Born Malcolm McCormick, the Pittsburgh native developed a love for music from an early age. He taught himself how to play piano, guitar and drums at the age of 6 and started rapping eight years later. He released his first mixtape, But My Mackin’ Ain’t Easy, at age 15 under the name Easy Mac.
The rapper changed his stage name to Mac Miller in 2009, a year before he signed with the independent label Rostrum Records. His 2011 single “Donald Trump,” off his Best Day Ever mixtape, became his first to chart on the Billboard Hot 100. Later that year, he dropped his debut album, Blue Slide Park.
Miller, who produced music under the alias Larry Fisherman, found mainstream success in 2013 when he collaborated with Ariana Grande on her song “The Way,” which peaked at No. 9 on the Billboard Hot 100. He signed a major-label deal with Warner Bros. Records in 2014 and went on to release three more albums: GO:OD AM in 2015, The Divine Feminine in 2016 and Swimming in 2018, the latter of which was nominated for Best Rap Album at the Grammys.
The musician spoke candidly through the years about his struggles with depression and substance abuse. His relationships also made headlines, most notably when he dated Grande from 2016 to 2018.
Miller died at the age of 26 on September 7, 2018, from an accidental overdose. He had fentanyl, cocaine and alcohol in his system at the time of his death. MusiCares launched the Mac Miller Legacy Fund in his honor to help young people who are struggling with substance abuse.