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Friday 21 June, 2024
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Mikaben Dead at 41, Cause of Death

BY Sharmeen Hussain Oct 16, 2022. 08:09 pm

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Haitians paid respects to the musician Mikaben on Sunday after learning of his tragic passing during a concert in Paris.

Fans watched the 41-year-old recording artist, whose actual name is Michael Benjamin, slump as he made his way off stage on Saturday after what is believed to have been a heart attack or cardiac arrest.

He was a guest of the Haitian band Carimi and performing at the 20,000-seat Accor Arena in eastern Paris.

He “died after suffering a seizure on stage and despite the efforts of emergency services”, the venue announced on Twitter.

Social media videos depict him performing before abruptly turning and leaving the front of the stage. When he passed out in front of onlookers, the music stopped, and emergency personnel were summoned.

Following his passing, tributes flooded in from all around Haiti, and starting on Saturday night, radio stations and venues played his music nonstop.

“I’m shocked by the sudden death of the young and very talented artist Michael Benjamin ‘Mikaben’,” the Haitian prime minister, Ariel Henry, wrote on Twitter. We have lost a major figure in Haitian music.”

Haiti-born rapper Wyclef Jean, of the hip-hop group the Fugees, called him “one of the most influential and inspirational young artists of our generation”, in an interview with the Miami Herald newspaper.

“Rest in peace,” he wrote in a tribute on Twitter, with a video showing him with Mikaben. “Gone too soon.”

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Mikaben was praised as “one of the most outstanding artists of his generation,” according to the former Haitian president Jean Henry Céant.

The singer Tamara Suffren described his passing as “a blow to the country” in a special broadcast by Magik9 radio, referring to the state’s ongoing health and security challenges.

Mikaben, the well-known singer, songwriter, and producer from Port-au-Prince, Haiti, was born in 1981 and is the son of the legendary musician Lionel Benjamin. He appeared in a number of popular Carimi songs, such as Baby I Missed You and Fanm sa Move.

His wife Vanessa, who is pregnant, posted a message thanking people for their prayers but asking for privacy.

“I’m in no condition to talk. I lost my other half and have no words,” she wrote.

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