Macklemore may seem like an overnight success, but that’s simply not the case.
The 31-year-old star, born Ben Haggerty, was raised in Seattle, Washington, where he was a hip-hop loving kid from a young age.
After some personal struggles with drugs and alcohol in his 20s, when he was still working as a solo act, Mack entered rehab in 2008 and came out a new man.
The star teamed up with producer Ryan Lewis, then just a teen DJ, and managed to build up their image with an EP and then independently released their debut album without a label.
Their hard work paid off, and “The Heist” went to no. 1 on the iTunes charts the night it was released back in 2012, a clear indicator of the success that was yet to come.
Against all odds, the group made it to the top of the charts with their first mainstream single, “Thrift Shop,” which introduced the world to the fur-coat loving, strawberry blonde rapper.
But Macklemore and Ryan Lewis were no one hit wonders, and they went on to light up the airwaves with singles like “Can’t Hold Us” and “White Walls.”
In total contrast to most of his contemporaries, the sober star raps about his past issues with substance abuse and other issues.
In particular, Macklemore has been praised for his gay rights anthem “Same Love,” which took top honors at the MTV Video Music Awards for Best Video with a Message.
Together, they’ve already won four Grammys and numerous other awards, but the birthday boy has had more than just professional success.
Macklemore popped the question to his girlfriend of eight years, Tricia Davis, in early 2013, and the two are engaged to be married (no, he didn’t get the ring at a thrift shop).
Though they’ve been busy touring around Europe this summer in support of “The Heist,” Mack’s partner-in-crime told “Rolling Stone” that they’ll hit the studio again this year.
Because they “can’t hold us” back, don’t forget to wish Macklemore a happy birthday in the comments!