Taylor Swift is mourning the death of a fan who died just moments before she attended the Eras Tour concert Friday night in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
Ahead of taking the stage at Estadio Nilton Santos, the “Lavender Haze” singer took to Instagram to share that she was “devastated” after learning about the fan’s death. She added that she wouldn’t be able to talk about it from the stage because she felt “overwhelmed by grief.”
“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 said in a handwritten note shared on her Instagram Story. “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 added, “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.”
One of the event’s organizers, Time for Fun, announced on its verified X account that the victim was 23-year-old Ana Clara Benevides. According to the organizer’s statement (written in Portuguese), Benevides felt unwell and was promptly tended to by paramedics before being taken to the stadium’s medical center. She was then transported to a nearby hospital where she died.
Taylor Swift / Instagram
According to local reports, Benevides died after she went into cardiac arrest. According to The Associated Press, Brazil is battling a dangerous heat wave. So much so, it has forced vendors in Rio de Janeiro off the streets due to health alerts. The heat index hit a staggering 137 degrees on Tuesday morning. According to Weather.com, Saturday’s “feel-like” temperature is expected to be 111 degrees.
Rio de Janeiro Mayor Eduardo Paes took to his X account Saturday morning and shared “the loss of a young woman’s’ life at the show” is “unacceptable.” Amid the intense heat wave, the mayor has directed organizers to allow fans entry into the stadium an hour earlier than usual, increase water distribution points and increase ambulances.
After she hit the stage, Swift could be seen grabbing a bottle of water from someone in the crowd and throwing it to a fan in need of water. There’s another video on social media showing Swift, along with fans, chant “water” in an effort to get security and staff’s attention to help a fan in need. The Associated Press reported that fans complained they were not allowed to take water into the stadium despite the soaring temperatures.
The news agency reported that fans launched an online petition Saturday morning calling for a “Benevides Law” to “make water in events mandatory.” In a matter of just a few hours, the petition garnered more than 150,000 signatures.
Photos circulating on social media showed fans lining up at the stadium hours before the start of the show, and they protected themselves from the intense heat with umbrellas.
Swift’s scheduled to perform again in Rio on Saturday and Sunday before resuming in São Paulo the day after Thanksgiving.