Carlos Santana collapses on stage due to ‘serious’ medical emergency

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Carlos Santana. Photo: Jason Fochtman

carlos santana is recovering after collapsing on stage at a concert in Michigan on Tuesday, July 5.

The Grammy winner guitarist and longtime Bay Area resident was about an hour into his performance at the Pine Knob Music Theater in Clarkson, Michigan, an amphitheater about 40 miles outside of Detroit, when he suffered a medical emergency, according to multiple reports.

Santana featured the song “Joy” from her 2021 albumBlessings and Miracles”, shortly before he passed out, describing the song as “mystical medicine music to heal a world infected with fear”.

Medical staff rushed to the stage and covered the 74-year-old guitarist with a tarp before sending him off after around 20 minutes of first aid. The show has been cancelled.

“Ladies and gentlemen, as you can see, we have a serious medical emergency,” the venue staff announced to the audience. “Let’s share our prayers…We need it now…Please send your light and your love to this man.”

About three hours after the incident, Santana management posted a message on their website stating that the guitarist was “overwhelmed by heat exhaustion and dehydration” during the concert, which was part of his Miraculous Supernatural Tour with Earth, Wind & Fire.

They added that Santana was “doing well” after being taken to the emergency room at McLaren Clarkston.

A show scheduled for Wednesday at the Star Lake Pavilion in Burgettstown, Pennsylvania, has been postponed.

Last year, Santana ccanceled the December dates of his residency in Las Vegas to recover from an “unscheduled cardiac procedure”, according to a statement from his management. He was to give eight dates at the House of Blues at the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino.

“I just wanted to share with you some clarity and precision about what’s going on with my physique,” Santana said in a personal video shared with her fans the same day the residency was supposed to begin. “There have been rumors floating around here and there about this and that. So, I’m here to crystallize and clear things up. Last Saturday I had an incident where I asked my wife, Cindy (Blackman), to take me to the hospital because I had this thing going on in my chest.

He also announced that he tested positive for COVID-19 in February.

Santana, who moved from Mexico to San Francisco with her family in the 1960s, lived in the Mission District for many years and attended Mission High School, before founding Latin rock band Santana and gaining international fame with hits such as “Black Magic Woman” and “Evil Ways” as well as 1999’s multi-platinum album “Supernatural.”

He has won 10 Grammy Awards and three Latin Grammys, and was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 1998. Santana moved to Las Vegas in 2011 but remains tied to the Bay Area, only parting ways with his $5.53 million home in Tiburon in September.

Below is a fan-captured video that shows the moment Santana passed out on stage.



  • Aidin Vaziri


    Aidin Vaziri is the pop music critic for the San Francisco Chronicle. Email: avaziri@sfchronicle.com Twitter: @MusicSF

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