Everyone from ex-girlfriend Ariana Grande to hip-hop peers Post Malone and Drake are mourning rapper Mac Miller, who died Sept. 7 at the age of 26, reportedly from a drug overdose.
Miller had a thriving career in his own right, but at least a portion of his fame probably came from his past relationship with Grande. She and Miller dated for two years prior to her current relationship with SNL cast member Pete Davidson.
On Sunday, Grande posted this photo of Miller on her Instagram. That she didn't caption the pic seemed a measure of grief.
To add to the sadness, Grande had to shut off comments on her Insta the day Miller died, as some among her 128 million followers seemed to think Grande's breakup with the rapper of being the catalyst that led to his death.
In July, Miller referenced the breakup in a podcast interview. He said, "It's just a part of something that's going to continue to help make me who I am. You know, it's all positive energy. I am happy for her and moving forward with her life just as I'm sure she is with me."
Miller was mourned by many in the entertainment industry—rappers, actors, even broadway stars.
In an interview with Vulture published just before his death, Miller thoughtfully answered a question regarding an artist's need to control how fans perceive them. He said in part:
[It] just seems exhausting to always be battling something … to always be battling for what you think your image is supposed to be. You’re never going to be able to get anything across. It’s never gonna be the real …
No one’s gonna ever really know me. You know what I mean? That’s okay. The people that have the best chance of knowing me, that would like to, would just be by listening to my music. Even friends that I’ve lost touch with, if they ask how I’ve been, I’m like, “That’s the best way to know how I’m doing.”
A source close to Ariana Grande told told ET that she was "very upset" by Miller's death, reportedly saying, "Ariana always shared a deep connection with Mac and wanted nothing but the best for him."
Artists who die young often become legends, but that can mean that eventually, fans don't really member just how tragic their deaths truly were.