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Malcolm James McCormick, better known as rapper Mac Miller, passed away on Sept. 7 at the age of 26. Before his untimely passing, Miller released his fifth studio album, “Swimming,” and Aug. 3 the album peaked at the number 3 spot of the Billboard 200. In the wake of his death, streams and album sales have launched “Swimming” back into the Top 10, at number 6.
An artist’s work receiving a boost like this after their death is not uncommon, such is the case of Lil Peep (Gustav Ahr). Billboard also has a Social 50 chart, which tracks mentions of artists on social media, and page views on sites like Wikipedia. It then places the artists on a list of who had the most “activity” that week. On Dec. 2, 2017, nearly two weeks after Ahr’s Nov. 15 death, mentions on social media pushed him to the number 9 spot on the chart.
Currently, Mac Miller holds the number 3 spot, higher than he’s ever held on the Social 50. But, social media mentions of the rapper are not the only thing that has seen a sharp incline following his death.
On Sep. 6, 2018, 3.04 million streams of all his work were observed. The day after, when his death was announced, that number jumped almost 1000% to 32.5 million streams. What launched “Swimming” into the Billboard 200 was the 634% increase in sales the album saw, with over 67,000 copies sold the week after his passing. Those who knew Mac can’t stop saying good things about him. “Music was what he was put on this earth to make,” said Benjy Grinberg the founder of Rostrum Records, “He was a true visionary. As true as artists come.”