Four days after Mac Miller’s tragic death, thousands of fans gathered to pay tribute to the rapper during a hometown vigil at Pittsburgh’s Frick Park on Tuesday evening (Sept. 11).
The location was significant to Miller, whose chart-topping 2011 debut album was named after his childhood hangout, Blue Slide Park, which is just blocks from Taylor Allderdice High School where Miller attended. The park’s eponymous slide received a fresh coat of blue paint in honor of Miller, and a petition was passed around to request that the name of the playground be changed to “Mac Miller Blue Slide Park.”
— Pittsburgh Public Works (@PGHDPW) September 11, 2018
— Krystal🔮 (@kb_sestito) September 11, 2018
As his music played, fans left candles, flowers, murals, and jerseys of the Pittsburgh Steelers, Miller’s favorite NFL team. “I grew up with Mac Miller. I feel like one of my friends died,” said one fan.
His grandmother, Marcia Weiss, was also in attendance and thanked fans for their support. “He loves you all, he loves Pittsburgh, and everything that you have done for him,” said Weiss, who wore a Blue Slide Park sweatshirt. “Thank you so much for everybody being here. You are wonderful and we love you.”
Mac Miller’s grandmother speaks at a vigil held for him at Blue Slide Park in Squirrel Hill Sept. 11, 2018. “He loves you all, he loves Pittsburgh and everything you have done for him.” The 26-year-old passed away on Friday. @PGVisuals @PittsburghPG https://t.co/wiVd6mftkq pic.twitter.com/OPCxtOyZWQ
— Jessie Wardarski (@JKayWardarski) September 12, 2018
there was a perfect balance of mourning of death & celebration of life
— gary ☆ (@garykdean) September 12, 2018
— Pittsburgh City Paper (@PGHCityPaper) September 11, 2018
The public vigil was organized by local record label Nightfall Records. “We would like to bring the city together in full force for this legendary icon,” the label wrote on Facebook. “Mac deserves to be sent off with an evening of celebrating his life, discussing his struggles, and remembering his stories; most importantly for his iconic work that brought joy into the lives of everybody who listened. We are welcoming all artists to come and paint, create, draw, live tribute art for this event.”
Miller, born Malcolm James McCormick, was found dead in his Studio City, Calif. home on Friday (Sept. 7) at the age of 26. The official cause of death is yet to be determined.