Known for her emotional songwriting and concerts where "crying is acceptable and even encouraged," Mary Lambert climbed into the Top Ten of the Billboard 200 when she joined hip-hop duo Macklemore & Ryan Lewis on their 2012 album The Heist. Born and raised in Seattle, Lambert graduated from the Cornish College of the Arts with a Bachelor of Music degree in music composition, but even with one symphony piece for the Seattle Philharmonic Orchestra on the books, she decided her future was in pop music and spoken word. Success with the latter came in 2011 when she was declared that year's Seattle Poetry Slam winner, while 2012 saw her launch her music career with the EP Letters Don't Talk. As fans of her confessional work, Macklemore & Lewis contacted Lambert for their gay marriage anthem "Same Love," a track from their platinum album The Heist. "Same Love" was released as a single in 2012, and Lambert would join Macklemore & Lewis on tour through 2013. In 2013 she also published 500 Tips for Fat Girls, her first book of poetry, and by the end of the year she had issued her second EP, Welcome to the Age of My Body. Her profile received a further boost when she received two Grammy nominations, and at the January 2014 award ceremony she performed on-stage alongside Macklemore & Lewis and Madonna, while Queen Latifah read the marriage vows for 33 couples. Her debut album, Heart on My Sleeve, was released later that year by Capitol Records. ~ David Jeffries
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