The father of a Taylor Swift fan who died after falling ill at the singer’s first of three shows at Rio de Janeiro’s Estádio Olímpico Nilton Santos paid tribute to his daughter and vowed to find out what caused the 23-year-old student’s death. In an interview with Rio’s Folha de S. Paulo website (translated to English from Portuguese), Weiny Machado said his daughter, Ana Clara Benevides Machado, was preparing to graduate with a psychology degree in April and saving money for her future.
“I lost my only daughter, a happy, intelligent girl,” he said. “I have no words to express my pain. She left home to fulfill a dream and came back dead.”
After Friday’s Eras Tour show in Rio, Swift said she was “devastated” to learn about Machado’s death. “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 wrote 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’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.” At press time no additional official information was available on the cause of Machado’s death.
Weiny Machado said he is determined to find out how his daughter died, focusing in on reports that fans were not allowed to bring water into the venue. Brazilian concert organizer, T4F, wrote on Instagram that paramedics attended to the woman after she reported feeling unwell. She was first taken to a first aid area and then to a hospital, where she passed away shortly after, according to the promoter.
Some attendees complained that they were barred from bringing in water bottles to the stadium despite a record-breaking heat wave in Rio that pushed temperatures into the triple-digits, resulting in Saturday’s planned show being bumped to Monday night (Nov. 20) as a precaution.
“There’s people that need water right here, maybe 30, 35, 40 feet back,” Swift was seen saying in fan-captured footage on X in which she paused the show to ask for water for a group of fans who signaled that they needed it. “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?”
“I want it to be determined whether they were in fact prohibited from bringing water, whether there was negligence in providing assistance,” Machado said. “I know that the singer was handing out water to her fans, and that is absurd for an event of this size. Nothing will bring my daughter back, but I hope that, if negligence is confirmed, someone will be punished, so that this doesn’t happen to anyone else.”
E! News noted that according to local news site G1, the Rio Municipal Health Dept. said that Machado suffered a cardiorespiratory arrest, with a certified report on the cause of death due from the coroner’s office.
Swift performed the live debut of the mournful Midnights song “Bigger Than the Whole Sky” at Sunday night’s show in Rio, in seeming tribute to Machado. After kicking off her acoustic set with Reputation‘s “Dancing With Our Hands Tied” on guitar, Swift moved to piano and, looking visibly emotional, sang the first few lines of the track (“Did some bird flap its wings over in Asia?/ Did some force take you because I didn’t pray?/ Goodbye, goodbye, goodbye/ You were bigger than the whole sky”) as fans erupted into knowing cheers.
Powered by Billboard.