The sweet story behind Taylor Swift's 'surprise' tribute to Jimmy Fallon's mother

The sweet story behind Taylor Swift's 'surprise' tribute to Jimmy Fallon's mother

The pop star wasn't scheduled to perform, but chose to give a heartfelt rendition of the Reputation tune in honor of Fallon's mother.

Fallon cancelled all his shows last week after he suddenly lost his mother Gloria Fallon and Monday night was his first show back after her death. Seated at a piano, Swift demanded attention with the introspective and emotional tune.

Jimmy Fallon paid tribute to his mom on Monday's show and there couldn't have been a dry eye in the studio.

It was a connection that the "Tonight Show" crew didn't even realize existed, as explained by writer and producer Mike DiCenzo on Twitter.

A choked-up Fallon, himself, delivered an on-air memorial to his mother, remembering the glorious life of Gloria.

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He finished by addressing his mother: "Mum, I'll never stop trying to make you laugh".

". and I would squeeze I love you too", he adds. The tearjerker part? The lyrics happen to include: "You squeeze my hand three times in the back of the taxi/I can tell that it's gonna be a long road".

Taylor's appearance was the first performance on the show since Jimmy returned following the passing of his mother. She said yes with zero hesitation.

During his return, Fallon briefly acknowledged his loss, tearing up while sharing a childhood memory of his mother squeezing his hand three times to say, "I love you". Tears. I think everyone in the audience started sobbing. It was a attractive coincidence in a handsome performance. She played Reputation album closer "New Year's Day" - the most sombre but also the prettiest song on the record - and it ended with a very emotional hug between the singer and host.

Thank you to Taylor, the Roots, Higgins, our whole staff and crew, and to all the FalPals, fans, and everyone who reached out to and supported Jimmy and his family.