Here's How Ariana Grande Paid Tribute to Mac Miller at Coachella

Pop star attended last year's festival with her late ex-boyfriend

By McKenna Aiello 15 Apr, 2019 8:42 PMTags
Ariana Grande, NSYNC, Lance Bass, Joey Fatone, Chris Kirkpatrick, JC Chasez, 2019 Coachella Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for AG

Ariana Grande kept Mac Miller close to her heart as she prepared to take the stage at Coachella 2019

In photos taken backstage at the music and arts festival, the pop star was seen wearing a Pittsburgh Steelers jersey, a subtle but heartfelt reminder of the late rapper's beloved hometown football team.

It was only last year that Grande and Miller attended Coachella together, which also marked one of their final public outings as a couple before their May 2018 split. Following the singer's surprise appearance during DJ Kygo's set, Miller would tweet, "Very proud of this girl right here. Welcome back. We missed you." Last September, Miller died from a drug overdose. 

Ariana, 25, hasn't shied away from sharing her grieving journey with fans, often memorializing special anniversaries on social media and including his catalogue of music on her Sweetener Tour. That said, it's no surprise the "No Tears Left to Cry" singer wanted to bring a piece of her former love along for such a major career milestone. 

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Coachella 2019: Star Sightings

Ariana reflected on what it meant to bring *NSYNC back together again during her Coachella set, calling JC ChasezLance BassJoey Fatone and Chris Kirkpatrick the "nicest human beings possible."

"It can go either way when you meet your childhood heroes and no one has ever been kinder or cooler or sillier or more lovely to be around. ever!" she gushed on Instagram. "Also how the f--k do y'all still sound and dance exactly like you did when my mom and i followed you around on tour when i was 5? thank you thank you thank you for your time and energy and i love you so much forever."

Related: Justin Timberlake Reacts to Ariana Grande's NSYNC Performance

For even more highlights from #Arichella, check out our photo gallery below: 

Bieber Fever

Justin Bieber joins Grande onstage during weekend two of the festival in what was apparently an impromptu performance. "I had no idea I was gonna be on a stage tonight, absolutely no idea," he tells the roaring crowd. "I had to get my groove back, I had to get my swag back, you know what I'm saying?" The "Sorry" singer also promised some new music and an album would be "coming soon."

Grande Style

As if guest appearances, choreography, a dazzling set and tons of hits weren't enough, the star also changed several times, giving fans a fashion show to boot. 

No Shortage of Hits

The songstress came to deliver the show her fans wanted to see—and that meant singing all of their favorite songs. From "Love Me Harder" to "Thank U, Next," the star left no top track out of the set. 

Making Moves

The star certainly had her dancing shoes on as she tore up the stage with plenty of impressive choreography. 

Tearin' Up Our Hearts

Grande proved she could be the fifth member of *NSYNC when the former boy band members JC ChasezLance BassJoey Fatone and Chris Kirkpatrick joined her on stage for a rendition of their signature hit, "Tearin' Up My Heart." Needless to say, Grande and the group were totally in sync. 

Mo Money Mo Problems

Mo money, mo problems? Well, there weren't any problems when Grande had surprise guests Mase and Sean "Diddy" Combs take the stage with her to perform the iconic '90s hit. 

The Fresh Type of Flow

During the set, Grande's gal pal and frequent collaborator Nicki Minaj joined her on stage for a performance of their sexy 2016 hit, "Side to Side."

Grande will return to Coachella next weekend for the second round of festivities.