The Fugees singer was scheduled to share a stage with Sweden's DeDe Lopez at a Democrats Abroad event in Stockholm Tuesday.
However, Brian Owens, co-chair of the concert, said Michel forgot his passport in his hotel room Monday night and was detained because officials wanted to talk to him.
"Apparently when he arrived at the airport without his passport, the authorities were alerted. There was some speculation as to who he was and why he trying to travel to Sweden," Owens told The Local.
"He had lost his mobile phone so he couldn't call anyone who could help him," Lopez told Aftonbladet. "When he said he was a close friend of (Senator Barack) Obama they thought he was nuts and he was detained. They thought he was an illegal refugee," Lopez added.
The Local said Michel was released the next day, but missed the event, which was a benefit to raise money for Obama's campaign.