NEW YORK — Macklemore & Ryan Lewis had a rousing 2013 in hip-hop: The Source magazine named Macklemore its "man of the year," the duo was Billboard's top rap act and they took home most of the year's key hip-hop trophies, from the MTV Video Music Awards to the American Music Awards. They even beat Jay Z and Kanye West in the best group category at the BET Awards.
The underground, independent Seattle group had made it, right? Not from the viewpoint of some members of the Recording Academy, according to a person who attended a rap committee meeting and spoke on condition of anonymity because that person wasn't authorized to publicly reveal the information.
While Macklemore & Lewis are up for seven honors at Sunday's Grammy Awards, including album of the year and best rap album for the platinum seller "The Heist," most rap committee members felt the duo shouldn't qualify for the rap categories because of their success on mainstream radio and their appeal in the pop world, the source said.
56th Annual Grammy Awards Nominees
Thomas Bangalter, left, and Guy-Manuel de Homem-Christo, from the music group, Daft Punk. The group has five nominations at the 2014 Grammy Awards on Sunday, Jan. 26, including album of the year for ?Random Access Memories? and record of the year for ?Get Lucky.? (Photo by Matt Sayles/Invision/AP, File)
Tamar Braxton is nominated for three honors at Sunday's Grammy Awards, including best urban contemporary album for her first album in 13 years, "Love and War." The title track is also nominated for best R&B song and R&B performance. (Photo by Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP, File)
Bruno Mars' latest album, ?Unorthodox Jukebox,? is nominated for four honors at Sunday?s Grammy Awards in Los Angeles. (Photo by Al Powers/Powers Imagery/Invision /AP, File)
Ben Haggerty, better known by his stage name Macklemore, right, and his producer Ryan Lewis are top contenders at the Grammy Awards on Sunday, Jan. 26, 2014, with seven nominations, including best new artist and song of the year for ?"Same Love.?" Their debut album, ?"The Heist,"? is up for album of the year and best rap album, while the massive hit, ?"Thrift Shop,"? is nominated for best rap song and rap performance. The duo?s other hit, ?"Can'?t Hold Us,"? will compete for best music video. (Photo by Carlo Allegri/Invision/AP, File)
At just 22, singer and mandolin player Sarah Jarosz represents the steady growth of younger fans in the folk genre. She is nominated for her album, "?Build Me Up From Bones," at the 2014 Grammy Awards on Sunday, Jan. 26.? (AP Photo/Chris Pizzello, File)
Guy Clark, the West Texas songwriter who penned such country hits as "L.A. Freeway" and "Desperados Waiting for a Train,?" is nominated for a Grammy for his album, ?"My Favorite Picture of You."? (Photo by Wade Payne/Invision/AP, File)
Two-time Grammy winner Neil Young was honored on Tuesday, Jan. 21, 2014 for his commitment to excellence and ongoing support for the art and craft of recorded music, by the producers and engineers wing of the recording academy ahead of the Grammys ceremony. The 56th annual Grammy Awards are held Sunday, Jan. 26, 2014 at the Staples Center in Los Angeles. (Photo by Victoria Will/Invision/AP, File)
Gregory Porter may be a late bloomer as a recording artist, but the soul-jazz singer isn't wasting time picking up Grammy nominations, even though his music doesn't fit neatly into any one category. The 2014 Grammy Awards will be held on Sunday, Jan. 26. (AP Photo/Universal Music)
New Zealand singer-songwriter Lorde has four nominations at the Grammy Awards on Sunday, Jan. 26, 2014, including song and record of the year for ?"Royals."? (Photo by Joel Ryan/Invision/AP, File)
Justin Timberlake has seven nominations at the 2014 Grammy Awards on Sunday, Jan. 26, including best pop vocal album for ?"The 20/20 Experience"? and solo pop performance for ?"Mirrors."? (Photo by John Shearer/Invision/AP, File)
Kendrick Lamar has seven nominations at the 2014 Grammy Awards on Sunday, Jan. 26, including best new artist and album of the year for "?good kid, m.A.A.d. city."? (Photo by Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP, File)
Sara Bareilles song "?Brave," which she wrote to encourage her friend to come out of the closet, is nominated for best pop solo performance at the Jan. 26, 2014 Grammy Awards. The song is from Bareilles? third album, ?"The Blessed Unrest,"? which is nominated for album of the year. (Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP)
"Same Love,?" Macklemore & Ryan Lewis'? same sex anthem featuring Mary Lambert, is nominated for song of the year at the Jan. 26, 2014 Grammy Awards. The song is from the rap duo?s debut album, ?"The Heist,"? which is nominated for album of the year. (Photo by Charles Sykes/Invision/AP, File)
"Same Love,"? Macklemore & Ryan Lewis? same sex anthem featuring Mary Lambert (pictured), is nominated for song of the year at the Jan. 26, 2014 Grammy Awards. (Photo by Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP)
Paul McCartney, left, and Ringo Starr will perform at the Jan. 26 Grammy awards show. The Beatles will be honored at the Academy?s Special Merits Awards a day before, and a day after the big show, the iconic group will be the center of a performance special featuring Eurythmics and other acts playing Beatles hits. (AP Photo/Stephen Chernin, File)
"Thrift Shop" not only topped the rap charts, it was also one of the year's biggest pop songs, selling 7.3 million tracks.
The group's follow-up, "Can't Hold Us," helped assimilate their name in pop music when it hit the No. 1 spot and sold more than 5 million tracks. But at a meeting held in Los Angeles late last year to discuss the Grammy categories, members of the rap committee declined their submissions.
At a meeting held a week later, members of the general Grammy committee discussed where Macklemore & Lewis should qualify, the source said. The general committee, which includes members from jazz, country, pop, rock and other genres, listened to their album to determine where they fit.