Late Friday night, Taylor Swift made a devastating announcement via her Instagram story: a fan in attendance at the first date of her 3-night Eras Tour engagement in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil had passed away.
“I can’t believe I’m writing these words but it is with a shattered heart that I say we lost a fan earlier tonight before my show,” Swift’s post reads. “I can’t even tell you how devastated I am by this. There’s very little information I have other than the fact that she was so incredibly beautiful and far too young.”
“I’m not going to be able to speak about this from stage because I feel overwhelmed by grief when I even try to talk about it,” Swift continued. “I want to say now I feel this loss deeply and my broken heart goes out to her family and friends. This is the last thing I ever thought would happen when we decided to bring this tour to Brazil.”
23-year-old Ana Clara Benevides, the Brazilian newspaper Folha de S. Paulo reported, “died on Friday (17th) night after feeling unwell during the concert.” The cause of death was cardiac arrest, the paper said.
Benevides, according to Folha, “was at the front row [of the concert] and ended up fainting on the spot” before “being resuscitated at the stadium for about 40 minutes.”
On the way to Salgado Filho Municipal Hospital, Benevides suffered another cardiac arrest, and died shortly after her arrival at the facility at around 8 p.m., the paper reported.
Friday night reportedly broke heat index records in Rio, with a temperature of 108.5 degrees Fahrenheit and a feel-like temperature of 137.3 degrees.
Every night of Swift’s Eras Tour has generated a new flood of social media content, much of it ecstatic, but on Friday evening, things took a much darker turn: in one clip, fans begin pleading in unison for water. “You don’t need to chant, it’s totally fine,” Swift says, later telling her team from the stage, “We just need to get water to them.”
In photos from the concert, Swift herself appears to be completely drenched in sweat.
A Twitter thread of footage from the concert shows attendees passing out water bottles to the crowd. Another clip shows attendees passing water to Swift herself, who tosses the bottles out into the audience mid-lyric as she sings her breakup ballad “All Too Well.”
At another point, Swift fully stops the show while seated at her piano for “Champagne Problems” to ask for help as dehydrated fans call out for “agua.”
“There’s people who need water right here,” she says, standing up and pointing into the crowd. “Maybe 30, 35 feet to 40 feet back. They’re holding up phones that say we need water, so whoever is in charge of giving them that, can we make sure that that happens? Can I get a signal that you know where they are?”
Rio Mayor Eduardo Paes said in a statement that the loss of Benevides’ life was “unacceptable.” He also said he had ordered the venue to provide new water distribution points, as well as increased security and ambulances.
“I have already ordered the municipality’s Executive Chief of Operations to demand action with the production of the show,” he said.
Swift is scheduled to perform again in Rio on both Saturday and Sunday night. The Daily Beast reached out to her camp for comment.
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