Rapper Mac Miller, who found fame early with his raucous, retro hip-hop but struggled with substance abuse and a painfully public breakup with pop star Ariana Grande, died Friday (Sept 7), officials said.
Grande's simple, poignant salute came in the form of a black and white photo of Mac sitting outside, looking up at the camera.
"I have cared for him and tried to support his sobriety and prayed for his balance for years (and always will of course)".
The image, which was shared without a caption, racked up more than a million likes in the twenty minutes after it was posted.
He said: "I hung out with Mac a few times over the years and he was always such a sweetheart, always had the time of day for anyone, whoever they were. But she's my best friend in the world". Way too soon. Rest In Peace Mac'. "That's why I wrote this song, told myself to hold on..."
Ariana and Mac performed together a year ago at the One Love Manchester concert following the terrorist attack which took place after her concert at Manchester Arena.
Ariana was also previously blamed for Mac's auto crash less than a week after their break-up, when he fled the scene after wrecking his vehicle while under the influence of alcohol. "For all his goofy, comedian persona, he's actually a super deep and sweet guy, he's really empathetic, and he loves Ariana with every piece of his heart, all he wants to do is protect her as much as humanly possible". That June he went back to England with her to put on a defiant performance at a tribute concert she arranged. His later work incorporated jazz elements and he was set to tour later this year with Thundercat, the wide-ranging bassist whose music has gone from experimental hip-hop to thrash metal.