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    Macklemore References Trayvon Martin, Racial Profiling in American Music Awards Acceptance Speech

    Macklemore Tim Mosenfelder/Getty Images

    Lady Gaga and R. Kelly weren't the only one who brought politics to the American Music Awards. When Macklemore & Ryan Lewis accepted the award for favorite rap/hip-hop album via satellite from Miami on Sunday, Nov. 24, the former used it as an opportunity to shed light on a social issue close to his heart.

    "Due to the fact that we are in Florida tonight accepting this award I want to acknowledge Trayvon Martin and the hundreds and hundreds of kids each year that are dying due to racial profiling and the violence that follows it," said Macklemore (real name: Ben Haggerty), who also quoted civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr.

    "This is really happening," he continued. "These are our friends, our neighbors, our peers and our fans, and it's time that we look out for the youth and fight against racism and the laws that protect it."

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    In mid-July, Martin's killer, George Zimmerman, was acquited for second-degree murder and manslaughter. The high-profile trial and the jury's decision continues to make headlines.

    In addition to winning the favorite rap-hip-hop album award, Macklemore & Ryan Lewis—known for hits like "Thrift Shop," "Can't Hold Us" and "Same Love"—were nominated in five other categories, more than any other musical act. They also picked up the award for favorite rap/hip-hop artist and performed via satellite.

    The night's other big winners included Taylor Swift and Justin Timberlake.

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