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An award-winning rapper and campaigner for gay rights, Macklemore has dominated hip-hop in recent years, with songs including 'Thrift Shop'An award-winning rapper and campaigner for gay rights, Macklemore has dominated hip-hop in recent years alongside Ryan Lewis, with songs including 'Thrift Shop'.
Macklemore was born Ben Haggerty on 19th June 1983 in Seattle, Washington. He began listening to hip-hop when he was aged six after discovering Digital Underground. Picture: Macklemore Instagram
Contrary to speculation, Macklemore isn't gay. Many fans had assumed the rapper was after he released the song 'Same Love', which talks about legalising same-sex marriage. The video for the song was featured in YouTube's Pride Week. I an interview with Chelsea Handler on Chelsea Lately, Macklemore acknowledged the rumours about his sexuality, but confirmed that he was engaged to long-term girlfriend Tricia Davis.
Macklemore was still a teen when he began writing lyrics, and has said in interviews that he was inspired by "a lot of East Coast underground hip hop", including Wu-Tang Clan and Nas. Picture: Macklemore Instagram
The rapper's first ever EP 'Open You Eyes' was released in 2000 under his original pseudonym, Professor Macklemore. He later dropped "Professor" when he came to release debut album 'The Language of My World' in 2005.
Macklemore first me Ryan Lewis, with whom he has collaborated on his biggest hits, in 2006. Initially Lewis photographed Macklemore for his promotional shots before switching to the role of producer.
Macklemore and Lewis' first official album together was released in 2012, and featured the singles 'My Oh My' and 'Can't Hold Us' – both previously released on a mixtape – and the worldwide hit 'Thrift Shop'.
The video, directed by Jon Jon Augustavo, was filmed at several thrift shops in Seattle, including Goodwill Outlet and Value Village in Capitol Hill, and features several cameos from local musicians.
Macklemore wears a Batman onesie in the video for 'Thrift Shop', which is why he's so often associated with the comfortable lounge wear!
Macklemore is a big fan of baseball and follows the Seattle Mariners. His song 'My Oh My' is dedicated to the late sportscaster Dave Niehaus and he was once asked to perform for the 50,000 fans who attended Opening Day 2011, which marked the first game since Neihaus had died.
As well as critical acclaim, the rapper and Ryan Lewis have consistently won awards, including one BET Award for best group and three gongs at the MTV Video Music Awards in 2013.
The Seattle rapper recently completed his first full tour of the country, where he performed songs from his hit album 'The Heist' featuring Ryan Lewis.