Taylor Swift Eras Tour Tragedy: Cause of Death Revealed for Brazilian Fan Who Passed Out During Show

Ana Clara Benevides, 23, was pronounced dead at a local hospital just hours after falling ill two songs into Taylor Swift's Nov. 17 Eras Tour stop in Rio de Janeiro.

By Natalie Finn Dec 27, 2023 6:55 PMTags
Watch: Father of Taylor Swift Fan Who Died in Brazil Speaks Out

Heat exhaustion caused the death of the Brazilian fan who died hours after she passed out during a Taylor Swift concert in Rio de Janeiro last month, according to a forensics report obtained Dec. 27 by the Associated Press.

Ana Clara Benevides Machado was pronounced dead at Salgado Filho Hospital on Nov. 17 after falling ill at Nilton Santos Stadium as Swift launched into the second song of her Eras Tour playlist, "Cruel Summer." Videos and photos posted to social media showed that fans had been lined up for hours before heading into the venue.

The report stated that she suffered cardiorespiratory arrest due to heat exposure and neither preexisting conditions or substance use factored into her death.

Authorities guessed at the time that heat—the reported high in Rio that day was 105 degrees—played a role in the young woman's death. An initial police report, per NBC News, stated that there were no traces of drugs or alcohol in her system and heat exhaustion caused cardiovascular and respiratory issues. She was treated at an on-site medical station before being transported to the hospital.

Swift ended up postponing the following night's show, citing the sweltering conditions.

Taylor Swift's Eras Tour in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

"I can't even tell you how devastated I am by this," Swift wrote on her Instagram Stories after the Nov. 17 show. "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."

Buda Mendes/TAS23/Getty Images for TAS Rights Management

She concluded, "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."

When Swift returned to the stage Nov. 20, she didn't expressly mention the tragedy, but she did add "Bigger Than the Whole Sky" as one of her surprise songs—which fans around the world quickly took to be a tribute to Benevides.

The 34-year-old also met with Benevides' family, who were spotted in a VIP area at her Nov. 26 show.

"I lost my only daughter, a happy and intelligent girl," Benevides' father, Weiny Machado, told Folha de São Paulo (per a translation from Portuguese into English) the day after she died. "She was about to graduate in psychology next April, saving money. I have no words to express my pain. She left home to fulfill a dream and came back dead."

After the tragedy, event organizer Time 4 Fun announced plans to distribute free water at all future shows in Rio (Swift fans had noted online that, on the day Benevides died, they hadn't been allowed to bring their own water bottles into the venue) and said multiple medical stations and mobile ICUs would be set up around the stadium.

In announcing that the show would not go on Nov. 18, citing "extreme temperatures" in Rio, Swifted noted in a statement, "The safety and well-being of my fans, fellow performers, and crew has to and always will come first."