The pop star appeared to cry on stage while singing about Mac Miller, much to the worry of fans in the audience. The night marked the six-year anniversary of the release of Grande’s first song “The Way” with ex-boyfriend Mac Miller, who died of an accidental overdose at age 26 last September.
She commemorated their collaboration in an Instagram story post, writing “Six years,” alongside a tiny white heart.
She also posted a photo with Myron, the dog she and Miller got together a couple of years ago.
Videos of Grande crying while singing “Goodnight n Go” and “Thank U, Next” were posted to social media by fans voicing their love and support for the singer.
Grande’s world tour will feature tracks from both Sweetener and Thank U, Next, as they were released within six months of each other.
ariana cried during ‘thank u, next’ and i’ve never wanted to hug her as much as i did in that moment 🙁 pic.twitter.com/RUZ6KuFsAX— nora (@diornasa) March 26, 2019
As one fan pointed out, Grande, a true performer, was able to go from teary-eyed to twerking in mere seconds.
mood is ariana grande getting emotional during thank u next and then twerking momentarily after ????pic.twitter.com/il2cP7usEe— ㅤㅤㅤً (@sweetenersource) March 19, 2019
Grande took to social media after the performance to thank fans for “accepting my humanness” and revealing how “difficult singing some of these songs” was.
thanks for accepting my humanness. it’s super emo and difficult singing some of these songs. but you make me smile. i look like penny pingleton here. i love u and thanks. i feel your warmth up there and it helps and is greatly appreciated. ???? pic.twitter.com/XzOL07kD66— Ariana Grande (@ArianaGrande) March 26, 2019
She later assured fans that despite the fact that she’s going through a difficult time, she remains “grateful to be here” and credits her “beautiful support system” to her continued strength.
Grande and Miller began dating in September 2016 and dated for almost two years before breaking up in May 2018. Shortly after Miller’s death, Grande revealed their relationship was “toxic” and explained that “I have cared for him and tried to support his sobriety & prayed for his balance for years.”
The pop star also announced that certain songs about Miller—including “Ghostin” and “Imagine”—would be left off the setlist because she currently finds them “too heavy” to perform.