US rapper Mac Miller dies aged 26 | News | DW | 08.09.2018
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US rapper Mac Miller dies aged 26

US platinum rapper Mac Miller was found dead at his home in Los Angeles. He had openly discussed struggles with substance abuse — a topic that features in his lyrics.

US rapper Mac Miller has died, his family said in a statement on Friday.

"Malcolm McCormick, known and adored by fans as Mac Miller, has tragically passed away at the age of 26," the statement said. "He was a bright light in this world for his family, friends, and fans," it continued.

Police and paramedics found Miller unresponsive at his home in Los Angeles and declared him dead shortly before noon, medical officials said in a statement. An autopsy will be carried out to determine the cause of his death.

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Miller was highly respected among his peers and had just released his fifth full-length album, "Swimming," last month, with Variety calling it "a simple, stately, poetic autobiography."

Rolling Stone called it "silky, deep vibe redolent of the LA alternative soul scene," and New Musical Express said it was "his best work in years."

Fellow rappers have taken to Twitter to express their condolences. Rapper Wiz Khalifa, who, like Miller, grew up in Pittsburgh, tweeted that he was "praying for Mac's family and that he rest easy."

Chance The Rapper wrote that Miller was one of the sweetest people he had ever met. "I loved him for real. I'm completely broken," he tweeted.

Struggles with substance abuse

Miller first gained a following at age 18 with his mixtape "K.I.D.S." in 2010. Some of his best known songs include "Loud," "Smile Back," and a collaboration with Grande called "The Way."

More recently he had been in the spotlight over his two-year relationship with singer Ariana Grande, which ended earlier this year.

The rapper has openly addressed his struggles with substance abuse and it has featured heavily in his music.

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Just two days ago, New York magazine's culture and entertainment website Vulture published an in-depth profile on Miller.

Reflecting on "Faces," a 2014 mixtape full of "ominous lyrics about hard drugs and musings on premature death," Miller told Vulture he used to rap openly about those issues "because that's what I was experiencing at the time. That's fine, that's good, that's life. It should be all the emotions."

Craig Jenkins' profile of Miller ends with lyrics from the rapper's new album that hint towards the longevity of his career: "Now I'm in the clouds, come down when I run out of jet fuel, but I never run out of jet fuel."

law/bw (AP, dpa, Reuters)

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