The first major award presented during the GRAMMY Awards was for the hotly contested Best New Artist category. Despite a field of worthy underdog challengers, the nod went to favorites Macklemore & Ryan Lewis.
The rapper-producer duo took the podium with a air of confidence, having already won the GRAMMY for Rap Album of the Year during the red carpet pre-show. After an introduction from Pharrell and Anna Kendrick, the winning newcomers commenced a sincere, no-nonsense thank you to their core supporters throughout the year:
"Before there was any story, there were the fans. So without them, there would be no us," Macklemore began. He shouted out his fiancé, parents, manager and team, before reminiscing on crafting his album "The Heist" without a label, as the house music cut in.
The somber approach contrasted the more unpredictable stance taken last year at the VMAs, when the pair took the acceptance speech as a chance to draw attention to racial profiling in America, via the Trayvon Martin tragedy. This time, Macklemore and Lewis were content to bask in the unexpected underdog story that produced a pair of No. 1 Billboard singles.
Macklemore & Ryan Lewis are nominated for 7 awards, including Album of the Year. For Best New Artist, they defeated singer-songwriter Ed Sheeran, electronic singer-producer James Blake, country singer-songwriter Kacey Musgraves, and rapper Kendrick Lamar, whom they will square off against for Album of the Year.
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