Childhood & Early Life
Macklemore was born as Benjamin Hammond Haggerty on June 19, 1983, in Kent, Washington, to Bill Haggerty and Julie Schott. He was raised with his brother Tim in Seattle.
When he was six, he heard the group Digital Underground’s music on radio, and that’s how hip hop first came into his life. He listened to a lot of East Coast underground hip hop. He started writing lyrics as a teenager.
As he wanted to reach the younger generation through his music, he joined a program called Gateways for Incarcerated Youth, where he organized music workshops.
He attended Nathan Hale High School and eventually earned a bachelor's degree from the Evergreen State College in 2009.
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In 2000, he debuted as Professor Macklemore with the ‘Open Your Eyes’ EP, which he distributed himself. Five years later, in January 2005, he released his debut album, ‘The Language of My World’, which earned him a huge local following.
He performed at Bumbershoot, a popular arts and music festival in Seattle in 2008, 2009 and 2011. In 2009, he launched ‘The Unplanned Mixtape’, which reached No. 7 position on the iTunes Hip Hop chart. His debut single ‘The Town’, from ‘The Unplanned Mixtape’, was later remixed by Sabzi of the Blue Scholars.
Macklemore and his friend Ryan Lewis officially started collaborating in 2009 as a duo “Macklemore & Ryan Lewis” and released an EP ‘The Vs. EP.’ In December 2009, they released the single ‘Irish Celebration’.
In 2010, the duo created two songs—in March, they launched ‘Stay At Home Dad’, and in October, they created the ‘VS. Redux EP,’ that yielded the hit ‘Otherside’, which samples the Red Hot Chili Peppers song of the same name. On April 8, 2011, the duo performed the song at the 2011 Mariners Opening Day in front of a crowd of about 48,000 attendees.
On January 21, 2011, ‘Wings’ was released, followed by ‘Can't Hold Us’ on August 16, which was viral on social media. In the same year, the duo performed at three sold-out shows at Showbox at the Market, a music venue in Seattle.
Also in 2011, Macklemore performed at many US music festivals like Bonnaroo, Bumbershoot, Lollapalooza, Outside Lands, Rock the Bells, SoundSet and Sasquatch.
On October 9, 2012, Macklemore and Lewis launched their debut album ‘The Heist’, which charted at number 2 on the US Billboard 200. It sold over 78,000 copies within a week. The same year, ‘Same Love’ and ‘White Walls’ were released.
In January 2013, Music Choice selected Macklemore as an emerging artist in a new series ‘Primed’, and in May, he featured on Clinton Sparks' single ‘Gold Rush’, along with 2 Chainz and DA.
The same year, the Macklemore and Ryan Lewis’ single ‘Thrift Shop’ reached No.1 on the US Billboard Hot 100. The single was credited by Billboard as the first song since 1994 to top the Hot 100 chart without any support from a major record label. By December 2016, it had reached a billion views on YouTube.
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On August 5, 2015, Macklemore released ‘Growing Up (Sloane's song)’, for free download, and after a few days, he launched a song ‘Downtown’. He performed this song at the 2015 MTV Video Music Awards on August 30.
The duo’s second album, ‘This Unruly Mess I've Made’, was released on February 26, 2016. Their second single, ‘Can't Hold Us’, peaked at No. 1 of the Hot 100 Chart, making them the first duo in the chart's history to have their first two singles reaching No. 1 position.
In 2016, Macklemore released two solo singles, ‘Drug Dealer’ and ‘Wednesday Morning’. In ‘Drug Dealer’, Macklemore raps about his previous drug addiction and alcoholism. After the 2016 US Elections, he rapped in ‘Wednesday Morning’ about the political future of the country.
In 2017, Macklemore and his long-time partner Ryan Lewis amicably took a break from their collaboration to focus on their individual careers. In June the same year, Macklemore released ‘Glorious’, his first solo single in 12 years. It features Skylar Grey singing a motivational hook. The single is about going through and overcoming tough times successfully.
Macklemore is also quite popular on his YouTube channel, ‘Macklemore LLC,’ which he had started on November 27, 2006. It had earned 4.8 million subscribers and over 2 billion views as of June 2017.
Macklemore supports LGBT rights and same-sex marriage, and he expressed it through the song ‘Same Love’.
In August 2008, he was admitted to a rehab program for drug addiction and alcoholism. After three years of sobriety, a brief relapse took place in 2011, which he described in his song ‘Starting Over’.
On January 21, 2013, he got engaged to his girlfriend Tricia Davis, whom he had been dating from the past seven years.
On May 29, 2015, he and his fiancée had their first child, Sloane Ava Simone Haggerty. Following the birth of their daughter, they married on June 27, 2015.
He is a very caring father and wants to spend as much time as he can with his daughter. He has now built a recording studio in the basement of his home so that he can see her more often throughout the day.