Jewish rapper Mac Miller was found dead of an apparent drug overdose on Friday, Sept. 7, according to TMZ and other news agencies.
The 26-year-old Pittsburgh native, born Malcolm James McCormick, struggled with substance abuse for years, including during a high-profile two-year relationship with pop star Ariana Grande.
According to TMZ, Miller was found by police at his home in California’s San Fernando Valley, and pronounced dead at the scene. He was about to start a concert tour next month.
Less than 24 hours before his death, Miller tweeted information about his upcoming “Swimming” tour, noting, “I wish it started tomorrow.” The tour was scheduled to begin October 27.
In a separate tweet, he wrote to his 8.4 million followers, “I just wanna go on tour.”
Miller was the son of Karen Meyers, a Jewish photographer, and Mark McCormick, a Christian architect. Miller described himself as “the coolest Jewish rapper,” in response to Drake‘s own claim to be “the best Jew in the Rap game.”
Miller frequently talked about having a bar mitzvah and celebrating Jewish holidays growing up. He also had a Star of David tattoo on his hand.
Miller decided on a hip-hop career while in high school. “Once I hit 15, I got real serious about it and it changed my life completely,” he said. “I used to be into sports, play all the sports, go to all the high school parties. But once I found out hip-hop is almost like a job, that’s all I did.”
A self-taught musician, Miller played piano, guitar, drums, and bass.
Besides his performing career, Miller worked as a record producer under the pseudonym of Larry Fisherman.
In his song “S.D.S,” he describes himself as a “Jewish Buddhist tryna consume the views of Christianity.” It also featured the lyric, “Search the world for Zion or a shoulder I can cry on/I’m the best of all time, I’m Dylan, Dylan, Dylan, Dylan.”
In a 2016 interview with Rolling Stone, Miller spoke about his battles with drug addiction and revealed that producer Rick Rubin helped him get clean the previous year.
“This planet has a certain gravity, man – it rises in the morning, it sets at night, and I never really followed that,” Miller said. “But now I go to sleep at night and wake up in the day, and that’s been a beautiful balance in my life.”
Among Miller’s hits were “Nikes on My Feet,” “Best Day Ever” and “My Favorite Part.”