In just a year’s time, Seattle-based rapper Ben Haggerty, a.k.a. Macklemore, and producer Ryan Lewis have experienced a whirlwind of success that doesn’t appear to be slowing down any time soon. With the one-year anniversary of “The Heist” quickly approaching on Oct. 9, we decided to take a look back at various highlights for the duo from the past 12 months.
Debut Album Enjoys Huge Opening
Not many artists experience substantial success with independent releases, but Macklemore and Ryan Lewis proved right off the bat that that would not be the case for them. On the eve of the release of “The Heist,” the album hit No. 1 on iTunes, before opening at No. 2 on the Billboard 200. The first single, “Thrift Shop,” eventually went on to reach the top spot on the Billboard Hot 100 and remained there for six weeks before the album’s second single, “Can’t Hold Us,” hit No. 1 for five weeks. Shortly after the feat, Billboard released an official statement to announce a rather unique honor:
“Macklemore & Ryan Lewis rise 2-1 on Billboard’s Nielsen BDS-based Pop Songs mainstream top 40 radio airplay chart with “Can’t Hold Us,” featuring Ray Dalton With its prior breakthrough single “Thrift Shop,” featuring Wanz, having spent two weeks atop the survey in March, the act becomes the first duo in the chart’s 20-year history to take its first two entries to No. 1. (The duo boasts the same honor in the Billboard Hot 100′s nearly 55-year archives.)”
Feature Stories Start Rolling In
By the start of 2013, interviews started popping online everywhere, most notably over at Entertainment Weekly, which through a January profile uncovered the origin of the name “Macklemore,” how the duo met, and the strong Seattle ties, among other things.
“Thrift Shop” and “Can’t Hold Us” Hit “SNL”
In a “Saturday Night Live” season not shy on showcasing industry up-and-comers, Macklemore and Ryan Lewis were on the short list of talent lucky enough to get an opportunity to grace the iconic Studio 8H stage for a March 2 appearance on the long-running sketch show.
“Nine Lessons I Learned at a Macklemore Concert”
In April, resident list maker BuzzFeed took the liberty of outlining a handful of things learned after attending a Macklemore concert. See the full list HERE for some tips that may just come in handy for anyone attending one of the duo’s tour dates this fall.
Successful Awards Season
After not receiving a single nomination prior to 2013, Macklemore and Lewis were able to add nine major accolades to the mantel this year, including BET and Billboard Music Awards and three MTV Video Music Awards.
Strong Social Media Presence
Backed by the power of Instagram, the duo’s successful contest to promote “Thrift Shop” all but solidified the kind of social media presence fans could come to expect from Macklemore and Ryan Lewis. Boasting upwards of five million followers across Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram alone, the pair continues to remain well-connected with fans. Macklemore in particular consistently shares personal photos, such as the one below with fiancée, Tricia Davis.
World Tour to Conclude in U.S.
The fall world tour is underway overseas for Macklemore and Ryan Lewis, but will return stateside for the final leg beginning on Oct. 22 in Portland, Ore., and will trek across the country into December with support from Chance the Rapper. The tour is scheduled to close with three dates in Macklemore’s hometown of Seattle, Wash., at Key Arena, Dec. 10-12.