Taylor Swift was one of several celebrities who participated in the Stand Up to Cancer telethon Friday night. She performed an emotional ballad titled “Ronan,” inspired by the blog of a Phoenix mother working through the loss of her son. Ronan passed away in May 2011, just three days before he would have turned four. Maya chronicled his story and her grief on Rockstar Ronan which, unbeknownst to her, Taylor was reading.
Maya hadn’t heard the song with lyrics inspired by her own words until Taylor debuted it during the telethon. “It was pretty emotional,” she told the Detroit Free Press. “I don’t think there was a dry eye in the house. I’m surprised I wasn’t on the floor bawling.”
The mother of 9-year-old twins Quinn and Liam, Maya and her husband, Woody, have a baby due in April. Losing a child, she says, is “the worst thing that could happen to a family.” Hearing the words she wrote about her child set to music “was kind of like reliving it again, but it’s something I’ll probably always relive.”
Watch Taylor’s emotional performance of “Ronan” after the jump:
During her performance, a visibly emotional Taylor tells Ronan and Maya’s story in detail, singing the heart-wrenching line of “You were my best four years” in the chorus. Maya met Taylor in October 2011 when Taylor invited her to a show. “She had been reading my blog for a while and heard that Ronan had passed away,” Maya told the paper. “And she was just devastated by it.”
Taylor made the song available on iTunes immediately after her performance. By Sunday morning, it had topped the charts. All proceeds from sales of the single are being donated to cancer-related charities.