Ariana Grande used her first show in Mac Miller’s hometown, Pittsburgh, to honor him in a few different ways. Like at all of her Sweetener tour stops, there was a seat reserved for him in the arena. His music also played before the concert started. But when it came time to sing his name in “Thank U, Next,” she couldn’t speak through the tears, even to call him an angel. In a fan video of her performance, you can hear her barely get through “Wish I could say ‘Thank you’ to Malcolm.” Her fans were there for her, though, cheering for Mac and singing the now-iconic lyrics.
The emotional concert began with the song “Raindrops (an Angel Cried),” which is rumored to be about her relationship with Mac Miller. Grande also teared up while performing it last night. Mac Miller and Ariana Grande went public with their relationship in 2016, spending two years together before breaking up in May of 2018. Mac passed away in September of that year. His own fans are also having an emotional week. The Free Nationals’ “Time” features Mac Miller’s first posthumous verse. Between Ariana, her fans, and Mac’s fans, there’s a lot of love keeping his spirit alive.