Mac Miller, a Pittsburgh rapper who built a cult following with low-key charisma and intimate verses, died on Friday at his home in the San Fernando Valley in California. He was 26.
His family released a statement confirming the death but did not state the cause.
Mr. Miller had recently released his fifth full-length album, Swimming, which opened at No. 3 on the Billboard album chart. An early internet success story, he topped the chart with his independent debut, Blue Slide Park, in 2011, the first indie album to do so in 16 years.
Although he began as a mischievous party-starter, Mr. Miller turned toward darker sounds and motifs. He rapped about substance abuse, having spoken in interviews about an addiction to prescription opiate cough syrup. And he cultivated a following with bracing lyrics about struggling with depression.
“I really wouldn’t want just happiness,” Mr. Miller recently told Vulture. “And I don’t want just sadness either. I don’t want to be depressed. I want to be able to have good days and bad days.”
In 2016, Mr. Miller found a more extreme form of fame through a romantic relationship with pop star Ariana Grande. He appeared on The Way, a 2013 collaboration with Ms. Grande that reached No. 9 on the Billboard Hot 100, his highest-charting single. Ms. Grande announced this year that the couple had broken up.
In May, Mr. Miller was arrested in Los Angeles after his Mercedes G-Wagon hit a utility pole. He was charged in August with two counts of driving under the influence.
Ms. Grande later referred to her relationship with Mr. Miller as “toxic” and criticized those who attributed the breakup to his accident. “I have cared for him and tried to support his sobriety,” she wrote.
Malcolm McCormick was born Jan. 19, 1992. His mother is a photographer and his father an architect. They and a brother are among who he leaves.
Mr. Miller began rapping as a teenager and released several mixtapes before signing with Rostrum, a local independent label. He was an astute, intricate rapper; as a lyricist he was a classicist, but he was also lighthearted. Blue Slide Park bounced from one jubilant song to the next.
With his 2013 record Watching Movies With the Sound Off, his music was becoming more serious and more technically accomplished. He was a producer as well, and his beats were lush and jazz-and-soul-inflected.
In 2012, his home studio in Los Angeles became a hub for young West Coast rappers. It was also the location for a quasi-reality show, Mac Miller and the Most Dope Family, on MTV2.
But the wages of fame were taking their toll. By 2013, he was speaking publicly about his addiction, and his 2015 album GO:OD AM dealt with it explicitly. All five of his studio albums debuted in the Top 5 of the Billboard album chart. Swimming was released last month.