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Mac Miller Died From Overdose Involving Fentanyl, Coroner Finds

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Mac Miller, performing on April 14, 2017 at Coachella. The rapper's death on Sept. 7 was determined to have been an accidental overdose.
Christopher Polk, Getty Images

Mac Miller, performing on April 14, 2017 at Coachella. The rapper's death on Sept. 7 was determined to have been an accidental overdose.

Malcolm James McCormick, the chart-topping rapper known as Mac Miller, had fentanyl, cocaine and ethanol in his system at the time of death on Sept. 7, according to Los Angeles County's Department of Medical Examiner-Coroner.

The department determined that McCormick's death was accidental — making him the latest in a string of overdose deaths involving the opioid fentanyl. That list includes Prince, Tom Petty, burgeoning rapper Lil Peep and former Wilco member Jay Bennett.

McCormick, born Jan. 19, 1992, "was discovered unresponsive in his home located in the 11600 block of Valleycrest Drive in Studio City," the department writes in the announcement of its findings. "Authorities were called and McCormick was pronounced dead at the scene at 11:51 a.m ... It was later determined McCormick died from mixed drug toxicity (fentanyl, cocaine and ethanol)."

According to the investigator's report, McCormick's personal assistant discovered him unresponsive in his bedroom and called 911. The assistant later told police that he had been "in good spirits lately and had many positive, ongoing projects," and that McCormick "struggles with sobriety and when he 'slips' he consumes [substances] in excess." The assistant told police that McCormick had "several recent 'slips,' " the most recent on Sept. 4. McCormick's mother also told police that he had "appeared to be in good spirits."

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According to an NPR report from earlier this year, cocaine laced with fentanyl, an opiate more powerful than heroin, is becoming more and more common. "To be blunt, what you might buy and use, thinking it's a good time, could cost you your life," Tennessee Bureau of Investigation assistant director T.J. Jordan told a news conference last year.

Last week, Miller was celebrated by his friends and collaborators in a tribute concert held at The Greek Theatre in Los Angeles. Proceeds from the event were directed to The Mac Miller Circles Fund, a charity established in his name by McCormick's family and the Pittsburgh Foundation, to "provide programming, resources and opportunities to youth from underserved communities, helping them recognize their full potential through exploration in the arts and community building."

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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