E! Premieres 'Macklemore's Big Surprise' on Thursday, November 7 at 10PM

Categories: Network TV Press Releases

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October 23rd, 2013


via press release:




A Dream Home Renovation For the Woman He Credits With Saving Him From Drug Addiction Fuels the Special In Which The Music Star Opens Up About The Addiction That Nearly Cost Him His Future Wife … and His Life

“I love you with all my heart and I want to be there for you the way you guys have been there for me.” – Macklemore


Los Angeles, CA, October 23, 2013 – As one of the most celebrated and innovative musical acts in the world today, Macklemore has a lot to be thankful for. A string of prestigious awards and nominations this year make him music's "It" boy, but according to the artist himself, if it weren't for one very special woman, he might not be alive today. In this intimate one-hour special, Macklemore opens up about his long struggle with drug abuse and how fiancée Tricia Davis and her mother Diana helped him get his life back on track.  Now on top of the world, Macklemore invites E! cameras into his new studio to talk frankly about the addiction that nearly destroyed him, and how love brought him back from the brink.  And in a grand gesture of gratitude to the woman who helped change his life for the better, he orchestrates a gorgeous home makeover, when the new E! special “Macklemore’s Big Surprise” premieres Thursday, November 7th at 10pm ET/PT.

During the engaging special, we visit with Macklemore and his partner, producer Ryan Lewis who, together this year, have racked up three MTV Video Music Awards, two Teen Choice Award, a MuchMusic Video Award, an mtvU Woodie Award, a BET Award and the Billboard Music Award for Rap Song of the Year ("Thrift Shop").  Add to that six nominations for the upcoming American Music Awards, and you have a musical act that is one of the industry's most successful.  We'll also meet Macklemore's uncle, John Haggerty who, along with his same-sex partner Sean, are depicted on the cover of the single release "Same Love," Macklemore's much-heralded rap paean to equality.

Life was not always so rosy for Macklemore, however, as this special reveals. Born Ben Haggerty, Macklemore first used drugs and alcohol at the age of 14.  After completing a stint in rehab several years later, with Tricia and Diana both supporting him all the way, Macklemore relapsed in 2011 when he became addicted to Oxycontin. Tricia recalls that the addiction had taken over Macklemore, and that she was unsure whether their relationship would survive, given his tremendous lying and cheating.   However, he credits the unconditional encouragement he got from Diana as the motivation and support he needed to once again get sober.  In doing so he not only saved his life but also his relationship with Tricia, which led to the couple's January 2013 engagement. Macklemore talks candidly about what he put Diana and Tricia through, as well as his concerns that he might never fully regain their trust.  Still, as an expression of his appreciation and dedication to her family, the hip-hop superstar tries to pull off the biggest surprise of Diana’s life.

To execute his plan, Macklemore gets Diana out of her home filled with thrift shop finds and hand-me-downs for 72 hours, during which time he has a crew standing by to swoop in for a makeover that will reflect the loving person she is. With only three days to get it all done, Macklemore, Tricia and their team of family members, friends and neighbors must work fast to get the home renovated - both indoors  and out - including designing a new pool area, living room, guest room, and more.  Throughout the renovation, Macklemore and Tricia discover family photos that spark reminiscences about their first meeting (made possible by social media) eight years ago, and the proposal that didn't quite work out as planned.

During the makeover there are some major setbacks, including shortage of time, insufficient flooring for the job, not enough help, terrible weather, and the always unwelcome but often amusing combination of children and paint. It’s a project of love from start to finish, as everyone works together to try to complete their surprise before Diana returns.  And unbeknownst to everyone but Macklemore, if everything comes together, he has one more surprise up his sleeve that will leave Diana speechless.

Produced by Entertainment One Television, executive producers include Tara Long (Mary Mary, Sisters with Voices, The Sheard’s), Eric Hoberman (Mary Mary, The Sheard’s), Anna Halberg and Spenser Cohen.

“Macklemore’s Big Surprise” premieres Thursday, November 7th at 10pm ET/PT

Select quotes from “Macklemore’s Big Surprise” :

“I wanted to hold hip-hop accountable. I wanted to stand up against the prejudice and the hatred and make a song that addressed the homophobia.” – Macklemore talking about “Same Love” song

“I think more than anything, I want to be someone that Diana trusts. That Diana knows is not going to leave, that is going to love her daughter unconditionally. That accepts their family like it is my own, because it is.” – Macklemore


  • Wright

    Sounds like a good show. I LOVE him.

  • merrranga

    ah! see? i knew there was an upside to drug addiction. if the problem was a little bit worse we might have all been saved from his ‘A-B-C Dr. Seuss’ rap!!

    so remember talentless hacks, do drugs! think of the children!

  • Nate

    Merranga likes to stereotype rappers he/she has never listened too. The same old comments about talent/lyric quality/command of the english language have been stale for about 30 years now since rap came into the mainstream. The true shame is that for all mack’s talent, his caring for the youth since a young adult, his ability to complete a higher education, create, and grow his own business from scratch, etc, is all clouded by the natural process of blowing up too big beyond his expectations. When that happens, it doesn’t matter how true you were to the content of your lyrics, the hours spent honing excellent mic skills using various flows, or understanding the entire genre well and giving respect back, because what happens is the ‘POP’ fans dominate the concerts, and the news articles, they gloss over the opening acts who represent other regional veteran and new artists like talib kwali and big krit, and they write some of the most humorous posts alluding to ‘abc rap’, and ‘talentless hack’ b.s.
    The facts are that macklemore studied the rap game, and practiced to gain his current spot. He mentions his own human struggles in content but doesn’t judge others. He shows love to support and give a chance to male/female singers, and a entire live band to complement his act without worry that they will steal his shine. And he did all this without the music machine for the most part, without the huge record label push that so many unnamed artists preceding him had. I don’t post negative comments about other genres that i have no knowledge about. merranga could have just said, ‘i haven’t listened to macklemore but i have a feeling that since i never followed, understood or listened to the more talented rap artists because i dislike the genre that i wouldn’t like him ALSO…”.. Now i can understand if rap was still in it’s infancy stages that you could poke fun in general because
    newer styles can fade. But going into it’s 3rd generation now shows it’s better to just not comment at all about something you know nothing of. Hey, I can understand if say it was 9 years back and reggaeton popped up in the US on tons of funded radio stations to then be put in a coma within a year after they played 5 songs a day 40 times each.. Or to say how terrible say SKA music or another genre that was a flavor of the month… Your attempts at sarcasm are lame. Most areas of musicians struggle with substance, and some speak of it on record, and others do not. That doesn’t mean i would hop on a article about a country artist, for example and joke..
    i went to a smaller macklemore concert a couple of years ago when i first read about him and watched a few music videos. most of us figured he would stay a solid underground level rapper because radio and large companies control the large size touring for the most part.. I enjoyed his energy, and creativity, his originality also. fast forward to his current us tour selling out arena’s. It was one of the best shows i have attended of roughly 100 concerts shows i have been to in the past 15 years. That said it was also culture shock because jumping from the 200-800 person club crowd to a arena means, you go from drinks at a bar to tiny sections in the arena roped off to protect alcohol from kids., you have the corporate radio station vans parked outside shamelessly promoting themselves, and much of the crowd becomes preteen children with or without their mothers chaperoning them. i even saw some toddlers and babies. behind my seat were three children playing patty cake prior to mack’s set. it was the first concert selling COTTON CANDY, AND POPCORN. For a moment i thought i showed up on the night when a circus was to perform instead… there is nothing BAD about the culture change if the crowd is open to the music and positive. But this was a HIP-HOP concert, not a pop concert. Pop fans and music writers who end up covering the occasional huge artist often think what they view should change to accompany their taste. NO, sorry, rap artists will be true, and if you want to learn to discern the better artists, listen and study, but don’t burden others with your ignorance. another example i would see others saying big krit, or talib were “the worst”, but then by looking at their musical influences and background you could see they don’t listen to rap, and hadn’t heard of talib prior. people like macklemore grew up respecting and looking up to guys like talib. big krits peers and rap aficionados applaud his mixtapes and albums. a objective negative statement related to their sets would be more along the lines that unlike macklemore, the house lights were down which took away from the energy. i don’t expect the full smoke, fire, confetti and bells/whistles, but at least the lights on would have given a better atmosphere. This was a great show overall. merranga can save his/herself from all rap in general because he/she could not discern great rap from good or poor rap. SO WHY COMMENT ON SOMETHING YOU DON’T KNOW?
    What i get from the above article is just another example of mack’s generosity. Early on in rap many years ago featured big name white artists set back legitimate credibility talent ratings. However if you even just focus the magnifying glass on white rappers arriving in the past 5-6 years the handful joining the game are mostly independent, talented, proven, with a large fanbase, and they did not blow up from a corporate machine.
    Names out there like Asher Roth, Logic, Yellawolf, Macklemore, and Mac Miller are all unique, and talented in their own right. But your comments are as stupid as every corporate type who has either stated or questioned each one of those names in regard to similarities to Eminem or Vanilla Ice for example.

  • Adam

    Nate, you just put all of my thoughts and what I wish I get out to everybody, into one of the greatest things I’ve ever read. It really aggravates me that people judge him by, know him by, or say they’re a “true fan” because of Thrift Shop and Can’t Hold Us, when really they probably haven’t even heard of Otherside. I’ll admit that Thrift Shop is what got me listening, but at the time it was just a fun song with catchy lyrics. Now I’m so glad that I took a further interest in Mack’s music and can’t believe I got into it how I did. It’s good to know that I’m not the only one who appreciates him and his story.

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