Ben Haggerty (born June 19, 1983), known by his stage name Macklemore and formerly Professor Macklemore, is an American rapper. His stage name originated from his childhood, it was the name of his made-up super hero. Since 2000, he has independently released one mixtape, three EPs, and two albums. He has significantly collaborated with producer Ryan Lewis as Macklemore & Ryan Lewis. Macklemore and Lewis' single "Thrift Shop" reached number one on the US Billboard Hot 100 in 2013. The single was premiered on commercial radio by radio personality Jay Postal on September 2, 2012, and was soon dubbed the first song since 1994 to top the Hot 100 chart without the support of a major record label by Billboard, although Macklemore, in a slightly unusual recording contract, pays a nominal percentage of sales to use Warner Bros. Records’ radio promotion department to push his singles. Their second single, "Can't Hold Us" also peaked at number one of the Hot 200 Chart, making Macklemore and Lewis the first duo in the chart's history to have their first two singles both reach the peak position. Macklemore and Lewis released their debut studio album The Heist on October 9, 2012, which charted at number 2 on the US Billboard 200. The pair was nominated for seven Grammy awards at the 56th Annual Grammy Awards, winning four awards, including Best New Artist, Best Rap Album (The Heist), Best Rap Song and Best Rap Performance ("Thrift Shop"). Thrift Shop has gained approximately 774 million YouTube views as of October 10, 2015.
Free Press Summer Fest is an annual two-day music festival in Houston, Texas. Macklemore and Ryan Lewis performed at the 2013 Free Press Summer Fest on Saturday June 1st. The festival featured over 80 artists on the lineup, and 2013 was the first year for the festival to completely sell out. The energy during this set was absolutely amazing with a great crowd interaction and onstage presence. Given that their performance took place shortly after the release of "Thrift Shop", the crowd knew just who they had come to see. Someone in the crowd was actually wearing a fur coat, something Macklemore rapped about in his award winning song, in the middle of summer in Houston, Texas. Macklemore took notice and had the coat passed through the crowd and up to him on stage. Here's a photo of Macklemore throwing the coat on right before performing "Thrift Shop". Photo by Braden Shirley of Houston Life.