Ignoring Cobra Bite, Pop Star Sings to Her Death

Irma Bule sang for 45 minutes after deadly snakebite
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 7, 2016 8:17 AM CDT
Updated Apr 10, 2016 11:07 AM CDT

An Indonesian pop star known for dancing with snakes was bitten by a king cobra during a concert on Sunday and kept on singing until she collapsed and later died. Irma Bule, 29—famous in the Dangdut genre of Indonesian folk music, per Mashable—often included pythons, cobras, and boa constrictors in her performances. She even sometimes wore them, reports Sky News. But her act suddenly went wrong in Karawang, West Java, on Sunday. A cobra bit Bule on the thigh when she accidentally stepped on its tail "in the middle of the second song," a witness tells Merdeka.com, per the Telegraph. A video shows Bule jerk as she holds a snake. She then sits down and briefly speaks with the snake handler.

However, the witness says she refused an antidote and continued singing for 45 minutes before she began vomiting and collapsed in front of fans. She was pronounced dead at a hospital. A snake expert tells Rappler that Bule would have been able to carry on for some time because the bite was far from her heart. In the end, though, her "deadly gimmick, combined with her dedication to showmanship, led to her untimely death," reports Coconuts Jakarta. While some on social media are praising her work ethic and dedication to her fans, others say she deserves an award for stupidity. The Telegraph notes Bule may have thought the snake was defanged when the performance started. (An opossum might have saved her.)

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