Haitian singer Mikaben died during a show in Paris on Saturday night. He may have had a heart attack. Fans were shocked to see him collapse as he walked off stage.
The singer, whose real name is Michael Benjamin, was a guest of the Haitian group Carimi at the 20,000-seat Accor Arena in eastern Paris.
He died “despite the best efforts of emergency workers after having a seizure on stage,” the venue said on Twitter. Videos on social media show him performing and then suddenly turning around and walking to the back of the stage.
He falls in front of many people, and the music stops. People then call for help. Haitian Prime Minister Ariel Henry wrote on Twitter, “I’m shocked by the sudden death of the young and very talented artist Michael Benjamin ‘Mikaben.'”
“Haitian music has lost a major figure.” In an interview with The Miami Herald, Haitian-born rapper Wyclef Jean of the hip-hop group The Fugees called him “one of the most influential and inspiring young artists of our generation.”
Mikaben was born in the Haitian capital of Port-au-Prince in 1981. He was the son of well-known singer Lionel Benjamin and was renowned in the local music scene as a singer, writer, and producer.
He was in the Cairimi hits “Baby I Missed You” and “Fanm Sa Move,” among others. On Saturday, before the concert, he smiled and thanked his fans in a video he posted on Instagram to his more than one million followers.
His pregnant wife, Vanessa, posted a message on Facebook thanking people for their prayers and asking them not to call her. “I’m in no condition to talk. I’m speechless because I lost my other half, “she typed