Ariana Grande paid tribute to her late ex-boyfriend Mac Miller at the opening night of her Sweetener tour on Monday.
Before coming on stage for the first stop of her world tour at Time Union Center in Albany, NY, the singer played some of the late rapper’s tracks, including “Dang!” Though, when she got on stage, Grande abstained from performing jer Miller-related tracks “ghostin” or “imagine” as she had previously informed fans during soundcheck that the songs would be too heavy for her. Grande did perform her breakup anthem “thank u, next”, however, which mentions Miller in the lyric: “Wish I could say ‘Thank you’ to Malcolm / ‘Cause he was an angel.”
Miller was found dead by accidental overdose of fentanyl, cocaine and alcohol back in September 2018. He was just 26 years old. Grande and Miller dated for almost two years between 2016 and 2018. After his death, the pop star posted a heartfelt message on Instagram that read: “i adored you from the day i met you when i was nineteen and i always will. 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. 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.”
Grande’s tour continues with more than 70 stops across two continents — including a “special show” in Manchester, England, the location of a 2017 suicide bombing that took place after a Grande performance.