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Charlie Puth hoped he could help Mac Miller get clean

Charlie Puth was hit hard by the news of close friend Mac Miller's death because he thought he could help him lead a clean, sober life.

The rapper passed away at the age of 26 on 7 September (18) from a reported drug overdose, and his fellow musicians and friends have since been reacting to his shock death on social media. The Attention singer was among those tweeting his respects, and wrote that he "can't keep losing friends like this", adding he was sorry he hadn't spent more time with him recently.

Charlie appeared on E! News on Monday night (10Sep18) to talk more about his pal, explaining that they had become close friends over the past six months as they both worked with personal trainer Harley Pasternak, who told Charlie about Miller's death.

"We became really close, we became really good friends and I always thought I would be the one to help him get clean and to lead him onto the path of a good, clean, sober life by just showing him that I'm a musician too," he explained. "We both do similar things, that it doesn't have to be one way or the other."

The 26-year-old became emotional and apologised, adding, "It's difficult to talk about, as you can probably imagine, because I just felt like I didn't do enough after my tour to be around him. I just feel really bad."

He continued to struggle with his emotions as he explained he texted Mac's phone after learning of his death, because he felt like he needed to tell him "I love you man".

"His body might have left this earth but his soul and spirit has gone into so many people and to me - I'm gonna become a better person now, Harley as well, and all the people that he touched in his 26 years of living. He was one of a kind, there was no one like Mac," he concluded.

The rapper had been open with his substance abuse struggles, previously confessing he became hooked on "lean" - a mixture of prescription cough medicine and soda early on in his career.

He had been arrested for drink driving in May and was due to be arraigned on Tuesday, but the charges will now be dropped, according to TMZ.com.

Fans have been showing their support for the rapper by streaming his music. According to Nielsen Music, streams for Miller's songs in the U.S. have climbed by 970 per cent following his death.