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Why Taylor Swift's surprise performance had Jimmy Fallon and his audience 'sobbing'

When Taylor Swift took "The Tonight Show" stage Monday night as a surprise musical guest, the song she sang featured an even bigger surprise for host Jimmy Fallon.

It was Fallon's first night back following the death of his mother, Gloria, and a producer from the show has since opened up about the "beautiful coincidence" that made Swift's performance so special.

Swift debuted her single "New Year's Day" shortly after Fallon had shared a moving story about his mom.

"She would squeeze my hand three times and say, 'I love you,'" he recalled from when he was a little boy. "I would squeeze back, 'I love you, too.' Last week, I was in the hospital, and I grabbed her and squeezed her hand and said, 'I love you.' I just knew we were in trouble."

As producer Mike DiCenzo later tweeted, that personal story unexpectedly served as the perfect lead-in to Swift's song, which included lyrics that couldn't have been more appropriate for the occasion.

"No one had heard it," DiCenzo explained. "Suddenly she sings the line, 'Squeeze my hand three times in the back of the taxi.' I nearly gasped. Tears. I think everyone in the audience started sobbing."

And not just the audience.

"I could see Jimmy silhouetted at his desk dabbing his eyes with a tissue," he wrote. "We all lost it. It was a beautiful coincidence in a beautiful performance. 'Hold on to your memories, they will hold on to you,' Taylor sang."

And when she stopped singing, she stepped away from the piano and straight into Fallon's arms.

According to DiCenzo — and, frankly, anyone who watched the moment — it was "100% real emotion."

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Jimmy Fallon's mom, Gloria Fallon, dies at age 68

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Jimmy Fallon's mom, Gloria Fallon, dies at age 68

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