Rap duo Macklemore & Ryan Lewis performed their pro-equal marriage track “Same Love” alongside Jennifer Hudson and Mary Lambert at Sunday night’s MTV Video Music Awards.

Macklemore, real name Ben Haggerty, and Lewis also won best Hip Hop video for Can’t Hold Us.

After performing “Same Love”, Macklemore said: “Gay rights are human rights. There is no separation.”

Speaking in a recent interview, the 30-year-old feared he would receive a backlash from America’s Hip Hop community because of “Same Love”, which was written during the campaign to legalise equal marriage in the state of Washington. Since its release in July 2012, it has been viewed more than 70 million times on YouTube.

“Am I scared that people in Hip Hop aren’t going to want to collaborate?” Macklemore told CRWN. “Kinda, yeah, I am. Will people think that I’m gay? They still do. You type in ‘Macklemore’ in Google, and you start typing ‘Macklemore’ and it immediately auto-corrects to, ‘Is Macklemore gay?’ But you know what? That’s not important to me. I can honestly care less. What’s important to me is something much bigger than how I’m perceived and who might or might not want to make a record. If people are really not wanting to get on a record with me because of that, we weren’t meant to make music together. This is something that I believe in. This is something I’m willing to put out there.”

Elsewhere at the VMAs, Lady Gaga, who was back performing after a hip operation, managed four costume changes during her set, including white robes with a giant square mask surrounding her face, and a shell string bikini.