Sunday night was an emotional one for Taylor Swift, as she returned to the stage after the death of a fan prior to her concert in Rio de Janeiro on Friday. Although Swift did not specifically mention Ana Clara Benevides on Sunday night, the inclusion of the song “Bigger Than the Whole Sky” was speculated to be in honor of the college student.
As part of her “Surprise Song” segment, Swift live debuted the ambient ballad about grief and heartache.
“Goodbye, goodbye, goodbye, You were bigger than the whole sky,” Swift sang, while playing the piano. “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.”
Fan footage of the performance shows the entire arena joining Swift in her emotional performance.
Swift also unearthed “Dancing With Our Hands Tied,” at her second Rio show. This marks the first time since 2018 that the singer has performed the Reputation era hit. At Friday night’s concert, Swift told the crowd it was her goal to mine her catalog for stuff she hadn’t played yet on the Eras Tour, before delivering the live debut of “Suburban Legends” as well as the first performance of her “Stay Beautiful” in 15 years.
Swift has had a rough go at the Rio portion of her tour. Prior to the performance on Sunday night, Swift took to social media and said she was “overwhelmed by grief” after a fan died before her Eras Tour show began in Brazil on Friday, likely due to cardiac arrest from record-high temperatures and “excessive heat” warnings that Rio de Janeiro is experiencing this week.
“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 a statement shared to her 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.”
Taylor Swift’s first concert in Brazil was attended by 60,000 people; more than a thousand people passed out during the show, according to Rio de Janeiro’s Fire Department. Justice Minister Flávio Dino said on social media that the ministry will implement “emergency rules” regarding access to water at shows and other public events.”
Rio’s mayor Eduardo Paes said called the fan’s death “unacceptable, and determined a change in Swift’s next two concerts’ strategy, opening the stadium one hour before, adding new water distribution checkpoints and making more brigades available.