Taylor Swift returned to the stage in Brazil, delivering an emotional performance at Estádio Nilton Santos in Rio de Janeiro on Sunday after postponing her Saturday concert. The decision to delay the show came in the wake of the tragic death of a fan, Ana Clara Benevides, during the Friday concert due to soaring temperatures.
During her Sunday performance, Swift paid homage to Benevides, although not explicitly mentioning her. As rain poured down, Swift, sitting at the piano, performed the poignant song “Bigger Than the Whole Sky,” and sang the emotional lyrics, “Goodbye, goodbye, goodbye / You were bigger than the whole sky.”
The inclusion of this song led fans to speculate that it was a tribute to the late college student. Benevides, a psychology student, experienced cardiac arrest just before Friday’s concert, leading to resuscitation efforts at the stadium for approximately 40 minutes. Unfortunately, she suffered another cardiac arrest on the way to the hospital and was pronounced dead shortly after.
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In a statement addressing Benevides’ passing, Swift expressed her devastation: “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. I can’t even tell you how devastated I am by this.”
Benevides’ father shared the profound grief of losing his daughter, a promising psychology student on the brink of graduation, stating, “I have no words to express my pain. She left home to fulfill a dream and came back dead.”
Swift, 33, prioritized the safety and well-being of her fans, performers, and crew, deciding to postpone Saturday’s show to Monday due to extreme temperatures. She addressed the decision on her Instagram Story, emphasizing, “The safety and well-being of my fans, fellow performers and crew always has to come first.”
The tragic incident brought attention to the challenging conditions at Swift’s concert amid Brazil’s heatwave. Concertgoers reported witnessing people fainting, including another girl who fainted in front of an American attendee. Swift, herself, paused her set to assist fans in need of water, acknowledging the severity of the heat.
Swift’s return to the stage was marked by a somber atmosphere, reflecting the collective grief of fans and the artist herself. The emotional tribute during the rainy concert served as a poignant moment, honoring the memory of a devoted fan whose dream ended in tragedy.