A bittersweet anniversary. Ariana Grande’s first charting single, “The Way,” was released on March 25, 2013, but her late collaborator and ex-boyfriend, Mac Miller, isn’t here to share in her celebration.
The “Break Up With Your Girlfriend, I’m Bored” singer, 25, paid tribute to their tune via her Instagram Stories on Monday, March 25.
“Six years,” she captioned an all-black screen with a white heart at the bottom.
The track, which was the first of two songs the former pair collaborated on together, reached No. 9 on the Billboard Hot 100. (The duo also worked together on the rapper’s “My Favorite Part” song from his 2016 album, The Divine Feminine.)
The couple’s relationship was rocked, however, when the “Self Care” singer passed away on September 7 of mixed drug toxicity, according to an autopsy report obtained by Us Weekly. The musician had fentanyl, cocaine and alcohol in his system at the time of his death.
“[Ariana and Pete’s] relationship was really complicated with the passing of Mac Miller,” a source told Us that same month. “It put a tremendous amount of strain on their relationship.”
The Nickelodeon alum, who had a tattoo of the late singer’s dog Myron inked onto her foot, frequently posts about Miller.
One week after his death, she shared a heartbreaking message to him on Instagram. “I adored you from the day i met you when i was nineteen and i always will,” she wrote. “I can’t believe you aren’t here anymore. i really can’t wrap my head around it. We talked about this. so many times. i’m so mad, i’m so sad i don’t know what to do. you were my dearest friend. for so long. above anything else. i’m so sorry i couldn’t fix or take your pain away. i really wanted to. the kindest, sweetest soul with demons he never deserved. i hope you’re okay now. rest.”
Grande also remembered him on what would have been his 27th birthday: “Miss you,” she tweeted on January 19.
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