Taylor Swift cites mother’s cancer battle for limited tour dates

In her new documentary, she also reveals how her team was resistant to her becoming politically active

Taylor Swift tour dates tickets concerts mom mother cancer tumor
Taylor Swift, photo by David Brendan Hall

Taylor Swift has revealed why she’s limited her tour dates in support of Lover instead of a seven-month trek like usual. It turns out the pop star decided to scale back the number of shows on her schedule to be with her mother, who is battling cancer and a brain tumor.

Swift recently sat down for an interview with Variety to discuss her upcoming Netflix documentary, Taylor Swift: Miss Americana, which premieres at Sundance this month. Naturally, the interview peeled off to explore other subjects, like her beef with Scooter Braun and Scott Borchetta of Big Machine Records, her self-reclamation moment at the American Music Awards, and her call-out speech after accepting Billboard’s Woman of the Decade award.

The conversation then pivoted to Swift’s mother, Andrea, who was diagnosed with cancer a few years ago. As revealed in the documentary, Andrea’s cancer returned for a second time and, while going through chemo, doctors discovered a brain tumor.

“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,” Swift told Variety. “So it’s just been a really hard time for us as a family.”

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Tho pop star said she wanted to perform in places she “hadn’t performed in as much” and to do things she hadn’t done before, like Glastonbury, all while making time “to work as much as I can handle right now.” While these were also contributing factors to her decision to keep her Lover touring light, Swift admitted the main reason was her mother’s health.

“That’s the reason,” said Swift. “I mean, we don’t know what is going to happen. 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.”

Swift plans to perform a select number of tour dates this year, including four US concerts and a handful of sets in Europe. Along the way, she will perform live at Glastonbury, Roskilde, Open’er Festival, Mad Cool, and NOS Alive Festival. Grab tickets to all of her upcoming shows here.

In addition to discussion her mom’s health, politics are a frequent topic throughout the interview. Swift, who had remained politically neutral for much of her career, stepped into the debate with an open letter against Tennessee Republican Senate candidate Marsha Blackburn in 2018. As revealed in a Miss Americana, many members of her team — including her own father — were worried about her getting into politics.

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“For 12 years, we’ve not got involved in politics or religion,” an unnamed associate says to Swift during the scene, implying that she would lose half her audience in taking a stand against Republican officials. “I’ve read the entire [statement] and… right now, I’m terrified. I’m the guy that went out and bought armored cars,” her father adds.

At first, not everyone believed Swift’s endorsement of democratic candidates was real. But since then, she’s stayed true to her vow to become more politically active, calling out racist pandering tactics, voicing a pro-choice stance, and donating over $100k to LGBTQ+ advocacy groups. There’s no stopping her now.

Elsewhere during the interview, Swift touched on her role in Cats. Despite the largely negative critical reviews and lackluster performance at the box office, “I had a really great time working on that weird-ass movie,” Swift said. “I’m not gonna retroactively decide that it wasn’t the best experience. I never would have met Andrew Lloyd Webber or gotten to see how he works, and now he’s my buddy. I got to work with the sickest dancers and performers. No complaints.”