Jimmy Fallon holds back tears during emotional tribute to his mother

Jimmy Fallon holds back tears during emotional tribute to his mother

Jimmy Fallon holds back tears during emotional tribute to his mother

Watch Taylor Swift perform her breathtaking new ballad "New Year's Day" on Jimmy Fallon's "The Tonight Show".

"When we were little, my mum would walk us to the store - me and my sister - and we would hold hands".

During his tribute, Fallon recalled how his mother would squeeze his hand three times to signify "I love you".

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"Last week I was in the hospital, at her side, and I grabbed her hand and I squeezed 'I love you, ' and I just knew we were in trouble", Fallon said with his voice breaking. "We all were. The story about his mom squeezing his hand 3 times to say 'I love you" when he was a kid, and then him squeezing her hand in the hospital - he hadn't told any of us that story.

Mike DiCenzo, a producer for The Tonight Show, explained on Twitter how the Tonight team managed to get Swift to appear, and noted the staff wanted to honor Fallon in the wake of his mother's death. She said yes with zero hesitation.

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Of the emotional performance, he said, "I almost gasped". Tears. I think everyone in the audience started sobbing.

The 27-year-old superstar took to the stage for the a live performance of her song "New Year's Day!".

Later in the song, Swift sang another line that struck a chord: "Hold on to your memories, they will hold on to you". I could see Jimmy silhouetted at his desk dabbing his eyes with a tissue.

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All our best to Fallon and his family.

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