Both hip-hop acts have seven nominations, including the coveted album of the year and best new artist. "Same Love," Macklemore & Ryan Lewis' original first single which saw a re-release after the success of "Thrift Shop" and "Can't Hold Us," is nominated for song of the year.
"It feels awesome," Macklemore, 30, exclaimed backstage during the Grammys nominations unveiling in Los Angeles. "There is no greater award than the Grammy. To be here tonight and to be nominated is truly mind-blowing."
For album of the year, the Seattle-based rap group's independently-released debut, "The Heist," will battle Lamar's "good kid, m.A.A.d city," Taylor Swift's "Red," Daft Punk's "Random Access Memories" and Sara Bareilles' "The Blessed Unrest," the only album in the group to not reach gold status.
"I never in a billion million years thought I'd be nominated for Album of the Year. ... Best birthday ever. Woah," tweeted Bareilles, who turns 34 on Saturday.
Bareilles, who got a boost this year after Katy Perry's "Roar" had been criticized for sounding like the piano-playing singer's "Brave," will see her song battle Perry's No. 1 hit in the best pop solo performance category. "Roar" is also nominated for song of the year among three other No. 1 hits — Bruno Mars' "Locked Out of Heaven," Lorde's "Royals" and "Just Give Me a Reason" by Pink and Nate Ruess. Macklemore & Lewis' "Same Love" has peaked at No. 11 and is up for the top honor.