2019 American Music Awards

Macklemore Meets President Obama To Talk Opioid Addiction

Andrew Benge/Redferns
Macklemore of Macklemore & Ryan Lewis performs on stage at Manchester Arena on April 12, 2016 in Manchester, England. 

Macklemore visited the White House on Thursday (May 12) to talk about opioid addiction with President Obama as part of a one-hour documentary about opioid abuse he's working on with MTV that will air later this year.

The "Downtown" rapper, who has candidly discussed his history of drug abuse -- including struggles in his 20s, a trip to rehab in 2008 and a 2014 relapse after his rise to fame -- made the trip to D.C. as part of a one-hour documentary he's hosting for MTV slated to air this summer. He spoke to Obama about this personal experiences with addiction and what can be done to destigmatize and combat the opioid addiction epidemic that affects two million Americans


Macklemore tackled the drug-related death of a close friend on the This Unruly Mess I've Made track "Kevin," which also features soul singer Leon Bridges. The documentary will continue filming over the next several months and will include scenes of Macklemore meeting with young adults who've been impacted by addiction and telling their stories, an MTV source told Billboard. "More to come soon," the rapper promised on his Facebook page. No air date or title has been announced yet for the special. Billboard reached out to Macklemore's camp for further comment on the meeting but had not heard back at press time.

Also on Thursday, the Office of National Drug Control Policy's director, Michael Botticelli, requested $1.1 billion to help fight the country's opioid and heroin problem and, on Friday, the administration scheduled a Twitter chat on the topic as well.


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