5 Things You Don't Know About Macklemore

December 09, 2013

He and his music partner Ryan Lewis just picked up an impressive seven Grammy nominations including Best New Artist, Song of the Year for Same Love and Album of the Year for The Heist. Here are five things you probably don't know about Macklemore, whose birth name is Benjamin Haggerty.

1. Earned a Bachelors Degree from The Evergreen State College in 2005, the same year he released his first independent album, The Language of My World.

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2. Funded the music video for his single Wing$ through Kickstarter, raising more than $18,000.

3. Began writing lyrics and rapping at a young age and says he was influenced by West Coast hip-hop including Digital Underground, Freestyle Fellowship, Aceyalone, Living Legends, Wu-Tang Clan, Nas, and Talib Kwali.

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4. Got engaged to his girlfriend of seven years, Tricia Davis, about a year ago. She's a former nurse who now serves as the road manager/video producer for Macklemore and Ryan Lewis.

5. Even though he's straight, was inspired to do the Grammy-nominated song Same Love after his mom sent him a article about a young man committing suicide after being bullied at school for being gay. "You can only watch injustice go on for so long until you're compelled to say something -- to speak out against it," he told MTV. "I read an article about a 13-year-old kid who committed suicide because he was ridiculed at school over being gay. That was it. I had to say something."

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