PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Hundreds of people gathered on the North Shore in honor of the late rapper Mac Miller’s 28th birthday.
Miller died of an accidental overdose in 2018.
It’s been a week of celebration of Miller’s life in Pittsburgh this week, with the release of his posthumous album “Circles” to the unveiling of a mural on the North Side, and ending with a celebration at Stage AE.
The line outside of Stage AE wrapped around the block as Miller’s fans waited in the bitter cold to celebrate his 28th birthday.
“Just to pay respects, be here,” said Adam Klenovich. “I was at the gallery on Friday, I just wanted to do as much as possible.”
Once inside, fans listened to Miller’s music, admired paintings, and even shared a birthday cake.
The venue quickly filled to max capacity, just about 400, with many more waiting outside.
“He was just a really great artist from here so I always had a lot of respect for him,” said Dominic Campese.
“I was at Blue Slide Park and then I saw this one I was like, ‘I have to go,’” said Stephanie Oster.
The event also raised money for a local cause, The Mac Miller Fund.
“I’m super happy,” said Zach DiMartini, the organizer of the event. “I’m thankful for everyone that came out and I’m glad we all got together to celebrate one person we all truly care about.”
According to DiMartini, the fund helps kids live out their dreams.
“Like how he lived out his with the music aspect,” he said. “He wants artists to continue to do what they’re doing and know that someone’s there to help them like he was helped.”
Some people, like former Pittsburgh Pirate Andrew McCutchen, celebrated from afar.
McCutchen tweeted “Bumping Mac Miller all day!”
Bumping Mac Miller all day!
— andrew mccutchen (@TheCUTCH22) January 19, 2020
People at the event say Miller’s very public love of Pittsburgh made him that much more relatable.
“I love everything about Pittsburgh and Mac Miller made Pittsburgh great,” said Oster.
“You look at other rappers, they don’t really talk about their city as much as he did, childhood memories, all of that,” added Klenovich. “[He] just represents everything that Pittsburgh is.”
Miller’s family released a statement before the new album came out saying there’s no clear path when doing something like this but they just know he would have wanted everyone to hear his work.