Ariana Grande honored her ex-boyfriend Mac Miller in his hometown on Wednesday night.
The pop star, 25, visited Miller’s native Pittsburgh for a stop on her Sweetener World Tour, and she paid tribute to the late rapper in more ways than one.
Ahead of the show, Grande had some of Miller’s hits playing throughout the arena, fans in the Pennsylvania city tweeted. Then the most poignant part of the evening came toward the end of the show, when Grande performed her No. 1 hit “thank u, next.”
Per a fan’s video shared on Twitter, Grande choked up and broke down in tears in the opening verse when she name-checks her exes. As she alluded to Miller (real name: Malcolm James McCormick), Grande struggled to make it through the lines “Wish I could say thank you to Malcolm / ‘Cause he was an angel” – and the audience helped her get through the verse, screaming the lyrics along with her.
Grande and Miller dated for nearly two years before they amicably split last spring.
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Miller died of an accidental overdose in September 2018; he was 26 years old. A week after his death, Grande broke her silence and shared a tribute to the late rapper on Instagram.
“i adored you from the day i met you when i was nineteen and i always will,” Grande wrote alongside a video of a throwback video of herself laughing with Miller.
“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,” Grande added in the emotional tribute. “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.”