How Did Mac Miller Die? 

mac miller death
The American Rapper Mac Miller at splash! Festival 20 (2017). Photo by Nicolas Volcker

The talents of Mac Miller were endless and not fully discovered before the artist’s untimely death in 2018. He was wildly successful, influencing young artists and many others. It’s nearly impossible to find a young hip-hop fan who isn’t a fan of Mac Miller. 

Mac broke into the music scene with his debut studio album Blue Slide Park, which was the first album independently distributed album in history to land in the top spot of the Billboard charts. 

Mac Miller continues to wow fans even after his tragic death. His posthumous album Circles was nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Rap Album. 

Mac Miller’s untimely death left fans shocked and full of questions about the young rapper with such a bright future. Unfortunately, he also held many demons within himself. 

Before we get to more details about his Mac Miller’s death, lets learn a bit about his life.

Where is Mac Miller from? 

Malcolm James McCormick, also known as Mac Miller, was born in Point Breeze, Pittsburgh. His parents are Karen Meyers and Mark McCormick. His mom Karen works as a photographer, and his dad, Mark, is an architect. Mac has an older brother, Miller.  

Miller is a graphic artist who designed a lot of the artwork found on Mac’s album GO:OD AM.

The family has deep religious roots, practicing Judaism. Miller even had a bar mitzvah as a young boy.  

His family was close and full of creative talent. His brother Miller provided the artwork for albums. Additionally, his mom appeared on Jimmy Kimmel live with him and his dad made an appearance in one of his music videos. 

Mac named his mom, dad, and brother as the beneficiaries in the case of an untimely death. 

mac miller performing

We interviewed Mac Miller in 2010 in Toronto at the Smokers Tour.
Photo by TheComeUpShow.

How did Mac Miller’s career begin? 

Mac Miller developed a love for Music, hip hop primarily, while he was in school. He taught himself to play several instruments, including piano, guitar, bass, and drums. That’s especially impressive, considering that he never took a music class.

In 2010, Mac Miller got a record deal with Rostrum Records. He released his first album at 15, under Blue Slide Park. This album became a hit and launched his career, quickly making Miller a sensation. His debut album hit #1 on the Billboard 200 chart.  

In 2013 Mac Miller started his own record label, REMember Music. His label had a distribution agreement with Warner Bros for 10 million dollars.  

He also started producing records under the pseudonym Larry Fisher.  

Who were Mac Miller’s influences? 

Mac Miller was a big fan of John Lennon. He had John Lennon’s face tattooed on his body along with the word “Imagine,” a reference to John Lennon’s signature song.  

Mac Miller also had a close relationship with fellow Pittsburgh recording artist Wiz Khalifa. He referred to him as a big brother figure and stated that their relationship went beyond music. They had a genuine friendship.  

Other artists that Mac cited as an influence were Eminem, Lauryn Hill, A Tribe Called Quest, Beastie Boys, Outkast, and Big L.  

Relationships: Why did Mac Miller and Ariana Grande break up? 

Ariana Grande and Mac Miller dated for two years, from 2016-2018. The couple split up due to conflicting schedules. Both artists greatly cared for each other, but the timing didn’t work out. Since both were busy with their successful careers, it was hard to find time for meaningful personal relationships.  

The two met in 2016 when they did a collaboration together on the song “The Way.” They started dating shortly after their collaboration and were together for two years before their busy schedules got in the way. They were both very affectionate towards each other, often publicly showing their love for one another.  

mac miller on stage
The American Rapper Mac Miller at the splash! Festival 20 (2017). Photo by Nicolas Volcker.

How tall was Mac Miller? 

This American rapper stood at 5 feet 7 inches which is 170 cm.  

What happened to Mac Miller? 

Mac Miller’s struggle with drugs started at the early age of 15. He started smoking marijuana and drinking “lean.” Miller spoke openly about his addiction and the struggles he faced when it came to fame and depression. Many of his songs were about his struggles with addiction and depression.  

‘Lean,’ which also goes by the name purple drank, is a combination of over-the-counter cough medicine that contains codeine, soda, and fruit-flavored candy. He claimed that he started drinking the concoction to help with his depression, but the drugs only worsened it. It made his friends view him differently and made him more depressed. He claimed to have stopped drinking lean in 2012. 

In May of 2018, a few weeks after his split with Ariana Grande, he was charged with DUI when he crashed his car into a pole in Los Angeles. The substance in question for the accident was alcohol, not drugs, but it did get people talking about Mac Miller’s struggles with substance abuse.

It is unclear when he started to use Fentanyl and cocaine. There’s no info if that was a new habit that led to an overdose quickly or if he had been using them previously.  

When did Mac Miller Die? 

Singer and songwriter Mac Miller died on September 7, 2018. As previously mentioned, he was found in his Studio City apartment in Los Angeles, California, by his personal assistant.  

How old was Mac Miller when he died? 

Mac Miller was born a Capricorn on January 19, 1992, making him 26 years old at the time of his death.  

The Night Mac Miller Died

Before the fatal overdose, Mac worked on some new music and rehearsed for an upcoming tour. He was said to have spent the night before with his friends watching a football game, called his mom, and then the following morning was found deceased.  

How Did Mac Miller Die? 

Mac Miller died of an accidental overdose. An autopsy found a mixture of drugs in his system, including Fentanyl, cocaine, and alcohol.

He was found in the morning hours by his personal assistant, who called 911 and started CPR on him. Unfortunately, it was too late, and when the paramedics arrived they pronounced him dead at the scene.  

The coroner’s report stated that he was found kneeling on his bed with his head resting on his knees. Mac Miller’s assistant told the authorities that Miller had recently had some slips with his sobriety before his death.  

Mac miller rapper
Mac Miller performs at the 2011 NYC Governors Ball. Photo by Boweman16.

What did Mac Miller overdose on? 

Mac Miller accidentally overdosed on Fentanyl, cocaine, and alcohol.  

Where is Mac Miller buried? 

The family of Mac Miller brought him home to Pittsburgh to be buried in Homewood Cemetery. This cemetery had significant meaning to the artist. It was used in his music video “Nikes on my Feet” and was a hangout for Mac and his friends when they were children.  

Mac Miller Albums 

This talented artist released six studio albums and had many hit songs throughout his caree. Here is a list of when the albums were released and approximately how many units they’ve sold

  • Blue Slide Park, released November 8, 2011, sold 540,000.
  • Watching Movies with the Sound Off, released June 18, 2013, sold 500,000.  
  • GO:OD AM Released September 18, 2015, sold 500,000.
  • The Divine Feminine, released September 16, 2016, sold 320,000
  • Swimming, released August 3, 2018, sold 1,085,863.
  • Circlesreleased January 17, 2020, sold 500,000 

Mac Miller Songs 

Considering that Mac Miller was a well-rounded artist that could not only sing, write, and produce music, but also taught himself how to play several instruments, it’s not surprising that he released many hir songs. Here are a few highlights of his career. 

“Self Care.” This song expresses how Mac felt about his life and those around him. It also touches on addiction. “Self Care” was released a month before the artist’s tragic death on his album Swimming.  

“Best Day Ever.” A good vibes-only song, “Best Day Ever” describes the success and the happiness that Mac has found through his music career. The title track from the mixtape Best Day Ever, released on March 11, 2011. 

“Donald Trump.” This massive hit single is about Mac Miller’s desire to become successful, famous, and rich, much like Donald Trump. The music video shows a progression from sitting in an empty house to partying with a group of people, demonstrating Mac’s rise to fame.  

“Weekend (feat Miguel).” This song has a dark message in the verses. He discusses how unhappy he is, how hard his life has become, and how lonely he is. The beat picks up as he hits the chorus, as describes it being better on the weekend. One can only assume he is talking about forgetting his problems through alcohol and drugs.  

“Nikes on my Feet.” Sampling from Nas’ “The World is Yours,” this fan favorite brought Mac Miller into stardom. The music is nostalgic, describing how great it feels to get new shoes that you can’t wait to show off.  

“Blue World.” Released on posthumous album Circles, this song talks about depression and how you can get through it. It’s an inspirational song.

“Here We Go.” Sampling from the movie Kingdom of Heaven, this track speaks of the hard work and persistence Mac Miller put into his career despite his demons. It shows how he always tried to remain positive, even during some of his darkest times.  


The Mac Miller Circles Fund Charity 

After the untimely passing of the belove­­­d Mac Miller, a charity was started by the artist’s family to help underprivileged youth to reach their full potential.  

The charity’s mission statement is “In honor of Malcolm’s commitment to the arts, The Mac Miller Circles Fund will provide programming, resources, and opportunities to youth from underserved communities, helping them recognize their full potential through exploration in the arts and community building.” 

This charity serves the communities found in Pittsburgh and throughout Pennsylvania. It has raised millions of dollars through fan donations and a concert put on shortly after Mac’s passing.  

The concert, Mac Miller: A Celebration of Life, featured Travis Scott, Earl Sweatshirt, John Mayer, Chance the Rapper, and Action Bronson.  

Mac Miller’s final album Circles.

When Mac Miller passed away, he was far into the recording process of his album Circles. It was meant to be the second album in a trilogy. The first was Swimming. Circles complemented it, referencing the term “swimming in circles.”  

Unfortunately, Mac Miller’s death cut the trilogy short and the second album was unfinished. Thankfully another producer who was working with Mac on the album, Brion, was able to carry out Mac’s vision for the album.  

The album was announced on Instagram by Mac Miller’s family on January 8, 2020, and then released shortly after on January 17, 2020. The single from the album, “Good News,” was accompanied by a music video. “Good News” hit the billboard charts at number 17 and was named on several year-end lists.

The album landed in the third spot on the Billboards chart and sold 164,000 copies in just one week.


Written by Bo Weber

Supporting artists since 2014


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