Following the deaths of two of her young fans, Taylor Swift performed a piano ballad at the second Eras Tour performance in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, while fighting back tears.
Just before the Eras Tour show on Friday, Ana Benevides, 23, collapsed and later passed away from a cardiac arrest. Attendees at Estádio Olmpico Nilton Santos were sweltering at temperatures of more than 100 degrees Fahrenheit. Firefighters reported that more than 1,000 spectators passed out from the heat, and Taylor was seen heaving after completing a particularly upbeat, high-energy Bejeweled from Midnights performance in frightful online videos.
Gabriel Santos, 25, was robbed violently on the renowned Copacabana beach just 48 hours later while he was waiting to see the performance on Sunday night.
MORE: After a 23-year-old fan passed away and others passed out, Taylor Swift cancels an Eras Tour concert.
During the surprise song segment of the show on Sunday night, the Anti-Hero hitmaker choked up on stage and sobbed uncontrollably. It was one of her most heartfelt performances on the Eras Tour to date.
Taylor plays two acoustic songs—one on guitar and one on piano—from her vast repertoire each performance. Each night, she makes an effort to change things up by playing songs she hasn’t previously performed live or heard on the Eras Tour.
She performed Dancing With Our Hands Tied, an upbeat love anthem that she hadn’t performed live since the Reputation Stadium Tour, on Sunday’s show, which was also known as the first surprise song of 2017.
However, as the singer choked up and her words caught in her mouth, her second song choice caused the audience and fans from all over the world who watched livestreams on TikTok and other social media platforms to start crying.
Bigger Than The Whole Sky, a down-tempo, heartbreaking ballad about loss and mourning, was the song she selected. Many people used it to get over their sadness over stillbirths or family deaths when it was first made available as a 3am Edition track on her 2022 album Midnights.
After Ana Benevides, 23, collapsed and later passed away from cardiac arrest just before the Friday show, it now appears that Taylor may have chosen it for a similar reason. According to firefighters, the stadium’s temperature that day was well over 100 degrees Fahrenheit, and more than 1,000 spectators passed out from heat stroke and other related illnesses.
After only a few bars, she melodically began, her voice becoming thick with emotion as she said, “No words appear before me in the aftermath, salt streams out my eyes and into my ears, every single thing I touch becomes sick with sadness, and it’s all over now, all out to sea.”