Macklemore – American rapper
Macklemore’s real name is Benjamin Hammond "Ben" Haggerty. He was born in Seattle on 19 June 1983. Ben started showing interest in music since kindergarten and writing lyrics at 14. The young man attended Garfield High School and Nathan Hale High School. He came up with his first pseudonym Professor Macklemore for a school project.
In 2000, Ben used the same pseudonym to record his first mixtape Open Your Eyes. Five years later, in 2005, he shortened the pseudonym to Macklemore and released the debut studio album, The Language of My World. The LP was popular on the local level. The most popular song was "Love Song". However, singles and the album didn’t make it into the charts.
In 2006, Ben met Bryan Lewis, who would later become his stage partner. In 2012, they recorded a studio album, The Heist. The duo’s first LP made a huge impression and became highly commercially successful. In just the first week, it sold over 78,000 copies. The album topped Billboard Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums and came in second on Billboard 200. Among the popular songs were “Ten Thousand Hours”, “Can't Hold Us”, “Make the Money”, “Jimmy Iovine”, “Thin Line,” and “Neon Cathedral”. In order to support the album, the duo went on a world tour, which upped the sales even further. By the end of the tour, more than 500,000 copies were sold. At that time, many fans tried to book Macklemore and Lewis for their private events.
The duo’s most popular and successful song “Thrift Shop” was featured in the debut album. The music video for the song collected more than a billion views on YouTube. It was extremely surprising since the song was marketed without the support of major labels.
After the release of the album, Macklemore went on a short hiatus due to health problems. The problems stemmed from drug use, as it often happens to the celebrities. Later, the singer used this experience to create touching lyrics, which became popular among Americans.
In 2015, the duo announced another LP, This Unruly Mess. They released the first single "Growing Up (Sloane's Song)" and made it free to download. The album itself came out in 2016. It featured such popular songs as "Brad Pitt's Cousin", "Downtown", "Dance Off", and "Light Tunnels". Even though the album was successful, Macklemore and Lewis announced that they were taking a break.
In 2017, Ben released his second solo album, Gemini. He presented it at the National Rugby League finals in Sidney, Australia. Even though the musician was happy with the way the presentation went, the public had controversial opinions about the lyrics of "Same Love". The Australian society has different views on same-sex marriages, about which Macklemore talks in his song. Nevertheless, the album climbed to the 2nd spot of Billboard 200 and settled on the 3rd position of Australia’s ARIA chart.
The singer’s lyrics are always deep and thoughtful. It’s one of the keys to his popularity. Macklemore talks about gay love and drug use. He explains that drug users shouldn’t be viewed as lost people. They require help and support.
Critics often talk about Ben’s fashion sense. His costumes feature glitters, fringes, and feathers. However, his style is one of the reasons why Macklemore has that many fans.
Today, Macklemore is working on his solo career. He records new songs and performs live.