RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) - Taylor Swift postponed an Eras Tour concert in Rio de Janeiro Saturday after a 23-year-old fan died during her Friday night show, according to a message posted on the singer’s Instagram.
"I’m writing this from my dressing room in the stadium. The decision has been made to postpone tonight’s show due to the extreme temperatures in Rio," the singer said in a handwritten note posted on her Instagram account. "The safety and well-being of my fans, fellow performers, and crew has to and always will come first."
Fans of US singer Taylor Swift queue outside the Nilton Santos Olympic Stadium before Swift's concert, "Taylor Swift: The Eras Tour", amid a heat wave in Rio de Janeiro on November 18, 2023. American superstar Taylor Swift on Saturday was mourning the death of a 23-year-old fan during her first show in Brazil before a crowd of 60,000. The death occurred as much of central and southeastern Brazil has been suffering an unusually oppressive springtime heat wave. (Photo by Tercio TEIXEIRA / AFP) (Photo by TERCIO TEIXEIRA/AFP via Getty Images)
The cause of death for Ana Clara Benevides Machado, the young woman who sought medical attention at Nilton Santos Olympic Stadium during Friday’s show, has not yet been announced. The office of Rio’s public prosecutor opened a criminal investigation and said Benevides’ body was being examined.
Benevides’ death shook many people in Brazil. She had taken her first flight ever to travel from the country’s center-west region to Rio to see her favorite musician. She also created a WhatsApp group to keep her family updated, sending photos and videos every step of the way, family members told online news site G1.
Fans and politicians reacted to her death with outrage, speculating it was linked to extreme heat.
Concertgoers complained they were not allowed to take water into the stadium despite the stifling weather. As temperatures continued to rise Saturday and with two more shows to go at the time, federal authorities announced that free water would now be made available at concerts and other large events.
One of Benevides’ friends, who also went to the concert, told local outlets they had both been given water while waiting to enter the stadium.
In a handwritten note shared on her social media, Swift said she had a "shattered heart."
"There’s very little information I have other than the fact that she was so incredibly beautiful and far too young," the singer wrote of the young woman.
The show’s organizer, Time4Fun, said on Instagram that paramedics attended to Benevides after she reported feeling unwell. She was taken to a first-aid center and then to a hospital, where she died an hour later, the statement from the Brazilian live entertainment company said.
Fans who attended the Friday show said they were not allowed to bring water bottles into the stadium even though Rio and most of Brazil have had record-breaking temperatures this week amid a dangerous and lasting heat wave. The daytime high in Rio on Friday was 39.1 degrees Celsius (102.4 degrees Fahrenheit), but it felt much hotter.
Apparent temperature — a combination of temperature and humidity — hit 59 C (138 F) Friday morning in Rio, the highest index ever recorded there.
Elizabeth Morin, 26, who recently moved to Rio from Los Angeles, described "sauna-like" conditions inside the stadium.