Four months after his death, Ariana Grande paid tribute to Mac Miller with a sweet birthday post on both her Twitter account and her Instagram Story. Early on Saturday, Jan. 19 — which would have been Miller's 27th birthday — the singer shared a simple, cryptic tweet that read "miss u," on her page, which many fans interpreted as a message about her late friend and ex-boyfriend.
Later in the day, Grande also posted a black-and-white photo of herself and Miller to her Instagram Story, though she didn't add a caption to that photo. The sweet snap, which appear to be from early on in their friendship, showed a young Grande smiling at Miller, while the rapper posed for the camera in a hoodie and sunglasses.
Grande and Miller first became friends back in 2012, and after they truck up a conversation on Twitter, the pair collaborated on a cover of the holiday classic, "Baby It's Cold Outside." A year later, Grande recruited Miller to rap on her single, "The Way," and they quickly became very close, with Miller calling her the "greatest person in the world," in a 2013 interview. They took their relationship public in September of 2016, and dated for two years before splitting in May 2018; however, the pair remained good friends after their breakup.
"This is one of my best friends in the whole world and favorite people on the planet," Grande wrote in a post on her Instagram Story after confirming her breakup with Miller. "I respect and adore him endlessly and am grateful to have him in my life in any form, at all times regardless of how our relationship changes or what the universe holds for each of us!”
Since Miller's tragic death in September, Grande has often shared the impact that he had on her life in various social media tributes. A week after his passing, the singer shared a video of Miller smiling and goofing around on Instagram, along with a heartfelt caption about how she "adored you from the day i met you when i was nineteen and i always will."
Grande continued, "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. 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. i hope you’re okay now. rest."
In November, after a fan shared a clip of Miller listening to Grande's song, "R.E.M." before his passing, she responded that "he is supposed to be here." In other tweets, she reminisced about Miller's "voice and his laugh," before telling the fan, "thank u for finding this."
Grande has also been open about the toll that losing Miller — as well as her whirlwind romance with Pete Davidson and their very public breakup — has taken on her in the past few months. In December, while accepting Billboard's Woman of the Year award, the singer revealed that the past year has been "the worst" she had ever experienced.
"I want to say that I find it interesting that this has one of the like best years of my career and like the worst of my life. I'm not saying that for sympathy," Grande told the audience at the event. "I'm just saying that because I feel like a lot of people would look at someone in my position right now, I guess, like Woman of the Year, an artist that could be at her peak, reaching her you know, whatever, and think, 'She's really got her sh*t together, you know? She's really on it. She's got it all'. I do, but as far as like my personal life goes, I really have no idea what the f*ck I'm doing."
Grande's commitment to being open with her fans about the process of grieving her longtime friend has helped her form a stronger bond with them over the past year. And, in their own way, her touching tributes to Miller have helped to keep his spirit and impact top of mind in the public eye.