Taylor Swift Performs 'Bigger Than the Whole Sky' After Death of Fan
The singer returned to the stage in Rio de Janeiro after postponing one show due to extreme heat.
6:01 AM PST, November 20, 2023
The 33-year-old singer performed "Bigger Than the Whole Sky" as one of her surprise songs as she played a rain-soaked set at Estádio Olímpico Nilton Santos in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The song, which is featured as a bonus track on her Midnights -- 3am Edition, includes the lyrics: "Goodbye, goodbye, goodbye / You were bigger than the whole sky / You were more than just a short time." Swift appeared to become emotional as she sang, but did not offer any commentary about the choice of song.
According to Time for Fun, one of the concert's organizers, Benevides felt unwell on Friday and was promptly tended to by paramedics before being taken to the stadium's medical center. She was then transported to a nearby hospital where she died. Local reports indicate she died after going into cardiac arrest.
The fan's cause of death has yet to be confirmed but the office of Rio's public prosecutor opened a criminal investigation and said her body was being examined, the Associated Press reported.Taylor Swift performs onstage during "Taylor Swift | The Eras Tour" at Estadio Olimpico Nilton Santos on November 17, 2023 in Rio de Janeiro, Rio de Janeiro. - Buda Mendes/TAS23/Getty Images for TAS Rights Management
The heat index -- which accounts for both heat and humidity -- is believed to have been a factor, as FOX Weather reports that it reached a shocking 140 degrees Fahrenheit that day. In addition to the weather conditions, fans were packed into the stadium and were purportedly not allowed to take water in with them despite complaining of the rising temperatures.
Swift addressed the loss on her social media, telling fans she was "devastated" while announcing that Saturday's planned show would be postponed. The show has been rescheduled for Monday, Nov. 20. Prior to the schedule change, Swift had reportedly been planning on attending Travis Kelce's Kansas City Chiefs game at Arrowhead Stadium on Monday, which would have served as a first meeting between her parents, Andrea and Scott Swift, and his parents, Donna and Ed Kelce.
"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 in an 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."
"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," she continued.
Swift returned to the stage on Sunday, as the temperature came down significantly from Friday and Saturday. With the cooler weather also came a rainstorm, which Swift played through.
In one clip, Swift can be seen taking a moment to soak up the cheers from the crowd while still in her costume from the Lover era.
"The cheering and smiles and screaming is exactly what she needed to hear tonight. #RioTSTheErasTour #WeLoveYouTaylor," a fan wrote in a post on X.
Another similar clip shows Swift at the piano during her Evermore segment, taking out her earpieces to look out at the crowd and listen to their loud cheers and chants.
The singer appeared to get a bit emotional as the crowd repeated her name and cheered loudly for her.
Swift is scheduled to wrap up the Brazil leg of her tour next weekend, when she'll play the Allianz Parque stadium in São Paulo. After that, she'll break for two months over the holiday season before picking back up in Tokyo, Japan, on Feb. 7.