On Monday night, Taylor Swift helped welcome a grieving Jimmy Fallon back to his late night show after the death of his mother last week. In an unscheduled appearance, she performed “New Year’s Day” from her new album, “Reputation.”
Fallon canceled all of last week’s tapings in the wake of Gloria Fallon’s death and was still shaken from the loss, speaking lovingly of his mother and recalling a childhood memory of his mother squeezing his hand three times to say “I love you.”
Swift’s song was perfect for the occasion, with a chorus that reads “Hold on to the memories, they will hold on to you/
And I will hold on to you” and even a reference to squeezing a loved one’s hand three times.
Mike DiCenzo, one of the show’s producers, took to Twitter for some details about the performance. “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 explained.
Speaking of Swift’s lyric, he wrote, “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.”
“Reputation” is well on its way to a blockbuster opening week, projected to sell around 1.5 million units, the most since Adele’s “25” in 2015. The singer announced her first round of tour dates on Monday.