March 2010, the duo released "Stay At Home Dad", a track that didn't quite make Vs.[24] In October 2010, they created the VS. Redux EP. Macklemore used his experience with substance abuse to create the mixtape's song "Otherside", which samples the Red Hot Chili Peppers song of the same title.[25][26][27] On April 8, 2011, Macklemore and Ryan Lewis performed the song at the 2011 Mariners Opening Day in-front of a sold-out crowd of nearly 48,000 attendees.[28][29][30] "Wings" was released on January 21, 2011, followed by "Can't Hold Us" featuring Ray Dalton on August 16, 2011. In February 2011, Macklemore and producer Ryan Lewis kicked off a multi-city tour in Pullman, Washington, which included three sold-out shows at Showbox at the Market, a Seattle music venue.[31] That same year, the rapper appeared at many U.S. music festivals, including Bumbershoot, Outside Lands, Lollapalooza, Rock the Bells, SoundSet, Sasquatch, and Bonnaroo.

Their album The Heist was released in October 2012 and debuted on the US Billboard 200 at number 2 of the week dated October 27, 2012, selling over 78,000 copies. "Same Love" was released on July 18, 2012 and after "White Walls". In January 2013, Music Choice featured Macklemore in the brand new series "Primed", which focuses on emerging artists. In May 2013, Haggerty was featured on Clinton Sparks' single "Gold Rush", along with 2 Chainz and D.A.[32] The Heist World Tour began in August 2012 to promote The Heist.[33]

2013–present: This Unruly Mess I've Made

In January 2015, Macklemore announced via Twitter that his third studio album will be released sometime in the second half of the year. Although the promise was not kept and his third studio album was not released in 2015.[34] On August 5, 2015, Macklemore released a song for free download titled "Growing Up (Sloane's Song)," which features Ed Sheeran.[35] On August 27, 2015, he released a new song called "Downtown" which features Foxy Shazam vocalist Eric Nally, Kool Moe Dee, Melle Mel, and Grandmaster Caz, which he performed at the 2015 MTV Video Music Awards on August 30.[36] On his first tour in two years, An Evening with Macklemore and Ryan Lewis, Macklemore announced that his new album was finished and ready for release. On January 15, 2016, Macklemore released a teaser video on his YouTube channel revealing the name of his third studio album, This Unruly Mess I've Made, scheduled to be released on February 26, 2016. On January 22, 2016, the duo released "White Privilege II", the second single on This Unruly Mess I've Made.[37]

Personal life

Macklemore at the official Seattle Seahawks post game party in Jersey City after Super Bowl XLVIII (February 2014)

He became engaged to his girlfriend of seven years, Tricia Davis, on January 21, 2013.[38] On January 3, 2015, he announced on Twitter that he and his fiancée were expecting their first child that May.[39] After the release of "Growing Up (Sloane's Song)", which featured British singer-songwriter Ed Sheeran, the couple announced their daughter Sloane Ava Simone Haggerty had been born on May 29.[40] Following the birth of Sloane, they married on June 27, 2015.[41]

Macklemore voiced his support of LGBT rights and same-sex marriage in the song "Same Love", which also condemns homophobia in mainstream hip-hop, society, and mass media.[42] Macklemore was criticized for a performance he gave at Seattle’s Experience Music Project in May 2014 where he was unintentionally dressed in an outfit resembling a stereotypical Jew. Although many still criticized the props he used, Haggerty claims he just picked up random moustaches, beards, and a fake nose in Japan. He has also been criticized for supporting 9/11 conspiracy theories.[43]

In August 2008, Macklemore admitted himself into rehab for drug addiction and alcoholism,[44][45] and celebrated three years of sobriety before a brief relapse in 2011, which he describes in his song "Starting Over".[46] He said in a 2012 documentary that he spent most of his twenties trying to combat his addictions and destructive way of life, saying "I want to be someone who is respected and not just in terms of my music. I want to be respected in terms of the way that I treat people... Music is my creative outlet in terms of expressing what is important to me; what has importance, what has a value. And I want to be respected for that."[18]

Macklemore is a fan of his hometown baseball team, the Seattle Mariners. He dedicated his song "My Oh My" to sportscaster Dave Niehaus, who died in November 2010, with a performance before 50,000 fans who attended the 2011 Mariners Opening Day at Safeco Field.[47] Following the performance, Macklemore and Ryan Lewis were each awarded a custom jersey embedded with a Mariners patch. He has acknowledged baseball and hip hop music as not being "intrinsically linked", saying "a bunch of people that are Mariners fans probably don't consider hip hop, like, real music still".[48] Ryan Lewis announced that all proceeds from the song benefit the Rainier Vista Boys and Girls Club.[49] Macklemore is also a fan of the Seattle Seahawks and created a 12th Man promotional video as well as performed at the 2014 NFC Championship game in Seattle. Macklemore is still a fan of the now-relocated Seattle Supersonics, as he can be seen sporting a Sonics jersey at times.[50][51][52]


For the discography with his duo, see Macklemore & Ryan Lewis discography.
  • The Language of My World (2005)


Year Title Role Notes
2013 Mac Miller And The Most Dope Family Himself Guest appearance (Season 1, Episode 2)[53]
2014 Under the Gunn Himself / Guest judge "Trouble in the Lounge" (Season 1, Episode 9)

See also


  1. ^ "Macklemore Biography - Facts, Birthday, Life Story -". 
  2. ^ Scott, Chey (February 22, 2013). "How to pronounce rapper Macklemore's name". The Pacific Northwest Inlander. Retrieved June 23, 2013. 
  3. ^ "We are MACKLEMORE, RYAN LEWIS and FENCES. Ask us anything.". Reddit. August 7, 2014. Retrieved August 8, 2014. Mack-La-More is how it's pronounced. Should have picked an easier name to say. 
  4. ^ "Thrift Shop, Macklemore". Billboard. 
  5. ^ "Macklemore & Ryan Lewis Crash Radio With 'Thrift Shop'". Billboard. Retrieved 14 October 2014. 
  6. ^ Feeney, Nolan (January 25, 2013). "Macklemore's ‘Thrift Shop' Is First Indie Hit to Top Charts in Nearly Two Decades". Time. Retrieved May 23, 2013. 
  7. ^ "Macklemore and Ryan Lewis' "Can't Hold Us" Makes Hot 100 History". 
  8. ^ Jeffries, David. "Artist Biography [Macklemore]". Retrieved January 4, 2015. 
  9. ^ "RI Exclusive: Macklemore Interview with Rap Ireland". November 21, 2011. Retrieved January 27, 2014. 
  10. ^ a b 106 & Park : Macklemore and Ryan Lewis. BET (November 13, 2012). Retrieved on April 11, 2013.
  11. ^ a b 106 & Park : Macklemore and Ryan Lewis. BET (November 14, 2012). Retrieved on April 11, 2013.
  12. ^ a b c Macklemore talks Otherside, Lil Wayne, Substance Abuse, Seattle Hip Hop and more. YouTube. April 23, 2012. Retrieved December 30, 2012. 
  13. ^ Eric Diep (October 9, 2012). "Who Is Macklemore?". Complex. Retrieved December 28, 2012. 
  14. ^ a b Matson, Andrew (February 9, 2011). "Seattle Rapper Macklemore Ready to take a shot at Pop Stardom". The Seattle Times. Retrieved December 12, 2011. 
  15. ^ Davis, Brangien (July 21, 2011). "2010 Spotlight Award: Macklemore". Seattle Magazine. Retrieved October 19, 2011. 
  16. ^ Shea, Carolyn (Spring 2013). "Behind the Awesome". Evergreen Magazine. The Evergreen State College. Retrieved January 27, 2014. 
  17. ^ Matson, Andrew. "Seattle rapper Macklemore ready to take a shot at pop stardom", The Seattle Times, Seattle, 9 February 2011. Retrieved on 23 March 2015.
  18. ^ a b Jabari Presents: Macklemore & Ryan Lewis (Documentary). YouTube. Retrieved on December 30, 2012.
  19. ^ "The Physics - "Good feat. Macklemore"". That's That... Retrieved May 2, 2013. 
  20. ^ "The Song Show at the Triple Door: Macklemore". City Arts Magazine. Retrieved December 12, 2011. 
  21. ^ "Macklemore - "The Town" (Prod. Scenik; Beats by Vitamin D)". That's That:. 
  22. ^ "Macklemore - "The Town (Sabzi Remix)"". 
  23. ^ "Macklemore - "Irish Celebration"". Retrieved May 6, 2013. 
  24. ^ "Macklemore & Ryan Lewis - "Stay At Home Dad"". 
  25. ^ "Seattle rapper Macklemore records Niehaus tribute | Seattle Mariners blog -". December 23, 2010. Retrieved July 20, 2012. 
  26. ^ [1]"Rapper Macklemore's new song pays tribute to Mariners broadcaster Dave Niehaus ;". December 23, 2010. Retrieved January 27, 2016. 
  27. ^ Baker, Geoff (December 23, 2010). "New song about Dave Niehaus by Seattle rapper Macklemore". The Seattle Times. 
  28. ^ "Hip-hop's rising star Macklemore is inspiried by Seattle sports". ESPN. February 5, 2013. Retrieved January 10, 2014. 
  29. ^ "Seattle Mariners 2011 Opening Night Sold Out". April 8, 2011. Retrieved January 10, 2014. 
  30. ^ "Games of April 14, 2009". USA Today. November 30, 2007. Retrieved September 15, 2011. 
  31. ^ Corsiglia, Gina (February 23, 2011) Seattle Sends Macklemore and Ryan Lewis Out on a National Tour. Seattlest. Retrieved on December 30, 2012.
  32. ^ "Clinton Sparks - "Gold Rush" (feat. Macklemore, 2 Chainz, & D.A.)". That's That... 
  33. ^ Ryon, Sean (October 6, 2012). "Macklemore & Ryan Lewis "The Heist" Album Stream". HipHop DX. Retrieved January 27, 2014. 
  34. ^ Jason Lipshutz (January 2, 2015). "Macklemore Promises New Album Coming in 2015". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved January 3, 2015. 
  35. ^ Reed, Ryan (August 5, 2015). "Macklemore Returns to Celebrate Daughter's Birth With Joyous New Track". Rolling Stone. 
  36. ^ Nolan Feeney (August 27, 2015). "Macklemore and Ryan Lewis 'Downtown' - New Song". Retrieved 27 August 2015. 
  37. ^
  38. ^ "Photo by macklemore • Instagram". Retrieved February 7, 2013. 
  39. ^ "Baby on the Way for Macklemore". January 3, 2015. Retrieved January 3, 2015. 
  40. ^ "Trisha Davis Instagram". Instagram. Retrieved 8 September 2015. 
  41. ^ Lynch, Joe (August 5, 2015). "Macklemore Got Secretly Married After Same Sex Marriage Ruling". Billboard. 
  42. ^ "Macklemore's Gay Anthem - Interview". November 30, 2012. Retrieved February 7, 2013. 
  43. ^ Shire, Emily; Marlow Stern (20 May 2014). "Macklemore, the Grammy Winning Rapper, Is a 9/11 Truther Who Likes to Play Anti-Semitic Dress-Up". The Daily Beast. Retrieved 25 November 2014. 
  44. ^ Simon Vozick-Levinson (March 28, 2013). "Macklemore Opens Up About His Struggle to Stay Sober". Rolling Stone. Retrieved January 27, 2014. 
  45. ^ Franklin, Oliver (May 29, 2013). "Pumped up on "Thrift Shop": Macklemore & Ryan Lewis storm London". GQ. Condé Nast UK 2013. Retrieved June 13, 2013. there was even bigger cheers for "Same Love", a heartfelt rap about same-sex marriage. When Haggerty prefaced "Starting Over" with a confession that he has been sober since 2008, the Empire went wild. 
  46. ^ Matson, Andrew. "Macklemore is back with a little help from his friends". The Seattle Times. Retrieved January 27, 2014. 
  47. ^ Contributor (April 28, 2011). "Seattle Mariners: My Oh My; Seattle Rapper's Tribute to Dave Niehaus". Retrieved January 27, 2014. 
  48. ^ "Macklemore tribute to Dave Niehaus "My Oh My"". January 13, 2011. Retrieved January 27, 2014. 
  49. ^ Macklemore and Ryan Lewis – My Oh My (Official Video). YouTube (January 12, 2011). Retrieved on December 30, 2012.
  50. ^ "Macklemore Signs 49er Fan’s Jersey — But Not They Way They Expected [PHOTO]". Retrieved 3 February 2014. 
  51. ^ Farmer, Sam (January 25, 2014). "Macklemore, Pete Carroll are in a mutual admiration society". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 3 February 2014. 
  52. ^ "Macklemore & Ryan Lewis to Perform at Halftime of NFC Championship [VIDEO]". Retrieved 7 August 2015. 
  53. ^ "Mac Miller And The Most Dope Family: Mac, Macklemore & Ab-Soul". MTV. 

External links