(CTN News) – On Sunday, Haitians paid tribute to the singer Mikaben, whose sudden death during a Paris concert left the country in shock.
During a performance on Saturday, the 41-year-old recording artist, whose real name is Michael Benjamin, suffered a suspected heart attack or cardiac arrest, shocking fans.
As a guest of the Haitian group Carimi, he performed at the 20,000-seat Accor Arena in eastern Paris.
According to a tweet from the venue, he died following a seizure on stage despite the efforts of emergency services.
The videos on social media show him performing, then suddenly turning and walking to the back of the stage. As he collapsed in full view of spectators, the music stopped and medics were summoned.
His music was played on repeat by radio stations and venues across Haiti following his death.
I am shocked by the sudden death of Michael Benjamin ‘Mikaben‘, the young and very talented artist,” wrote the Haitian prime minister on Twitter. Haitian music has lost a major figure.”
In an interview with the Miami Herald newspaper, Haiti-born rapper Wyclef Jean, of the hip-hop group the Fugees, described him as “one of the most influential and inspirational young artists of our generation”.
On Twitter, he posted a video showing him with Mikaben and wrote, “Rest in peace.”. “Too soon.”.
Jean Henry Céant, the former Haitian premier, praised Mikaben as “one of the most talented artists of his generation.”
A special broadcast by Magik9 radio described his death as “a blow to the country” – a state suffering from security and health crises.
The son of the well-known singer Lionel Benjamin, Mikaben was born in Port-au-Prince in 1981 and was well known on the local music scene as a singer, writer, and producer. A number of Carimi hits were sung by him, including Baby I Missed You and Fanm sa Move.
On Saturday, before the concert, he posted a video to his more than 1 million Instagram followers thanking his fans.
Vanessa, who is pregnant, posted a message thanking people for their prayers, but requesting privacy.
“I am unable to speak. She wrote, “I lost my other half and have no words to express my feelings.”