Mac Miller had long been vocal about his struggles with drug addiction and the possibility of an early death—on his 2014 mixtape, Faces, the rapper predicted “a drug habit like Philip Hoffman will probably put me in a coffin”—but he had been determined to beat the odds and not join the ranks of past artists and musicians who died at the young age of 27. Sadly, Miller checked out even earlier.
Mac Miller died of an apparent drug overdose on Sept. 7, according to TMZ. The rapper was 26-years-old, less than 4 months shy of his 27th birthday.
In 2015, Miller’s song “Brand Name” referenced the infamous “27 Club” that includes a list of actors, artists, and musicians who tragically died at age 27, including Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, Jim Morrison, Kurt Cobain, Amy Winehouse, and Rolling Stones founding member Brian Jones.
“To everyone who sell me drugs / Don’t mix it with that bulls**t, I’m hoping not to join the 27 Club,” Miller said.
In a 2016 documentary for Fader, Miller talked about dying of a drug overdose and what it would mean to his legacy.
“I’d rather be the corny white rapper than the drugged out mess who can’t even get out of his house. Overdosing is just not cool. There’s no legendary romance, you don’t go down in history because you overdosed. You just die.”
Mac Miller won’t be part of the dreaded 27 Club, but the day of his tragic drug overdose will always be remembered by fans and hopefully serve as a wakeup call to other struggling addicts.
After Nirvana lead singer Kurt Cobain committed suicide at the height of his band’s fame in 1994 at the age of 27, his mother, Wendy O’Connor, famously told Associated Press that she warned her rock star son about the doomed “27” club.
“Now he’s gone and joined that stupid club,” Cobain’s mom said at the time, per Newsweek. “I told him not to join that stupid club.”
The exclusive “club” also famously includes Rolling Stones founder Brian Jones (who died in 1969), legendary guitarist Jimi Hendrix (1970), rock and blues singer Janis Joplin (1970), the Doors frontman Jim Morrison (1971), and singer-songwriter Amy Winehouse. (2011).
Jim Morrison’s long-time companion, Pamela Courson, who was with him when he was found dead in his Paris apartment in 1971, also died of an overdose three years later at age 27, as did Kurt Cobain’s widow Courtney Love’s Hole bandmate, Kristen Pfaff, who died of a heroin overdose at age 27 two months after Cobain’s death in 1994.