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'Jimmy Fallon' Producer Reveals the Heartbreaking Story Behind Taylor Swift's Unscheduled Performance

'Jimmy Fallon' Producer Reveals the Heartbreaking Story Behind Taylor Swift's Unscheduled Performance

Taylor Swift wasn’t scheduled to perform on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon on Monday night (November 13), but she did it anyway – as a tribute to Jimmy Fallon and his late mother, who died earlier this month.

Show writer and producer Mike DiCenzo‏ told the heartbreaking story of her performance of Reputation track “New Year’s Day” – and the shocking accidental lyrical connection to Jimmy and his mom – in a series of tweets that night.

“First, a quick word about Taylor Swift. She was not scheduled to do our show today. But we wanted something special for this first show back, so we asked her on a complete whim, since she had been in town doing SNL. She said yes with zero hesitation,” he wrote on Twitter.

“She sang ‘New Year’s Day.’ No one had heard it. Suddenly she sings the line, ‘Squeeze my hand 3 times in the back of the taxi.’ I nearly gasped. Tears. I think everyone in the audience started sobbing. I could see Jimmy silhouetted at his desk dabbing his eyes with a tissue. We all lost it. It was a beautiful coincidence in a beautiful performance. ‘Hold on to your memories, they will hold on to you,’ Taylor sang.”

“That hug between Jimmy and Taylor after the song was 100% real emotion. Whatever you think of Taylor, she did something beautiful for Jimmy and our show today, and we’re forever grateful.”

See his tweets below.


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Credit: Andrew Lipovsky; Photos: NBC
Posted to: Jimmy Fallon, Taylor Swift

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  • princessKate

    very sweet of Taylor. love that she can just get up there an perform at the drop of a hat. she’s the real thing.

  • giddybeaver

    so what’s the connection between the lyric and Fallon’s Mum?

  • Lisa

    Jimmy said that her mom used to squeeze his hand and say “I love you”. And he knew it was a bad sign when he squeezed her hand in the hospital and she didn’t react.