How did Mikaben die? Singer, 41, collapsed on stage as live audience watched in horror
PARIS, FRANCE: Haitian singer Michael Benjamin, known as Mikaben, has died at the age of 41. The singer was performing onstage in Paris with the Haitian konpa band CaRiMi when he reportedly collapsed on October 15.
The attempt to revive him played out live on Twitter, with Frantz Duval, editor of a Haitian newspaper, first alerting fans that something was wrong. After which, singer Mickael Guirand, told fans to clear out. He said, “End of the concert. We must evacuate the room. It’s very complicated. We need prayers."
A video from the concert shows Mikaben performing, several of which were shared on Twitter by fans. The singer, who was a prominent singer, composer, guitarist, and producer was given CPR, but he could not be revived.
During the course of his career, Mikaben had many hits and collaborated with artists like Carimi and T-VIce. His music ode to his country “Ayti Se (Haiti)", two years after the devastating 2010 earthquake, touched hearts around the world.
His sudden demise has shocked fans and well-wishers alike. While speaking to the Miami Herald, Wyclef Jean said, "This is a shock," while singer Roberto Martino said, "I’m in disbelief. This is somebody I was working with for years and considered a brother, a good friend. We talked almost everyday. We have a chat together." Roberto revealed to the outlet how he had spoken to Mikaben right before he took the stage on Saturday night, October 15.
Roberto said, “He was so happy. He couldn’t wait to get on that stage with CaRiMi. It was one of his biggest accomplishments in life. It’s a band that he idolized," adding, "I’m at a loss for words. I’m broken." An official cause of death has not been revealed.
Fans mourn the loss of the singer
Several fans, some of whom were in attendance in Paris, shared their tributes to the late singer on social media. One user wrote, "Mikaben @mikaben on stage this Saturday, October 15, 2022 as part of Carimi's big concert-reunion at Accor Arena, Paris . He was 41-years-old and passed away on this same stage, a few minutes after his unforgettable performance." Another said, "'Ou Pati' was the last song you performed on one of the biggest stages in the world for one of the most iconic moments in Haitian music history. You left everything on that stage and left us with a smile on your face." A third chimed in, "I am still in shock.. I will never believe this! His death makes me wanna go harder for my people! He loved Haiti so much! Let his legacy live on #Mikaben."
Mikaben @mikaben on stage this Saturday, October 15, 2022 as part of Carimi's big concert-reunion at Accor Arena, Paris . He was 41-years-old and passed away on this same stage, a few minutes after his unforgettable performance. #Mikaben #Carimi #haiti Woukoukou 🕯️ pic.twitter.com/k8aPGayDsc— Marco Mazi (@damacci) October 16, 2022
“Ou Pati” was the last song you performed on one of the biggest stages in the world for one of the most iconic moments in Haitian music history. You left everything on that stage and left us with a smile on your face.🇭🇹#Mikaben #MikaTheLegend #Carimi pic.twitter.com/3FPHSAsdF2— DWETMEDAMYO 🇭🇹 (@dwetmedamyo) October 16, 2022
He was married to Vanessa Fanfan, and the couple had a daughter and another child on the way. Mikaben also had a son from a previous relationship.