The singer fell soon after performing with the legendary band Carimi during an anniversary reunion event in Paris, France, according to the Haitian Times. His wife, Vanessa Fanfan, who is pregnant and expecting in December 2022, and his musician father, Lionel “Père Nol” Benjamin, who is known as Haiti’s Santa Claus owing to his Christmas song, Abdenwèl, survive him.
A brief history of Mikaben
Michael “Mikaben” Benjamin was born in Port-au-Prince in 1981. He started creating songs at the age of 15 and is now one of Haiti’s most accomplished artists. He honed his musical abilities while attending college in Montreal, Canada. The late famous singer was fluent in four languages – Spanish, Creole, English, and French – and could play a variety of instruments including piano, drums, guitar, and bass.
After placing fourth in a contest, he launched his solo career, releasing his second album in 2004 and amassing a fan following in Haiti, Europe, the United States, and the French Caribbean. He and his cousin David Dupoux created Krezi Mizik and recorded two albums. In 2009, he resumed solo performances and went on to work as a producer with artists such as Carimi and T-VIce. Following the 2010 earthquake, he recorded Ayti Se (Haiti is) and sang it in front of former President Bill Clinton and a large crowd of mourners at a memorial service for the disaster, which killed over 300,000 people and displaced 1.5 million.
The artist confirmed to the Palm Beach Post after the earthquake that he was in the mountains at the time of the disaster. He created Ti Souf Ayiti, an organization, in collaboration with the country’s Culture Ministry. Mikaben and other survivors of the earthquake sang their songs at hospitals, orphanages, and refugee camps.
Reactions to Mikaben’s death on Twitter
Several fans and celebrities expressed their condolences after learning of his death. Several individuals also uploaded footage of him playing at his final show, expressing astonishment that the artist died so quickly. Mikaben’s death was verified on Twitter by social media influencer Carel Pedre and Frantz Duval, the editor of Haiti’s Le Nouvelliste newspaper. After the vocalist slumped, Duval, who was live-tweeting from the performance area, alerted followers that something was awry, while singer Mickael Guirand attempted to maintain control by saying:
“The concert has concluded. We must leave the room. It’s quite complex.”
The musician apparently slumped as he was exiting the stage after finishing his gig in Paris. Carel Pedre announced the singer’s death after revealing that he was undergoing CPR. The reason for his death has not been confirmed as of this writing, however some media sources imply that Mikaben died of heart arrest. Benajmin married his wife Vanessa in November 2020, and the couple had a daughter in 2021.
— Wyclef Jean (@wyclef) October 15, 2022
It is with a heavy heart that we begin to except that the Haitian community worldwide has lost one of its most loving & talented creatives! Mika has given to the Haiti the most beautiful music! You were an amazing talent & friend, always supporting us & our work.🇭🇹🕊 @mikaben pic.twitter.com/pvzZrJ0f77
— Lunionsuite 🇭🇹 (@LunionSuite) October 16, 2022