Born Ben Haggerty on June 19, 1983, Macklemore was formerly known as Professor Macklemore. He held a prominent place across the country as he emerged as a premier national hip-hop artist with numerous career highlights to his name. Along with his DJ/production partner Ryan Lewis, he garnered critical acclaim, a devoted fan base, and a steadily growing anticipation for his upcoming work.
Though he came from a musical family, he had a strong passion as a musician. He started writing his own lyrics when he was fourteen during which his friends began calling him Mocklimore. Growing up in Seattle listening to West Coast underground hip-hip, he kicked-start his career as a performer with a self-produced mini album "Open Your Eyes" under the name of Professor Macklemore.
His first full-length release was in 2005, "Language of My World". It featured production by Rhymesayer's Budo and was well-received by circles who loved his fresh perspective and a striking balance of insight and levity. His career went down from there as he battled substance issues. He went to rehab in 2008 and released "The Unplanned Mixtape" in September 2009.
After several subsequent years of artistic stagnation and frustration, Macklemore made a commitment to sobriety with a newfound, more intrinsic dedication to his music. He met Ryan Lewis, an accomplished, consummate artist in design, photography, and production. They released the "VS" EP in 2009 and "VS Redux" in 2010, the latter peaking #7 on iTunes Hip Hop charts.
On their first national headlining tour in the spring of 2011, Macklemore and Ryan Lewis packed houses and sold out a majority of their shows in major cities across the country. They were featured at a significant number of major festivals and showcases, including the 2011 Rock The Bells Tour, Soundset (MN) and Bumbershoot (Seattle).
They released their debut album "The Heist" as a partnering duo in July 2012. The CD sent them to the runner-up position on Billboard Hot 200 and its single "Thrift Shop" reigned a number of charts including Hot 100.
The song is the first independently-distributed title to top Billboard Digital Songs since "We Are the World 25 for Haiti" in February 2010. It is also the second independent song to achieve the #1 spot on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, nearly 20 years after Lisa Loeb's "Stay (I Missed You)" in 1994.
"The Heist" won Macklemore & Ryan Lewis the Best Rap Album at the 2014 Grammy Awards. Its hit single "Thrift Shop" claimed the Best Rap Song and Best Rap Performance titles. The duo additionally took home another Grammy in the Best New Artist category.
In early 2015, Macklemore promised that a follow-up to "The Heist" would come out in the second half of the year. Later in August, he dropped the Ed Sheeran-penned "Growing Up (Sloane's Song)" which was dedicated to his and wife Tricia Davis' daughter, Sloane Ava Simone Haggerty.
Just a few weeks after releasing "Growing Up", Macklemore shared "Downtown" featuring Eric Nally, Kool Moe Dee, Melle Mel and Grandmaster Caz. The track peaked at No. 12 on Billboard Hot 100.
The year ended without new Macklemore & Ryan Lewis album. They finally announced their sophomore effort in January 2016. Titled "This Unruly Mess I've Made", the project is set for release on February 26. In late January, "White Privilege II" arrived as the album's second single. Serving as a follow-up to Macklemore's 2005 song, "White Privilege II" sparked controversy and prompted a feud between Iggy Azalea, whose name was featured on the song, and Talib Kweli.