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Father of Taylor Swift fan who died at singer's Brazil show breaks his silence

By JUSTINE PUNZALAN Published Nov 21, 2023 2:34 pm

"I lost my only daughter."

Those were the words of Weiny Machado, 53, after his daughter, Ana Clara Benevides, died of cardiac arrest while attending Taylor Swift's first "Eras Tour" concert in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil on Nov. 17.

Two days later, on Nov. 19, Machado told Brazilian newspaper Folha de S. Paulo the questions he wants answered about his daughter's untimely passing.

"I want to know if it's true that they are prohibited from bringing water and neglected to provide assistance,” he told the outlet. “I lost my only daughter, a happy and intelligent girl.”

He also gave a glimpse of her plans for a bright future as a psychology student at the Universidade Federal de Rondonópolis.

"She was about to graduate in psychology next April, saving money," Machado lamented.

He went on to express how much going to the concert meant for his daughter and how much it left him in pieces in turn.

“I have no words to express my pain," he continued. " She left home to fulfill a dream and came back dead.”

Swifties who were at the event said Benevides was able to catch the start of the show at the Nilton Santos Olympic Stadium. She told paramedics that she was feeling unwell and was attended to in a first-aid center, the show's organizer, Time4Fun, explained on Instagram.

She was later rushed to a nearby hospital where she died an hour later. Benevides was 23 years old.

News of her passing was first reported by Folha, with her cousin Estela Benevides confirming her death.

According to reports, the heat index in the city had risen to as high as 59 degrees Celsius (138 Fahrenheit) on the night of the incident. Meanwhile, concertgoers claimed that they were not allowed to bring their own water inside the stadium.

Swift, for her part, posted an Instagram Story on Nov. 18 stating how "shattered" and "devastated" she was by Benevides' passing. The pop megastar also postponed her show that day due to "extreme temperatures in Rio."

"The safety and well-being of my fans, fellow performers, and crew has to and always will come first," Swift said. 

After Benevides' death, clips of the music icon throwing water bottles to the audience and repeatedly asking staff members to distribute them among the crowd began circulating online.

Speaking to Folha, Machado expressed his deep desire to hold accountable the people responsible for his daughter's shocking death.

“Nothing will bring my daughter back,” he said. “But I hope that, if negligence is confirmed, someone will be punished so that this doesn’t happen to anyone else.”