Carlos Santana Passes Out Onstage in Michigan

·3 min read

UPDATED: Veteran guitarist Carlos Santana passed out onstage during a concert at Pine Knob Music Theatre in Clarkston, Michigan on Tuesday night but was treated quickly and was seen waving to fans as he was wheeled offstage. Santana “was overtaken by heat exhaustion and dehydration,” according to a statement from his rep, and was taken to the emergency department at McLaren Clarkston hospital for observation.

Santana’s manager, Michael Vrionis, issued a statement late Tuesday saying the musician is “doing well,” although “the concert scheduled for tomorrow [July 6th] at the Pavilion at Star Lake in Burgettstown, Pa. will be postponed to a later date. More details to follow thru Live Nation,” he added.

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Sources say Santana was about 20 minutes into his set when he sat down on the drum riser at the beginning of the song “Joy” and then fell backward. Medical personnel rushed onstage and the crowd was initially “asked to pray for him because of a ‘serious medical’ issue,” according to a Tweet from Fox2 Detroit’s Roop Raj. However, the musician’s condition apparently improved shortly afterward, and he waved to fans as he was wheeled offstage, although he was partially concealed by a black tarp that staffers held up to shield him from view while medical personnel examined him.

Last December, Santana, who turns 75 this month, underwent what his management described as an “unscheduled” heart procedure that caused the postponement of that month’s residency in Las Vegas. However, he resumed the residency the following month and in late March launched another North American tour that has continued ever since.


Tuesday evening’s incident took place during Santana’s summer-long “Miraculous Supernatural 2022” tour with Earth, Wind & Fire, which launched on June 17 and is scheduled to continue through the end of August. Just two weeks later, the musician is slated to resume his longstanding residency at the House of Blues in Las Vegas through the end of September before resuming for two more weeks in November.

Along with touring, Santana is also working with filmmaker Rudy Valdez on an upcoming biographical documentary, produced by Imagine Documentaries and Sony Music Entertainment.

A native of Mexico, Santana began playing guitar as a child and later moved with his family to California. He formed the first incarnation of the Santana Blues Band in San Francisco in 1966, and the following year performed at the legendary Monterey Pop Festival. There his set was seen by Clive Davis, who had recently become president of Columbia Records; under his tutelage and that of top promoter Bill Graham, Santana’s fusion of rock and Latin music became an unlikely chart success in the late 1960s and early 1970s, via singles like “Evil Ways,” “Black Magic Woman,” and “Oye Como Va.” However, as the ’70s progressed Santana became more interested in jazz-inflected musical styles and spiritual pursuits (both of which continue to this day) and he continued a solid but less-mainstream recording and touring career for the next two decades.

However, he reunited with Davis in 1999 for the blockbuster, more pop-oriented “Supernatural” album, which featured the guitarist paired with star guest vocalists such as Rob Thomas — their single together, “Smooth,” was one of the biggest hits of the era — as well as Lauryn Hill, Eric Clapton, Dave Matthews, Maná and CeeLo Green. The album relaunched his career and in the years since he has toured and added to his discography of 26 studio albums on a regular basis. He has sold an estimated 100 million-plus albums and won 10 Grammy Awards and 3 Latin Grammys.

Variety will have more on this story soon.


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