Taylor Swift has revealed to the world that her mother is battling cancer. Her mother is 57-year-old Andrea Swift. She married Taylor’s dad, Scott, in 1988. Taylor has often spoke about her close relationship with her mother, speaking lovingly about how her mother accompanies her on tour and how she kickstarted her career. Taylor says now that her mother has an “important battle to fight.”
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Taylor Didn’t Say What Her Mother’s Prognosis Was
In an open letter posted on her Tumblr page, Taylor told her millions of fans that her mother was suffering with cancer. She added that Andrea wanted the singer to share the news. Taylor didn’t specify what type of cancer her mother was battling or what the prognosis is. The superstar singer wrote “She wanted you to know because your parents may be too busy juggling everything they’ve got going on to go to the doctor, and maybe you reminding them to go get checked for cancer could possibly lead to an early diagnosis and an easier battle…She’s got an important battle to fight.” After Taylor’s announcement, the hashtag “PrayForMamaSwift” began to trend on Twitter.
2. Taylor Previously Called Her Mom ‘The Friend That Was Always There’
In the past, Taylor has spoken about her close relationship to her mother, she told People Magazine in 2008, “She’s always been the friend that was always there. There were times when, in middle school and junior high, that I didn’t have a lot of friends. But my mom was always my friend.” In a 2010 Marie Clare interview, Swift explained that her mother goes on every tour with her and that they had recently bought Cher’s old tour bus. Andrea has featured in three of her daughter’s music videos, “Beautiful Eyes,” “I’m Only Me When I’m With You” and “The Best Day.” The latter being made specifically for Andrea’s birthday.
3. Andrea Quit Her Job as a Finance Exec to Raise Taylor
In her 2010 Marie Clare interview, Taylor spoke about her mother, who was a mutual fund executive, quit her job to raise the singer and her brother, Austin. According to her Facebook page, Andrea was raised in Houston, Texas, went to Memorial High School, and later attended the University of Houston. She lists her job on the page as “Being a Mom.”
4. Andrea’s Mother Was a Professional Opera Singer
Andrea’s mother, Marjorie Finlay, was a professional opera singer. Her mother passed away in June 2003 in Reading, Pennsylvania. Andrea’s father, Robert Bruce Finlay died just three months before his wife in April 2003. Robert Finlay was an engineer who moved the family to Singapore the same year that Andrea was born. The family lived in Asia until 1967 when they moved back to Texas.
You can watch Taylor with her grandmother above.
5. She Moved the Family to Nashville in 2003 to Help Taylor’s Career
Andrea and Scott Swift live in a $2.5 million mansion that their daughter bought for them in Nashville. They moved into that place after the previous home that Taylor bought them, a $1.4 million house, proved to not be big enough. According to a 2014 interview that Taylor gave to Time Magazine, the family first went to Tennessee when the singer was 11 and her mother drove her to record labels to that they could distribute her demo. When Taylor was 13, the family upped and moved to Nashville. Page Six reported in April 2014 that Andrea and Scott Swift were “difficult and controlling stage parents.” In an interview with the New York Daily News, Taylor’s former guitar teacher Ronnie Cremer described Andrea as “a bull in china shop” when it came to her daughter’s career. He says when Taylor was forced to eat salad when she wanted Taco Bell.