Mac Miller Dead at 26 of Apparent Overdose: 'He Was a Bright Light in This World' Says Family
Mac Miller died on Friday of a suspected drug overdose, PEOPLE confirms. He was 26.
The musician was pronounced dead at 11:51 a.m. at his Studio City, California, home, the Los Angeles County Department of Medical Examiner-Coroner confirmed in a statement to PEOPLE. A cause of death is yet to be determined, but a source tells PEOPLE the rapper had gone into cardiac arrest after appearing to suffer a drug overdose.
“Malcolm McCormick, known and adored by fans as Mac Miller, has tragically passed away at the age of 26,” his family said in a statement provided to PEOPLE. “He was a bright light in this world for his family, friends and fans. Thank you for your prayers. Please respect our privacy. There are no further details as to the cause of his death at this time.”
“All of us at Warner Bros. Records are deeply shocked and saddened by the tragic news of Mac Miller’s untimely passing. Mac was a hugely gifted and inspiring artist, with a pioneering spirit and a sense of humor that touched everyone he met,” Tom Corson, co-chairman and COO of Miller’s record company said in a statement.
“Mac’s death is a devastating loss and cuts short a life and a talent of huge potential, where the possibilities felt limitless. We join all of his fans across the globe in extending our thoughts and prayers to his family and friends.”
The “My Favorite Part” rapper, was born in Pittsburgh and first launched into the public eye in 2010, when he released his fourth mixtape K.I.D.S when he was 18, which contained hits “Nikes on My Feet” and “Best Day Ever.” The following year, his first studio album Blue Side Park debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 200.
Miller, who had struggled with drugs throughout his life, and his girlfriend of two years, Ariana Grande, broke up earlier this year.
Hours before his death, Miller posted a series of videos on his Instagram that were taken at a recording studio.
Less than a week after news broke that Miller and Grande had split, on May 14, Miller was arrested for drunk driving.
Early that morning, the rapper was arrested for DUI and hit and run after he struck a power pole in the San Fernando Valley with his Mercedes-Benz G-Wagon and fled the scene; after law enforcement officers matched the vehicle’s license plates to Miller’s address, they arrested him at his home, a Los Angeles Police Department public information officer previously told PEOPLE.
The rapper went on to open up about his arrest during a conversation with Zane Lowe on Beats 1 on Apple Music in July.
“I made a stupid mistake. I’m a human being,” Miller explained. “But it was the best thing that could have happened. Best thing that could have happened. I needed that. I needed to run into that light pole and literally have the whole thing stop.”
However, Miller went on to let all of his fans know that they shouldn’t worry about him, because he’s doing fine.
“I have people that care about me and fans that love my music and it’s a beautiful relationship with them — people who have been with me through being a 19-year-old wide-eyed kid to being a self-destructive depressed drug user to making love music to all these different stages. Then they see something like that and they worry,” he explained. “So your first reaction is, ‘Let me tell them I’m cool.’ ”
RELATED VIDEO: Ariana Grande and Mac Miller Have Split But Remain Good Friends
During the interview, Miller also explained that both he and Grande had moved on since their split — and that he wished her well.
“I was in love with somebody. We were together for two years. We worked through good times, bad times, stress and everything else. And then it came to an end and we both moved on. And it’s that simple,” he said.
“It’s all positive energy,” he added. “I am happy for her and [the fact that she’s] moving forward with her life, just as I’m sure she is with me.”
Grande, 25, and Miller first went public with their relationship in September 2016 — three years after they collaborated on her hit single “The Way.”
Shortly after their breakup in April, Grande began dating Pete Davidson, to whom she became engaged to in June.
Following Miller’s DUI arrest, Grande also responded to a tweet blaming her for what happened.
“I am not a babysitter or a mother and no woman should feel that they need to be,” she wrote. “I have cared for him and tried to support his sobriety & prayed for his balance for years (and always will of course) but shaming / blaming women for a man’s inability to keep his s— together is a very major problem.”
While opening up about his drug use in 2013, Miller told Complex that “things got out of hand” during his Macadelic Tour in 2012.
“I was not happy and I was on lean very heavy,” he remarked. “I was so f—ed up all the time it was bad. My friends couldn’t even look at me the same. I was lost.”
“I don’t believe in absolute anything, but I think not sharing that type of information, because it becomes like, ‘Oh he’s sober, oh he’s not, oh he has a beer, oh my God.’ I just realized some things are important to just keep for yourself,” he added.
If you or someone you know is in need of help, please contact the SAMHSA substance abuse helpline at 1-800-662-HELP.
- Reporting by NICOLE SANDS