June 14, 2019
Pop queen Ariana Grande stopped in Pittsburgh for a vulnerable performance this week on the second half of her national tour.
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania is the hometown of the late Mac Miller, Grande's ex-boyfriend, and the subject of a number of songs off both her "Sweetener" and "thank u, next" albums. Miller, a Pittsburgh native known for using the city as inspiration in many of his songs, overdosed in September 2018.
Heartbreaking videos on social media show the singer having a few emotional moments, especially during the hit single "thank u, next," which actually names Mac.
The lyrics go: "I wish I could say thank you to Malcom / 'cause he was an angel."
Ari had a hard time getting through the song (understandably), but did her best.
ariana grande crying while performing thank u, next in mac millers hometown. i can’t even imagine how hard this was for her my heart literally breaks😿 pic.twitter.com/sTiDSAU2ED— ♡ (@exquisitehoe) June 14, 2019
in this moment, the city of pittsburgh’s love for malcolm shined through so so so much. everyone in this arena screamed it. the most special thing i have ever been a part of. we miss u. we love u.— 𝐡𝐚𝐧𝐧𝐚𝐡 𝐬𝐚𝐰 𝐚𝐫𝐢 (@loveisasecrett) June 13, 2019
thank u for this, @ArianaGrande. this city loves u. #SweetenerPittsburgh pic.twitter.com/FLtmnnaF61
It actually looked like she had a hard time getting through the entire show. It apparently got a late start, and when she opened with "Raindrops," (which is about Miller, too) fans could already hear her voice breaking.
During pre-show, the stadium was playing Miller's music, too. And Grande reportedly left a seat reserved in the stadium for him.Miller is a pretty important figure for Pittsburgh natives and preserving his memory (also understandably) is a touchy subject. Some were disappointed that Grande didn't give a more direct tribute to the late rapper — but it seems like the show in and of itself was a tribute.