Haitian singer Mikaben has passed away suddenly after collapsing on stage during a concert in France.
The beloved artist – whose real name was Michael Benjamin – had just wrapped up his performance inside Paris’s Accor Arena when he fell to the floor after his set on October 15. The singer had been performing on stage with Haitian band CaRiMi.
Video of the moment Mikaben collapsed has flooded social media, which showed the singer walking off the stage only to fall unexpectedly in front of shocked fans.
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An ambulance was called and the singer was given CPR as fans were asked to vacate the venue. However, a medical team was unable to revive Mikaben and he was pronounced dead, aged 41. A cause of death has yet to be revealed.
Accor Arena confirmed the singer’s passing on social media the following day.
“Last night during the Carimi concert,” the arena tweeted in French on October 16.
“One of the singers, Michael Benjamin, Mikaben of his artist name died following a malaise on stage and despite the intervention of the emergency services.”
The singer leaves behind his two young children – son Gabriel and daughter Leïa – with wife Vanessa Benjamin, who is also currently expecting their third child.
His grieving wife appeared on Instagram in days following the tragedy to thank fans for their support.
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“Thank you for the prayers but please stop calling me. I’m in no condition to talk,” she wrote. “I lost my other half and I have no words.”
“Heavenly Father, I know you don’t make mistakes and you won’t give us what we can’t bare but…this pain is very heavy,” she wrote in a follow-up post. “Help me please oh merciful Lord.”
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Grammy winner Wyclef Jean was among the first to pay tribute to Mikaben on social media.
“All I could remember was his smile,” he told the Miami Herald. “This is one of the most influential and inspirational young artists of our generation.”
Fellow musician Roberto Martino told the publication that he is in “disbelief” upon hearing the sad news.
“This is somebody I was working with for years and considered a brother, a good friend,” he said. “We talked almost every day. We have a chat together.”
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“Mika was one of the most talented artists that I had ever met in my life,” Martino added. “One of the most humble guys; you never heard him being mad or cursing at anybody. It’s just sad. Unbelievable.”
Haitian prime minister Ariel Henry said that his nation has lost one of its finest.
“I’m shocked by the sudden death of the young and very talented artist Michael Benjamin ‘Mikaben.’ We have lost a major figure in Haitian music,” the PM tweeted.