NME Festival blog: Rapper Mac Miller has died aged 26: reports

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.

According to TMZ, Miller, whose real name was Malcolm James McCormick, was pronounced dead at his San Fernando Valley home today (September 7), at 12 noon.

Whilst no official statement has yet been released about the cause of death, multiple reports are suggesting that Miller died from an apparent drug overdose. Miller’s death was confirmed by his lawyer, David Byrnes, and his family have now issued a statement to Rolling Stone.

“Malcolm McCormick, known and adored by fans as Mac Miller, has tragically passed away at the age of 26,” his family said in the statement. “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 COO and co-chairman of Warner Bros Records, Tom Corson, has also issued a statement: “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. Mac’s death is a devastating loss and cuts short a life and a talent of huge potential, where the possibilities felt limitless.”

Mac Miller – Getty

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.”

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:

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


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