A Taylor Swift fan died during Friday night’s concert at the Estádio Olímpico Nilton Santos in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, as a heat warning was issued for the city. Ana Clara Benevides, 23, reportedly fainted during the show and is believed to have suffered a cardiac arrest, her cousin Estela Benevides and as reported by the Brazilian newspaper Folha De Sao Paolo.
Doctors at the scene tried to revive the young fan but unfortunately were unsuccessful. Swift was seen pleading with stadium staff to provide water to the concertgoers in videos circulated on social media. Swift was also seen throwing bottles of water at the crowd during her Friday performance.
Tragedy Strikes Eras Tour
In a subsequent statement, Swift said that Benevides had passed away before the concert, and it remains unclear if the group she was pointing to included the dead woman. Benevides was transported to Salgado Filho Municipal Hospital but died shortly afterward.
Later, Swift addressed the tragic incident that occurred just before the start of her show.
The singer-songwriter took to her Instagram Story to share a statement, which read, “I can’t believe I’m writing these words but it is with shattered heart that I say we lost a fan earlier tonight before my show. 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.”
She continued, “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. 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.”
On Friday, the weather in Rio reached 100°F, prompting a local heat warning, and it felt even hotter, registering at 109°F, as reported by USA Today.
There are claims from fans online that they were prohibited from bringing water into the venue.
Temperatures in the stadium reached around 100 degrees Fahrenheit during the performance, prompting the 33-year-old pop star to momentarily halt her show to ensure water was provided to some members of the enthusiastic crowd.
At one point during the show, Swift paused the performance and tossed a water bottle into the crowd.
“There’s people that need water right here, maybe 30, 35, 40 feet back,” she said pointing to a group on the floor of the arena.
“So whoever is in charge of giving them that, just make sure that happens. Can I get a signal that you know where they are?”
Swift could be heard talking to her team off-stage, saying, “Do you see the phones?” while the crowd chanted, “Water, water, water, water.”
In another segment of the show, Swift continued singing while tossing a bottle of water into the crowd.
The Eras Tour is scheduled to have two more shows in Rio de Janeiro on Saturday and Sunday before moving on to São Paulo, Brazil, next weekend, marking the final stop of the 2023 tour leg.
Earlier on Friday, a 16-year-old Taylor Swift fan, Ally Anderson, who was gifted the singer’s ’22’ hat during her Eras Tour stop in Cincinnati, died after a five-year battle with cancer.
Ally was diagnosed with stage 4 alveolar rhabdomyosarcoma, an aggressive and rare soft tissue cancer, in 2018, at the age of 11. She died on November 13, according to People.
During the Cincinnati concert on July 1, Ally was brought down from her seat and taken to the front of the stage. The smiling pop star danced up to her and placed her black fedora from her ’22’ costume on her head as Ally held her hand over her mouth in disbelief.
The moment was an unforgettable one for both Ally and her mother, Patty Garner Anderson, who was in the audience with her.
“It changed my daughter’s life immensely,” she told People. “I hadn’t seen Ally smile and laugh like that in a very long time.”
Ally shared a video of herself wearing the fedora on TikTok with the caption: “What happened.” She also posted footage of the moment Swift gave her the gift.