"I can't even tell you how devastated I am by this," the singer wrote.
Taylor Swift is mourning a fan who died before her Eras Tour concert at the Estádio Olímpico Nilton Santos in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, on Friday.
“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 said in a handwritten letter published on her Instagram Story. “I can’t even tell you how devastated I am by this."
A statement from the concert’s organizers, Time4Fun, posted on social media identified the fan as 23-year-old Ana Clara Benevides Machado. In their post, which was written in Portuguese, the organizers said Benevides Machado had begun feeling unwell and that first responders at the stadium had attended to her before she was transferred to Hospital Salgado Filho where she died.
Swift, who played the first of three shows she'll perform at the venue on Friday, acknowledged that she had “very little information” about the incident other than Benevides Machado was “so incredibly beautiful and far too young.” She added that she would not be speaking about the tragedy at the concert “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 broken heart goes out to her family and friends,” the singer concluded. “This is the last thing I ever thought would happen when we decided to bring this tour to Brazil.”
Swift followed her initial remarks with another handwritten letter posted on her Instagram Story on Saturday afternoon, announcing that she would cancel her concert that evening: "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 safety and well-being of my fans, fellow performers, and crew has to and always will come first."
While Benevides Machado’s cause of death has not been revealed, fans were reportedly not allowed to bring water into the venue despite an ongoing heat wave, the Associated Press reported, citing local media outlets. Footage taken at the event and shared on social media showed Swift pausing her show to ask that water be distributed to fans who were signaling for assistance by raising their phones in the air.
"There's people that need water, right here," Swift can be heard saying as she stands and points at a section of the audience. “So whoever is in charge of giving them that, please come and make sure that that happens. Can I get a signal that you know where they are? Do you see the phones?”
An additional clip from another concert attendee that seems to have been taken around the same time shows Swift pointing out the fans again. “Sorry, it's just it's very hot,” she said, “So if somebody says they need water when it's this hot, they really need it.”
As fans began to chant “water,” Swift told the crowd, “We don’t need to chant. It’s totally fine. But we just need to get water to them.” She then seemed to have a conversation with someone in the crowd who confirmed that water was being delivered.
Justice Minister Flávio Dino announced on social media that his administration would be adopting "emergency rules" that address access to water "at shows and other public events" following the incident. He published the full ordinance online on Saturday.
The same day, Time4Fun announced in an Instagram statement, written in Portuguese, that sealed water and food would be allowed in the venue and that they would be providing free water in the queues and increasing the number of free water distribution points during the concerts. They added that they have increased the number of service staff members and medical stations at the event.
Read the original article on Entertainment Weekly.