LOS ANGELES (AP) — Travis Scott pointed toward an image of a toothless Mac Miller as a child recognizing the late rapper as a good-spirited person whose “soul will live forever.”
Scott’s performance and closing remarks came after other music performers including Chance the Rapper, SZA and John Mayer took the stage Wednesday night to remember Miller’s life and career during the “Mac Miller: A Celebration of Life” benefit concert at a packed Greek Theater in Los Angeles. The concert launched the Mac Miller Circles Fund in honor of the hip-hop star and raised money for arts education in underserved communities.
Throughout the show, many spoke highly of Miller and remembered him for being a funny person who smiled all the time even while he rapped. They called his music “fearless.”
“Thank you for the music you made, the opportunities you provided me with, but overall the friendships you built,” said Chance the Rapper, the Grammy Award-winning rapper, who performed the inspirational “Blessings” and “No Problem.”
“I met some of my friends through you,” the rapper added. “God bless you and your family, and this foundation.”
Miller was declared dead after paramedics found the 26-year-old hip-hop star unresponsive in his home on Sept. 7. The cause of death has not yet been announced after an autopsy was performed.
Miller’s rap lyrics often dealt with his depression and drug use over the years. He released his fifth album, “Swimming” in August. The rapper earned a wealth of respect from his musical peers and hip-hop greats including Jay Z and Chance the Rapper, and had an assortment of collaborations with Kendrick Lamar, Lil Wayne and Ty Dolla $ign.
“If there’s no Mac Miller, there is no me,” said singer SZA, who performed “Weekend” and “Love Galore.”
Miller drew headlines for his two-year relationship with singer Ariana Grande that ended earlier this year. He and the singer collaborated on her first Top 10 hit, the multiplatinum, “The Way,” which propelled her from teen TV stardom to pop star.
Grande wasn’t in attendance at the concert.
Even though Miller did not have his own song enter Top 40 radio, his popularity translated into a strong following on streaming networks. His debut album “Blue Side Park” went No. 1 on the Billboard Top 200 albums chart.
Ty Dolla $ign, Anderson Paak, Vince Staples, Miguel, Action Bronson each paid homage performing songs that featured them with Miller. ScHoolboy Q said he wrote his hit single “That Part” while Miller sat with him in the studio.
Rae Sremmurd and Juicy J made surprise performances.
Some concertgoers, who showed up sporting their Halloween costumes, cheered “We love you, Mac Miller!!!” throughout the show.
During short breaks, flashback video clips were shown of Miller as an infant, child and adult along with several behind-the scene looks of him doing freestyle raps, performing in front of packed concerts, making jokes and him often playing the piano. As each artist took the stage, a variety of photos of Miller were on display behind them.
A collection of heartfelt and comical video messages were delivered from Pharrell, Donald Glover, Lil Wayne, Rick Ross, Pusha T, G-Eazy, and Tyler, the Creator. Actor Jason Sudeikis and NBA player Karl-Anthony Towns also offered messages via video.
“Man, I’ve been thinking about you a lot, like almost every day, at least once,” said Sudeikis of Miller. “Does that mean I love you? Maybe. No, c’mon man. Of course I do.”
There was also a moment of silence for the victims of the Pittsburgh synagogue shooting that left 11 dead and six wounded. Miller was a native of Pittsburgh.
After the show wrapped up, all the performers gathered on stage and watched a video montage of Miller. After it finished, the rapper’s mother, Karen Meyers, walked on stage, shook their hands and gave them a hug.
Meyers didn’t speak but everyone else’s remembrance of her son spoke volumes.
“He will be missed,” Paak said. “He will never be forgotten.”