Mac Miller touched a lot of lives. That was clear when fans and the rap community alike expressed admiration and real loss upon the rapper’s sudden death in September. But his impact was even clearer on Wednesday night at Los Angeles’ Greek Theatre, where artists like Chance the Rapper, Travis Scott, SZA, and John Mayer took their love for Miller a step further by performing at Mac Miller: A Celebration of Life.
Staged both to celebrate the life of the 26-year-old and to raise money for his foundation, the moving event carried on Miller’s legacy as his music was present throughout, while rappers, actors, and basketball stars also shared their fond memories of their beloved Malcolm McCormick, who had a profound impact on their professional and personal lives.
EW was on the scene and has your recap of the show, which can be watched in full below.
Miller is a constant presence
While many of the artists played some of their own biggest hits, the majority of them involved Miller in their performances, whether it was by playing the songs they made with him (including Miguel, Vince Staples, and Ty Dolla $ign) or covering his tracks, like Mayer did. “I saw Mac play this at Hotel Cafe a couple months ago, and he got onstage and he said he was really nervous,” said Mayer before playing Miller’s “Small Worlds.” “And now Mac, I’m really nervous. So we’ve got that in common too. This one is for you.” For the performance, Mayer kept Miller’s voice as the backing track.
Artists recall Miller’s eagerness to help
A common trend upon Miller’s death and on Wednesday night was artists sharing how much of their success can be tied back to Miller giving them a shot before anyone else. “He wasn’t weird about giving other people shine and saying, ‘You dope,'” shared Anderson .Paak before performing their hit song “Dang!”. “He was one of the dopest out and he wasn’t afraid to be like, ‘Yo, you’re dope too, come with me.’ That’s a very special person to me.” Added SZA, “We all love Malcolm so much. I’m thanking Malcolm for supporting me and f—ing being the best friend that anyone could ever ask for…. Without Mac, there would be no me, like half of us that are here. He gave us all our first shot at anything.”
At the start of the show and between performances, footage played from Miller’s childhood and behind-the-scenes of his career, showcasing why everyone loved him. Whether he was in the studio, on the road, or just hanging out, Miller always seemed to having fun and brightening up any room that he was in, a sentiment echoed by many.
More celebrities pay tribute
As if the show wasn’t star-studded enough, midway through the night, a video compilation was played of everyone from Donald Glover to Jason Sudeikis to Lil’ Wayne paying tribute to Miller. Here are a few of the highlights of the video, which can be seen around the 1:45:20 mark.
Jason Sudeikis: “I’ve been thinking about you a lot. Like almost every day, at least once. Does that mean I love you? Maybe. Maybe. No, of course I do.”
Aminé: “You were always so loving and kind and so humble, I just don’t understand how someone can be like that always…. You make me want to be a better person.”
Donald Glover: “Thank you, Mac, for sharing your beauty and your soul with us, especially your love of music. You were a really necessary and intelligent light and I’m really glad that we met.”
Dev Hynes: “He motivated me in ways that I didn’t even know were possible. He was such a bright spark.”
6lack: “You inspire people beyond what you will ever know.”
DJ Jazzy Jeff: “I want to thank you for the advice that you gave me. Giving me the perspective and insight on stuff that I wasn’t even paying attention to. That’s the impact that you had on the world.”
Miller gives the final performance
Travis Scott gave the night’s last live performance, but the final word went to Miller. After Scott left the stage, a video clip of the rapper featured him singing and playing the piano. The lights then went out with a spotlight left shining on the lone mic onstage and audio playing of Miller saying thank you and goodbye. This was followed by a montage of Miller photos as “Best Day Ever” played. All of the artists then came out, having their backs to the crowd, instead preferring to watch Miller. Hugs were shared, tears were shed, including by Miller’s mom who was comforted by both Staples and Mayer.
You can watch the full Mac Miller: A Celebration of Live above, and you can also donate to The Mac Miller Circles Fund, which provides programming, resources and opportunities to youth from underserved communities, helping them recognize their full potential through exploration in the arts and community building.