Taylor Swift has been transparent about the roller coaster that is her career over the past several years. But one thing she’s stayed silent on is her personal life, especially in dealing with her mom Andrea’s health.
Several years ago, Swift revealed that Andrea was battling an unnamed cancer and since that time, has gone though several setbacks. During a recent interview with Variety, however, the Tennessee native shared more of what is really going on.
After releasing her critically-acclaimed 18-song album, Lover, plans to tour in support were put on hold, aside from several festival dates around the world. The reason being: to stick closer to family.
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Variety's #Sundance issue: Taylor Swift is no longer polite at all costs. The singer-songwriter's Netflix documentary, #MissAmericana, is opening the film festival later this week. At the link in bio, get a sneak peek of what to expect—including political opinions, a new song, and an update on her mother's health. (📸: @maryellenmatthewsnyc)
“I wanted to be able to perform in places that I hadn’t performed in as much, and to do things I hadn’t done before, like Glastonbury,” she shared with Variety. “I feel like I haven’t done festivals, really, since early in my career — they’re fun and bring people together in a really cool way. But I also wanted to be able to work as much as I can handle right now, with everything that’s going on at home. And I wanted to figure out a way that I could do both those things.”
When asked if Andrea’s cancer battle had something to do with it, Swift responded affirmatively.
“Yeah, that’s it. That’s the reason. I mean, we don’t know what is going to happen,” she explained. ‘We don’t know what treatment we’re going to choose. It just was the decision to make at the time, for right now, for what’s going on.
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#MissAmericana was keeping another song about America in her back pocket, as it turns out. Taylor Swift didn’t just record 18 songs for last fall’s #Lover album — a 19th, #OnlyTheYoung, was held back and kept under wraps for the right occasion. At the link in bio, find out more about the song that will play in her documentary, including how it was inspired by the midterm elections. (📸: @maryellenmatthewsnyc)
“Everyone loves their mom; everyone’s got an important mom,” she continued, “but for me, she’s really the guiding force. Almost every decision I make, I talk to her about it first. So obviously it was a really big deal to ever speak about her illness.”
It was during filming for her Netflix documentary, Taylor Swift: Miss Americana, that Andrea’s cancer returned for a second time and she once again began chemo.
“While she was going through treatment, they found a brain tumor. And the symptoms of what a person goes through when they have a brain tumor is nothing like what we’ve ever been through with her cancer before. So it’s just been a really hard time for us as a family.”
While she’s not talked about the cancer battle in more depth, Swift touched on it briefly in the song “Soon You’ll Get Better,” featuring the Dixie Chicks. She chose the Chicks as they are her mother’s favorite band and admitted that including the song on Lover was a “family decision,” but that she’ll likely never perform the song live.
“[My mom’s cancer has] taught me that there are real problems and then there’s everything else,” she told Elle previously. “My mom’s cancer is a real problem. I used to be so anxious about daily ups and downs. I give all of my worry, stress, and prayers to real problems now.”
Much of Swift’s interview with Variety covers the upcoming release of Taylor Swift: Miss Americana. Directed by Lana Wilson, the documentary gives insight into Swift’s last few years, focusing on the career highs and lows she’s faced. The film will hit Netflix on January 31.