Ariana Grande kicked off her new tour with a special tribute to her late ex-boyfriend, Mac Miller, reports Celebrity Insider.
The singer began her concert at Times Union Center in Albany, New York, by honoring Miller before she took the stage; the rapper’s songs played while the audience took their seats.
Concert-goers and “Arianators” have shared the significant gesture throughout social media, as Grande garnered widespread praise for what was viewed as a simple mark of love and respect shown to the artist.
Miller passed away from a drug overdose in September at the age of 26.
Grande has paid tribute to Miller in many ways since his passing. A tattoo that originally referenced ex-fiancé Pete Davidson was changed to one that honored the rapper. Grande was originally inked with “8148” on her foot, which was Davidson’s father’s FDNY badge number. Two months after Miller’s death, the tattoo was covered with another one dedicated to the Miller’s dog, Myron.
Grande also name-drops him in a sentimental line on her single “Thank U, Next,” in the first verse of the song.
“Even almost got married/And for Pete, I’m so thankful/Wish I could say, “Thank you” to Malcolm/’Cause he was an angel,” she sings.
Ariana Grande Kicks Off Sweetener Tour with Touching Tribute to Her Late Ex Mac Miller https://t.co/Io2n22TMP4— People (@people) March 19, 2019
Fans believe many of her songs refer to Miller in less tangible ways, like another track from Grande’s Thank You, Next album, “Imagine.”
In November, a fan on Twitter asked Grande about the meaning of the song. She answered that it’s “a simple, beautiful love that is now (and forever) unattainable.”
Miller also had an arm tattoo of the word “imagine.”
Unfortunately, Grande got into a bit of bad press, courtesy of social media. When the rapper lost a posthumous Grammy for Best Rap Album to Cardi B, Grande tweeted her disappointment in a number of expletive-laden posts that were quickly deleted.
She later explained that the tweets were actually about Miller’s mother, Karen Meyers, flying out for the awards show.
Cardi B went on to mention Miller in social media post after receiving her award.
“I’m sharing this Grammy with you motherf**ker!!!” she said in a video.
The “Sweetener World Tour” is Grande’s fourth concert tour. The first leg of the tour is set to visit at least 42 cities across North America, from March through July.
Grande is also scheduled to perform at April’s Coachella Festival as the youngest artist ever to headline the event, and only the fourth female to do so.