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Macklemore speaks out on his 2020 relapse: 'Painful for myself and for the people who loved me'


Macklemore is speaking out on his relapse, which occurred in the summer of 2020 after the hitmaker had been sober for several years.

In an interview with People magazine, the 38-year-old rapper – whose full name is Benjamin Hammond Haggerty – candidly addressed the impact of his relapse on those closest to him.

‘It was really painful for myself and for the people who loved me,’ Macklemore admitted.

Candid: Macklemore is speaking out on his relapse, which occurred in the summer of 2020 after the hitmaker had been sober for several years. Seen in 2021

Candid: Macklemore is speaking out on his relapse, which occurred in the summer of 2020 after the hitmaker had been sober for several years. Seen in 2021

The three-time Grammy Award winner continued, ‘I stopped doing the work.’

‘When I have to be still and exist within my own head, that’s where my disease lives,’ he also shared. 

‘[But] I’m like, “You know what? I don’t need to pretend like I’m some perfect dude in recovery.” I am not at all, and there’s no shame,’ he concluded.

Difficult: In an interview with People magazine, the 38-year-old rapper - whose full name is Benjamin Hammond Haggerty - candidly addressed the impact of his relapse on those closest to him. Pictured in 2021

Difficult: In an interview with People magazine, the 38-year-old rapper – whose full name is Benjamin Hammond Haggerty – candidly addressed the impact of his relapse on those closest to him. Pictured in 2021

The Kent, Washington native revealed that he had relapsed during the COVID-19 pandemic in an April 2021 appearance on Dax Shepard’s Armchair Expert podcast.

At the time, Macklemore told Dax that he was inspired by the Hit and Run star’s openness about his own relapse, which he disclosed in an episode of his podcast in September 2020.  

‘I really, really resonated with the episode,’ Macklemore said. He commended Dax on how ‘vulnerable and honest’ he was with his fans.

Impact: 'It was really painful for myself and for the people who loved me,' Macklemore, right, admitted. Seen with Ryan Lewis in 2014

Impact: ‘It was really painful for myself and for the people who loved me,’ Macklemore, right, admitted. Seen with Ryan Lewis in 2014

He added, ‘It was within two months of my COVID relapse, and the disease of addiction is crazy.

‘It made me feel, as someone that had relapsed again, like a month or two before, that I’m not alone.’ 

The Same Love rapper entered rehab for drugs and alcohol addiction in 2008 and celebrated three years of sobriety until a relapse in 2011. 

Macklemore said that he probably would have died if his father had not sent him to rehab when he was 25-years-old.        

Caring father: Macklemore said that he probably would have died  if his father had not sent him to rehab when he was 25-years-old

Caring father: Macklemore said that he probably would have died  if his father had not sent him to rehab when he was 25-years-old

‘Getting that help saved my life,’ the songwriter told People. ‘I hope that people will come out of the shadows, that the guilt and the shame of the disease of addiction lessen and we don’t feel like we need to hide anymore.’ 

The Evergreen State College alum, who is a father of three, said that being a dad was ‘his greatest success’. He shares daughters Sloane, six, and Colette, three, and son Hugo, six months, with his wife of seven years, Tricia Davis.

Macklemore told People that his eldest child was made aware of his battle with addiction and recovery when she was three or four-years-old.   

Sweet: The Evergreen State College alum, who is a father of three, said that being a dad was 'his greatest success'

Sweet: The Evergreen State College alum, who is a father of three, said that being a dad was ‘his greatest success’

he said, ‘Why would I hide it? It is who I am.

‘In terms of Daddy’s sober meetings that he needs to go to, she’s well aware and has been for quite some time.’ 

However, Macklemore acknowledged that he alone is responsible for maintaining his sobriety.   

He recalled the moment that he found out that Tricia was pregnant with Sloane, saying,  ‘I remember being like, ‘I don’t ever want my kids to see me loaded.” ‘

‘There was this relief like, ‘Okay, now I can stay clean for someone else.’ But that’s not how this disease works. My kids can’t keep me clean. I have to do the work. 

Family: He shares daughters Sloane, six, and Colette, three, and son Hugo, six months, with his wife of seven years, Tricia Davis.

Family: He shares daughters Sloane, six, and Colette, three, and son Hugo, six months, with his wife of seven years, Tricia Davis.

Macklemore also announced that he would be serving as an investor and creative director for sparkling Yerba Maté beverage’s Clean Cause.  

The Austin-based beverage brand donates 50 percent of its net profits to fund sober living scholarships.     

Of his experience with rehab, he said, ‘I would not be where I am without that treatment.’

Macklemore added, ‘And I just so happened to have a dad that could help me pay for a treatment facility.

‘So many people in America cannot afford rehab.’ 

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