A source tells ET that the singer’s beau of four years has been a “great support system” as she’s dealt with not only the global threat of coronavirus, but also her own mother’s health battle. Swift first revealed her mom Andrea’s cancer diagnosis in 2015. The cancer returned in 2019, and the singer shared in a January 2020 interview with Variety that Andrea’s doctors had found a brain tumor.
“She was going through chemo, and that’s a hard enough thing for a person to go through,” she said at the time. “While she was going through treatment, they found a brain tumor. And 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. So it’s just been a really hard time for us as a family.”
Thankfully, ET’s source says, Swift has had her family, and Alwyn, to lean on as they support Andrea through her medical battle.
“[Taylor] has been having a tough time with her mom’s health, but her mom is getting treatment and she and her family have been trying to stay optimistic,” the source shared. “She has been focusing on her music and spending a lot of time with Joe. Taylor wanted to take some time to herself and her family this year, so in that regard, the quarantine and break has been positive for her.”
Swift even found the inspiration for new music in quarantine — releasing her acclaimed eighth studio album, folklore, which just received five GRAMMY nominations, capping off the singer’s bittersweet 2020.
“Joe has provided such a great support system for Taylor. He is the one constant in her life that she can truly rely on,” ET’s source said. “Joe has helped Taylor with her music, inspiring it. She is so grateful for him and in love with him. He is her cheerleader and rock. They have spoken about their future together and they love celebrating the holidays together and are looking forward to that.”
Swift even recently revealed the truth behind a long-suspected fan theory: that Alwyn contributed to folklore as more than just her inspiration. During her new Disney+ concert film, folklore: the long pond studio sessions, the 30-year-old singer revealed that William Bowery, the mystery songwriter credited on “Betty” and “Exile,” is actually a pseudonym for her beau.
“There’s been a lot of discussion about William Bowery and his identity. He’s not a real person,” Swift tells collaborators Aaron Dessner and Jack Antonoff in the film. “William Bowery is Joe, as we know. And Joe, Joe plays piano beautifully, and he’s always just playing and making things up and kind of creating things.”
The couple first teamed up for “Betty,” a song for which, Swift revealed, Alwyn wrote the chorus.
“I just heard Joe singing the entire, fully formed chorus of ‘Betty’ from another room. And I just was like, ‘Hello,'” Swift recalls. “It was a step that we would never have taken because why would we have ever written a song together? This was the first time we had a conversation where I came in and I was like, ‘Hey, this could be really weird and we could hate this, so could we just, because we’re in quarantine and there’s nothing else going on, could we just try to see what it’s like if we write this song together?'”
See more on the collaboration in the video below.
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