Songwriter and singer extraordinaire Taylor Swift has received more awards than she can likely even remember — but none can be as special and as emotional as the one she accepted at the 2015 Academy of Country Music awards.
That's because her mother Andrea, who at the age of 57 is battling cancer, presented the milestone award on Sunday, April 19, following a video presentation detailing Swift's career.
The audience gave Swift's mom a standing ovation as she walked to the stage. And more than a few tears began to roll as Andrea related memories of watching her superstar daughter grow up, and how the once "tangle-haired little girl" loved to write songs and strum the guitar or bang on the piano, starting at a very young age.
She praised Swift for "being brave enough to explore her musical curiosity, having a voice against those who hate and giving herself to those in need." She described herself as a "very proud mum" just before presenting Swift with the ACM's 50th Anniversary Milestone Award.
"For many years, I was her constant companion. And I witnessed a young girl with very few friends become a young woman with many, learning to stand up for herself and the things she believes in," Andrea said in her presentation speech.
In her acceptance speech, Taylor made a slight note regarding her mother's cancer battle, stating, "Someone once told me that you truly see who a person is when you tell them something they don't want to hear; you truly see who a person is when you give them news they weren't expecting." She thanked the country music industry and fans for their loyalty.
Taylor's mother learned about her illness after a checkup late last year. While the family is keeping details private, it's safe to say that everyone, especially Taylor, is hopeful that Andrea will be able to attend future award ceremonies. Taylor, who made a solid transition from country music to pop with last year's 1989 album, was one of seven artists to be honored with the ACM 50th Anniversary Milestone Award.
Among her many distinctions as a mega singer and songwriter, Taylor Swift is the first to have three albums sell over a million copies in the first week of release.