Rappers Ryan Lewis (L) and Macklemore accept the Best New Artist award during the 56th Grammy Awards at Staples Center on Jan 26, 2014 in Los Angeles, California. - AFP
LOS ANGELES (AFP) - US hip-hop duo Macklemore & Ryan Lewis won the best new artist Grammy on Sunday, in the first major award handed out on music's biggest night.
The pair, who were also nominated for best album of the year for their record The Heist, beat fellow new artist hopefuls rapper Kendrick Lamar, country music singer Kacey Musgraves, and British artists James Blake and Ed Sheeran.
Their debut album, which the duo from Seattle released independently, had already won awards for best rap album, best rap song (Thrift Shop) and best rap performance at the 56th annual Grammys.
"First and foremost I want to thank our fans, the people that got us on this stage. Before there was any media, before there was any buzz about us, before there was a story, there was our fans," said Macklemore.
"We made this album without a record label, we made it independently, and we appreciate all the support," he added, accepting the award on stage at the Staples Center in Los Angeles.
The album included the song Same Love - for which producer Lewis was also nominated in the Best Song category, with fellow songwriters Ben Haggerty and Mary Lambert.
They were expected to perform the song, which uses rap to tackle the issue of same-sex marriage, during the three-and-a-half-hour telecast. Media reports said 34 couples were expected to marry during their performance.
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