An unearthed video of the late rapper Mac Miller is bringing back bittersweet memories for his ex-girlfriend Ariana Grande.
One day after PEOPLE confirmed that Miller’s death at age 26 on Sept. 7 was due to an accidental overdose of fentanyl, cocaine and alcohol, a fan sent Grande a recording of an Instagram Live that Miller taped in August.
In the footage, Miller listens to Grande’s song “R.E.M” — even though Grande, who had split from Miller earlier that year, was already engaged to ex-fiancé Pete Davidson in August.
“His voice and laugh,” Grande, 25, replied to the fan who tweeted the video to her. “He is supposed to be here.”
“Thank u for finding this,” she added.
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Grande mentions Miller in her new breakup anthem “Thank U, Next.” As she reviews her past romances in the song, she croons, “Wish I could say ‘Thank you’ to Malcolm / ‘Cause he was an angel.”
“One taught me love / One taught me patience / One taught me pain / Now I’m so amazing,” Grande continues about her former flames before the chorus: “Thank you, next / Thank you, next / Thank you, next / I’m so f—ing grateful for my ex.”
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“She completely broke down after she found out about Mac,” an insider told PEOPLE in September about Grande’s response to Miller’s death. “She can’t believe he isn’t here anymore. He was such a special person to her. She is very, very sad. … This is a nightmare for her.”
Grande served as a support system for Miller as he battled addiction. “They were very much in love, and I have to say, she was incredible when he was first sobering up,” Miller’s friend Shane Powers said on his podcast The Shane Show in September.
“She was a f—ing G to him. There could not have been anybody more supportive of him being sober than Ariana,” Powers continued. “There was no one in his life more ready to go to the wall for him when it came to him being sober. She was an unbelievably stabilizing force in his life and she was deeply helpful and effective in keeping Mac sober and helping him get sober.”
His death may have factored into her split from Davidson. “It’s true that Ariana has been struggling a bit with life in general” after Miller’s death, a source told PEOPLE in October after Grande and Davidson’s breakup.
“[Miller’s death] was devastating and shocking to her,” the source added. “It’s had a huge, negative impact on her life. It made her rethink many things in her life.”
After Miller died, Grande shared her grief on Instagram by posting a black-and-white photo of Miller gazing up as he sits in the grass.
Later in September, she paid tribute to him again with a heartfelt note on Instagram: “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.”
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“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,” she added. “i hope you’re okay now. rest.”
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