41-year-old Micheal Benjamin, more commonly known as Mikaben, died last night while onstage performing with CaRiMi in Paris. In the middle of his set, he suddenly collapsed and was immediately rushed to the hospital by paramedics. Unfortunately, he later passed away at the hospital.
As the incident unfolded, Frantz Duval, editor of a Haitian newspaper, was the first to alert fans that something was wrong.
Then, singer Mickael Guirand, told fans to clear out.
“End of the concert. We must evacuate the room,” Guirand said.
“It’s very complicated. We need prayers.”
The video from the concert reveals Mikaben walking offstage and then suddenly succumbing to the ground.
After he fell, the venue was cleared so that he could receive medical attention. According to reports, CPR was administered.
Mikaben was a well-known and respected singer, composer, guitarist, and producer. His hit song “Ayti Se” brought solace to millions of Haitians in the after math of the 2010 earthquake. He was born in Port-au-Prince and began writing at the age of 15.
Mikaben not only released multiple albums but also formed the group Krezi Mizik and worked as a producer. His happy family included his wife Vanessa Fanfan, their daughter, and another child on the way–in addition to Mikaben’s son from a previous relationship.
“This is a shock,” Wyclef Jean told the Miami Herald.
“I’m in disbelief,” singer Roberto Martino told the outlet.
“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.”
Martino told the Miami Herald that he spoke to Mikaben right before he took the stage on Saturday night.
“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,” Martino told the outlet.
“I’m at a lost for words. I’m broken.”
The official cause of death has not yet been revealed.
Some fans who were present at the Paris concert have taken to social media to express their shock and condolences.
“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,” one fan wrote.
“‘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,” wrote another.
“@mikaben gave his life to Haiti. He carried our flag on his back until his dying breath. At one point before singing you can see he was in deep pain and yet he persevered. It’s almost as if the same flag he was fighting for gave him strength to finish what he began,” another fan wrote.
“Sad to hear about Mikaben’s passing. He was immensely talented and he loved Haiti so much. He was so eager to work with Haitian artists and shine TOGETHER. This is a harsh loss. My condolences to his family, wife & children. Fly high Mika,” another fan wrote.