Taylor Swift honoured the fan who tragically died after attending her concert in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, in an emotional tribute that left fans in tears. However, a lyric change in the song has left some fans worried about Swift and where her head is at after the tragedy.
Ana Clara Benevides Machado, 23, passed out during Swift’s performance of “Cruel Summer” on Friday night (local time) — when temperatures soared to 37C — and was taken to hospital, where she later died.
Swift took to Instagram after her death and said that while she couldn’t speak about it on stage, she was heartbroken and extended her condolences for Benevides Machado before revealing her Saturday concert would be rescheduled.
In her first concert since Benevides Machado’s passing, Swift performed the emotional ballad “Bigger Than the Whole Sky” while playing the piano as one of her surprise songs.
The chorus of the melancholic song appears to farewell a loved one, which fans took to be a tribute to Benevides Machado:
Goodbye, goodbye, goodbye
You were bigger than the whole sky
You were more than just a short time
And I’ve got a lot to pine about
I’ve got a lot to live without
I’m never gonna meet
What could’ve been, would’ve been
What should’ve been you
However, some fans noticed a change in the lyrics of the song. In a line that normally says “Every single thing to come has turned into ashes”, Swift sang, “Every single thing I touch has turned into ashes” — leaving fans to assure Swift that the tragedy was not her fault.
“Taylor I promise it’s not your fault,” one fan wrote. Another said Swift must be “feeling a tremendous weight”.
Ana Clara Benevides Machado’s cause of death has not been revealed, though it is believed to be linked to the heatwave that left fans sweltering for hours in the sun ahead of the concert — with reports the fans were left with no water or assistance in the glaring heat.
The 23-year-old’s father had demanded answers after claims fans were prevented from bringing water bottles in due to the venue’s rules.
“I want to know if it’s true that they are prohibited from bringing water and neglected to provide assistance,” he told Brazilian newspaper Folha de S.Paulo.
“I lost my only daughter, a happy and intelligent girl.
“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.”
Footage from earlier concerts in Brazil shows Taylor Swift pausing her performance to demand water be brought to fans, at one point passing around bottles herself.
Adriana Benevides, the fans’ mother, said on Sunday that the family was struggling to have her body brought home. Since then, it’s been reported she will be laid to rest in her hometown.
Image: X @missamaricana, Instagram