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Macklemore almost cut from rap Grammys

  • Macklemore & Ryan Lewis are top contenders at the Jan. 26, 2014, Grammy Awards, with seven nominations, including best new artist and song of the year for “Same Love.” (Photo by Matt Sayles/Invision /AP)

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

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"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.

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