Haitians in shock after the death of star singer Mikaben

The Haitians were in mourning this Sunday, the tributes raining and the local media upsetting their programs after the announcement of the death, the day before in Paris, of the singer Mikaben, at the age of 41 years. Real name Michael Benjamin, the artist died of cardiac arrest while performing on stage with the Haitian music group Carimi at the Accor Arena in Paris, the venue announced on Sunday. According to videos posted on social media, the singer suddenly collapsed while performing a song during a concert that marked the reunion of the Carimi group, six years after its disbandment.

The concert was interrupted and the room was then evacuated, according to several testimonies. As of Saturday evening, radio stations and nightclubs in Haiti began looping the artist’s songs, broadcasting special programs to pay tribute to him. “It’s a great reference of Haitian music that has just died out. The country and Haitian youth have lost a beautiful soul,” Haitian Prime Minister Ariel Henry tweeted on Sunday.

Part of Haiti’s Heritage

Born in Port-au-Prince in 1981 and the son of singer Lionel Benjamin, Mikaben was a singer, composer and producer. He had performed several hit songs with the group Carimi, including “Baby I Missed You” or “Fanm sa Move”. After the announcement of his death, the reactions also ignited social networks. International star Wyclef Jean paid tribute to the singer and regretted that he “left too soon” in a message posted on Twitter. Former Haitian Prime Minister Jean-Henry Céant hailed “one of the most talented jewels of his generation of artists”.

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In Port-au-Prince, singer Tamara Suffren felt that this death was “a blow for the country”, Mikaben being part of the “heritage” of Haiti. This Carimi reunion concert in Paris “presented itself as the highlight of the year and even in the history of Haitian music,” said Frantz Duval, editor-in-chief of the daily Le Nouvelliste and publication director of Ticket Magazine. . By dying on stage, Michael Benjamin “returns to history. Mika gave everything to music,” he added.

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