Taylor Swift had an emotional moment on stage in Glendale, Arizona, when she sang her 2012 single, “Ronan,” in her 1989 World Tour on Monday, Us Weeklyreports.
“Ronan” is a charity single Taylor Swift released in 2012 to honor the life of a 4-year-old boy who died of cancer in 2011. The boy’s mother, Maya Thompson, began her blog, Rockstar Ronan, in August, 2010, to write about her son’s struggles with cancer. She wrote entries during the last nine months of her son’s life, and continued doing so even after his death. Ronan passed away three days before he would have turned 4.
Taylor Swift first performed “Ronan” at a Stand Up For Cancer telethon in 2012. Maya was credited as co-writer of the track, whose lyrics are comprised of quotes from the blog that Taylor put together when she wrote the song. The song was released as a single after the telethon, with all proceeds sent to benefit cancer charities, including the Ronan Thompson Foundation.
“Maya had this blog called ‘Rockstar Ronan,’ ” Swift told the audience, “and I would read it every night.” Taylor said that she was inspired to create the song when she read the powerful blog.
Taylor Swift chose to perform the song for the second time in Glendale because she knew that Maya Thompson, who is a “Swiftie” herself, was in the audience.
“There’s a woman here tonight named Maya Thompson,” Taylor Swift announced in her emotional preface to the song. “I wouldn’t know half as much as I know about childhood cancer and childhood cancer research if she hadn’t shared her story about her son Ronan.”
“In my opinion, one of the bravest things that a human being could ever do is to go through something absolutely unbearable and then share their experience with the world. And I think the braver you are, the more brutally honest you are.”
Taylor Swift is no stranger to the struggles of having a loved one diagnosed with cancer. Back in April, Swift made an announcement via Tumblr that her mom, Andrea, is battling the disease, as previously reported by the Inquisitr. Taylor hasn’t made mention of her mom before the performance, choosing to focus her speech on Ronan instead. But one can rightly guess that her mom was in her thoughts at the time.
“I still can’t believe tonight. I still can’t believe you did this. This will forever be one of the most special moments of my life. Thank you @taylorswift for your beautiful heart and for never forgetting my Ro. I love you to the moon and back.”
Below is the YouTube video of Taylor Swift’s emotional speech and powerful performance.
[Photo by Sascha Steinbach / Getty Images]