Macklemore’s Love – Hate Relationship With the Spotlight

Macklemore_(8465188669)Anxiety and stage fright is not uncommon with aspiring artists and celebrities.

Fame and success can be terrifying. Just ask Macklemore, who says of his recent rise to fame:

“When ‘Thrift Shop’ popped off and went number 1, I wasn’t ready for that. The love, the press, the scrutiny, the attention, lack of privacy – everything. I went from an underground rapper (which I’d been my whole life) to the spotlight very quickly. So that was tough for me.”

Macklemore was catapulted from underground rapper and the comfort zone of his immediate [hip hop] circles – to pop star with a song that people far outside his audience (like middle-aged women) truly loved. And the content of that song did for a while – box him in – to the outside, newly-introduced world. During a recent Reddit AMA, Macklemore said:

“I had all these different songs with varying topics. But most of the world only knew of one. I was extremely fearful I was going to become the ‘Thrift Shop’ guy forever. But, with ‘Can’t Hold Us’s’ success, that dissipated. And with ‘Same Love’s’ success it went away altogether. But I was definitely living in a place of fear for a while.

“That’s never a good place to be. I turned to some old vices that are never conducive to working through the problem. Just temporary numbing that eventually leads to more fear, anxiety and pain. But, I’m learning from it. And I try to live my life differently because of that experience, and whenever I’m in a place of fear. I know what helps me get through it, and I know what keeps me there. I have a choice.”

Here is a brief account of celebs who were scared out of their wits of the stage: Adele, Maya Angelou, Ozzy Osbourne, Eddie Van Halen, Brandy, Cassie, Andre 3000, Barbara Streisand, Rihanna, Annie Lennox, Cher, Jarren Benton and Jay Z.

In the words of Ruby Dee, “… make me so uncomfortable, that I will do the very thing that I fear.”


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