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Macklemore & Ryan Lewis‘ “Same Love” was nominated for a Song of the Year Grammy, it was announced on Friday, marking a major cultural moment for the gay movement.
The track, hailed for its pro-equality message (its hook, sung by Mary Lambert, includes the lines “And I can’t change / Even if I tried / Even if I wanted to”), took the hip-hop world by surprise when it was released in July 2012. Reissued almost a year later, it would climb to No. 11 on the Billboard Hot 100, falling short of the Seattle duo’s chart-toppers “Thrift Shop” and “Can’t Hold Us,” but making its impact nonetheless.
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Speaking of the first time she listened to “Same Love,” singer-songwriter, lesbian and longtime activist Melissa Etheridge said she nearly cried. “My daughter played me the song, and I barely got through it the first time I heard it,” she told reporters after the primetime nominations special. “To hear a song of that genre by a straight kid from Seattle … it meant that we’ve crossed it. We’re past it now.”
Etheridge started tearing up in recounting the tale, but managed to regain her composure minutes later when she took a photo with the duo (see above).
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Emotions ran high throughout the Macklemore camp and for good reason: Macklemore, Lewis and Lambert fully appreciate the importance of “Same Love.” Said Lambert: “There was a point this year when I realized: It’s not about ego or about any of our careers. This is a song that’s reflecting where we are in our culture, and that’s a really beautiful thing to be a part of. And also not to be apologizing for being gay and being able to say that across the world.”
Lambert added that she was pleasantly surprised by reaction to the song. “I didn’t get any hate mail or shot or anything,” she said, half-joking. “We got nominated for a Grammy!”
Still pinching himself an hour after the nominees concert wrapped, Ryan Lewis commented that the duo’s nominations count is “pretty mind-blowing.” To win a Grammy, he said, would be “the pinnacle” and “the apex” of the pair’s accomplishments thus far.
And what an impressive — and impactful — run it’s been.
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