How Taylor Swift Honored The Family Of A Fan Who Tragically Died During Her Concert

On November 17, 2023, tragedy struck at Taylor Swift's 'Eras' concert in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, when a fan, Ana Clara Benevides Machado, collapsed and was rushed to the hospital. Tragically, the 23-year-old did not survive and passed away shortly after her arrival, making a heavy addition to "Eras" tour mishaps we won't forget. According to a Brazillian journalism outlet Globo News, Benevides suffered a cardiorespiratory arrest. While the cause has yet to be confirmed by the country's Institute of Forensic Medicine, attendees speculate that the ban on water bottles combined with the extreme heat might have been causative elements. Reports claim that temperatures soared to 138 degrees Fahrenheit (58.9 degrees Celsius), and videos floating around social media show the "Blank Space" singer struggling to breathe on stage.

The following day, Swift took to her Instagram stories to express how "shattered" she was about the loss. "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. I want to say now that I feel this loss deeply, and my heart goes out to her family and friends," she wrote. She further announced that her Saturday show would be postponed, adding, that she would continue to prioritize the safety of concert-goers as well as those working behind the scenes to put the show on night after night. 

When the show finally did go on, Taylor Swift paid tribute to Benevides in the best way she knew how: through song. She even invited the girl's family to meet with her backstage in order to pay her respects face-to-face.

Taylor Swift altered the lyrics of Bigger Than the Whole Sky in a touching tribute

Though Taylor Swift stated she wouldn't speak about the tragedy at her show, she performed a surprise song in Brazil that has been widely interpreted as a tribute. Fans noted that the pop star's 2022 hit "Bigger Than the Whole Sky" was not originally part of the setlist and was a touching way to honor the fan who passed away. It also proved to fans that Taylor Swift is absolutely heartbroken over Ana Clara Benevides's death. The song's opening lines are heart-wrenching and reflect the depth of the star's grief: "No words appear before me in the aftermath. Salt streams out of my eyes and into my ears."

Most heartbreakingly, observant fans noted a subtle but significant change in the lyrics. While the original line reads, "Every single thing to come has turned into ashes," Swift altered it to "Every single thing I touch has turned into ashes." As thousands of fans witnessed Taylor Swift tearfully choke on the lyrics, many concluded that the pop star felt guilty about Ana Clara Benevides's death. One X (formerly Twitter) user commented: "I know she feels absolutely awful about this, just know that it wasn't your fault Taylor. 💔🕊️"

Taylor Swift invited Ana Clara Benevides Machado's family to her show on Monday night

Nine days after the tragic passing of Ana Clara Benevides Machado, Taylor Swift invited the late fan's family backstage before her concert, per People. The family, wearing shirts with Benevides' photo, took a picture with the star and was given a VIP guest tent. The Los Angeles Times further reported that "The Great American Dynasty" crooner covered their travel expenses and offered a charitable donation. This gesture followed a crowdfunding event by Swifties to assist in transporting Benevides' body back home. However, these financial contributions, though meaningful, do little to compensate for the loss of a life.

Folha De S.Paulo published Benevides' father's devastating reflections on his daughter's untimely death: "She was about to graduate in psychology next April, saving money... She left home to fulfill a dream and came back dead," he shared. He also added that he was waiting for reports to determine if his daughter's death had been caused by negligence. "Nothing will bring my daughter back, but I hope that, if negligence is confirmed, someone will be punished so this doesn't happen to anyone else."