His single “Thrift Shop” has been viewed on YouTube over 350 million times, and reached number 1 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 chart in 2013, selling more than 2.2 million copies. It was the first time since 1994 that a song reached number 1 on the Hot 100 chart without the support of a major record label. His second single, “Can’t Hold Us” also peaked at #1 of the Hot 100 Chart, making Macklemore & Ryan Lewis the first duo in the chart’s history to have their first two singles both become a #1 single. Macklemore released his debut studio album The Heist on October 9, 2012, which charted at number 2 on the US Billboard 200 chart.
Early life and influences
Haggerty was born and raised in Seattle, Washington. He attended Garfield High School and Nathan Hale High School, going on to earn a bachelor’s degree at The Evergreen State College. 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.
Though he was not born to a musical family, both of his parents were supportive of his musical ventures. Haggerty was six years old when hip hop first came in to his life by way of Digital Underground. As he grew older, he and his friends spent their summers setting up tents to listen to the radio, making dubs and mixtapes of songs that would play because he and his friends were unable to buy any due to being underage and having no parental consent.
Macklemore was fourteen when he started writing lyrics. At this age, his friends referred to him as Möcklimore. When he started to rap, Macklemore listened to “a lot of East Coast underground hip hop”, with Freestyle Fellowship, Aceyalone, Living Legends, Wu-Tang Clan, Nas, and Talib Kweli being big influences on him.