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Macklemore & Ryan Lewis backstage at the 2013 Grammy Nominations Concert

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The 2013 Grammy Nominations Concert took place on Dec. 6 at the Nokia Theatre L.A. Live in Los Angeles, and was televised in the U.S. on CBS. Several of the artists who performed or were presenters at the event were also announced as nominees for the 56th Annual Grammy Awards, which will be held on January 26, 2014, at the Staples Center in Los Angeles. Here is what this Grammy Nominations Concert entertainer said backstage in the press room.

MACKLEMORE & RYAN LEWIS

Nominated for:

Album of the Year: “The Heist”
Song of the Year: “Same Love,” performed with Macklemore & Ryan Lewis
Best Rap Performance: “Thrift Shop” featuring Wanz
Best Rap Song: “Thrift Shop” featuring Wanz
Best Rap Album: “The Heist”
Best Music Video: “Can’t Hold Us” featuring Ray Dalton
Best New Artist

You’ve spoken a lot about civil rights. What was the first thing that came to mind when you heard that Nelson Mandela died?

Macklemore: I went to the Internet and did some reading. I was familiar with Nelson Mandela, obviously, but I wanted to be informed. I wanted to figure out his life story and reflect on the moves that he made toward justice. I left inspired. I left emotional. It’s a legacy of a brilliant man and a hero.

Lewis: I spent a little bit of time in Cape Town, South Africa. It’s crazy for me, because it’s a name that was in daily conversation when I was there, and I haven’t been there in five years. It was a reminder, I think, of being there, it’s a place where you feel everything that’s gone on there. You get a real scope of the man that was.

How do you feel about Nelson Mandela’s passing?

Lewis: Sad. Living until 95 was unbelievable. He was an incredible person.

How do you feel about your Grammy nominations?

Macklemore: It feels very, very surreal. I don’t ever think it’s ever going to feel normal. A year ago, a year-and-a-half ago, we were an underground hip-hop group. And in a lot of respects, it feels like we’ve been sneaking on to a lot of red carpets this year. So to end up here with seven nominations, this is the pinnacle of the awards. We’ve done very well throughout the entire year with awards for both of us.

If we got to bring home one [Grammy] Award, it would be a lifelong achievement for both of us. It’s something that we never, ever thought was possible when we were making this album. It’s a beautiful moment, so we’re just trying to be present, appreciate it, and show gratitude to the people that supported us this past year.

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