Tributes pour in after death of Mac Miller, aged 26

Miller's family issue a statement describing him as "a bright light in this world for his family, friends and fans"

Rapper Mac Miller has died aged 26, his family have confirmed.

Miller, whose real name was Malcolm McCormick, was found unresponsive at noon on September 7 at his San Fernando Valley home. Whilst no official cause of death has yet been released, Miller is believed to have died from an apparent 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 to Rolling Stone. They added: “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.”

The County of Los Angeles medical examiner also released a statement: “In the late morning of Sept. 7, Malcolm McCormick (dob 1/19/92) was found unresponsive in his home located in the 11600 block of Valleycrest Drive in Studio City.”

“Authorities were called and Miller was pronounced dead at the scene at 11:51 a.m. At this time, an autopsy is pending and a cause of death has not been determined.”

Mac Miller – Getty

The COO and co-chairman of Warner Bros Records, Tom Corson, said: “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 humour that touched everyone he met. Mac’s death is a devastating loss and cuts short a life and a talent of huge potential, where the possibilities felt limitless.”

Miller had suffered from substance abuse issues in the past and had spoken openly about his struggles.

Speaking to Billboard in 2015, he detailed his difficulties following the success of his debut record: “I was doing a lot of drugs around that time, which is another difference now: I’m not doing as many drugs…It just eats at your mind, doing drugs every single day, every second. It’s rough on your body.”

In that same interview, Miller said his fear of death pushed him to create as much music as possible: “I’ve got to make sure I make all this music so when I die there’s albums and albums.”

Rapper Mac Miller performs live at the Okeechobee Music Festival in Okeechobee, Florida. Credit: Daniel DeSlover/ZUMA Wire/Alamy Live News

Miller was due to start a tour next month in support of his latest, critically acclaimed album, ‘Swimming’. He had also been profiled in Vulture earlier this week (September 6) where he spoke candidly about his struggles of growing up in the public eye.

He said: “A lot of times in my life I’ve put this pressure to hold myself to the standard of whatever I thought I was supposed to be, or how I was supposed to be perceived. And it creates pressure.”

Post Malone, who was due to make an album with Miller, has also spoken about the rapper’s death. Speaking to TMZ, he said: “He was such a beautiful fucking dude and such a sweet dude and loved everybody. I grew up listening to his music and he really inspired me. This fucking sucks, man. He was too sweet, super nice.

“We were supposed to do an album. But I love him to death and we’re all thinking about you and we miss you, buddy, very, very much.”

Drake, meanwhile, dedicated his concert in Boston on Friday night (September 7) to Miller. “Tonight, I wanna dedicate this show to my late friend Mac Miller who was always a kind man to me,” he told the audience at the TD Garden before playing ‘Emotionless’.

G-Eazy also paid tribute to the star at his show at Tampa Bay’s MidFlorida Credit Union Amphitheatre. “I swear life is so fucking fragile,” he said during his song ‘Everything Will Be OK’. “Appreciate the moment, be present in it, tell people you love you care about them.”

As a photo of Miller was shown on the screen behind him, G-Eazy added: “Mac Miller, you changed my fucking world. “

J. Cole posted a message on his Twitter page encouraging anyone who was “going through something” to contact him. “If you don’t feel right, if you feel you have a substance problem, if you need a ear to vent to. If you uncomfortable talking to people around you. Please reach out to me,” he wrote.

Childish Gambino paid tribute to Miller at his Chicago show on Saturday (September 8), which he asked fans not to film so as not to “commodify this moment.”

“I’m a very sensitive person… but this Mac Miller shit got me fucked up,” he said. “He was so nice. He was the sweetest guy, he was so nice. And we were both internet music kids, and a lot of critics were like, ‘This corny-ass white dude, this corny-ass black dude,’ and we used to talk. And this kid, he just loved music.”

He added that people “should be allowed to be sad about it”, saying: “my heart was broken… and I feel good about being sad because it tells me that he was special, that I had a special moment… Everybody in this room deserves that.”

He also dedicated his song ‘Riot’ to the late star. “So I just wanna say ‘I love you, Mac, and I just want to tell you that I love you and this song is for him because I feel like sometimes he wanted to let go,” he said before performing the track.

Elton John also dedicated a song to Miller as he kicked off his farewell tour in Allentown, Pennsylvania. “It’s inconceivable that someone so young and with so much talent could do that,” he said before ‘Don’t Let The Sun Go Down On Me’. “I would like to pass all of our best wishes to his loved ones, his family, his friends. Mac, wherever you are, I hope you’re happy now.”

Tributes to Miller are already widespread on social media, with artists including Chance the Rapper, Earl, the 1975 and Missy Elliot paying tribute. The latest reaction to the news is below:

View this post on Instagram

RIP @macmiller 😥😔💔🙏🏽

A post shared by Amber Rose (@amberrose) on

In August, Miller was charged with driving under the influence after he was involved in a car crash in May. The incident occurred in LA’s San Fernando Valley with Miller reportedly crashing into a power pole and knocking it down. Miller allegedly left the scene with two passengers before later being arrested at his home.

Weeks earlier, Miller also broke up with his partner Ariana Grande. After the split, Grande called Miller her “best friend”, adding that she “respects and adores him endlessly” and that she was “so proud of him”.

Speaking about his crash, Miller told Zane Lowe earlier in the summer: “I needed that…I needed to run into that light pole and literally, like, have the whole thing stop.”

A few days later, Grande released a further statement regarding her relationship with Miller: “I have cared for him and tried to support his sobriety & prayed for his balance for years (and always will of course)…I will continue to pray from the bottom of my heart that he figures it all out.”

Earlier this evening (September 7), comments on Grande’s Instagram account were disabled following an influx of comments in response to the news.

The day before his death (September 6), Miller performed an intimate performance at the Hotel Cafe in Hollywood. An official video of the performance was posted online:

Miller also tweeted on Thursday (September 6) about his upcoming tour: “I just wanna go on tour…the show is going to be so special every night. I wish it started tomorrow.”

Reviewing his latest album ‘Swimming’, NME called it “his best work in years” with the album receiving much critical acclaim elsewhere. There were reports that Miller was also planning an extensive collaboration with Post Malone.

Born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Miller started making music while still at school. He released his first mixtape in 2007 under the name EZ Mac, aged just 15.

He subsequently released five studio albums under his Mac Miller identity and collaborated with a multitude of artists.

This is a developing story – more to follow