The old axiom that "the show must go on" was put to the test in the most tragic of ways.

Indonesian singer  Irma Bule died last Sunday after she was bitten onstage by a king cobra that she used as a prop during a live performance. It was certainly more intense than Britney Spears' infamous snake-handling work.

Bule had a history of featuring snakes in her live shows (one of which you can see above).

"In the middle of the second song, Irma stepped on the snake’s tail. The snake then bit Irma in her thigh,” said a witness.

Bule, 29, kept singing and appeared unfazed at first, choosing even to refuse a dose of antidote from the snake handler on the premises.

“The effects were felt 45 minutes after the bite. She vomited, had seizures, and her body seized,” the witness said.

She was taken to a hospital, where she died.

The video below is believed to show the snake biting Bule.