7 years before she “broke the internet,” Taylor Swift called a dying girl from Mount Greenwood – Chicago Tribune

Do the math: 3.5 billion requests for 2 million tickets?

Things are bound to get bad.

But ugly is an understatement for the millions of fans who have spent hours trying to snag presale tickets to Taylor Swift’s upcoming Eras Tour only to be blocked, dumped or dumped at the end of the line, their only recourse to spend thousands more on resale sites.

On Friday, the 11-time Grammy winner spoke about the “blank space” that last week’s Live Nation/Ticketmaster debacle left them in.

“There are a multitude of reasons people have had a hard time trying to get tickets and I’m trying to figure out how this situation can be improved moving forward,” she posted on Instagram.

Among the fans who take his side in the nightmare are the Beazleys of Mount Greenwood.

Though Ed and Nadia Beazley haven’t gotten caught up in the shopping spree for June’s concerts in Chicago, they remain constant fans of the “kind and thoughtful” pop star who took time out of her busy schedule to call their late daughter Emily a few weeks before dying of non-Hodgkins lymphoma in 2015.

The couple and their youngest daughter Olivia, now a student at Marist High School, are serving life sentences in the fan department, Nadia said.

“Taylor Swift is a class act,” Nadia said, hours after the singer released her statement. “Imagine breaking a website because you are so wanted. Her fans mean everything to her. It’s how all celebrities should be.

“Emily would close her eyes and belt out those songs.  She really felt it, she could only tell.  She wrinkled her nose, squinted,” Nadia Beazley said this week, reflecting on the phone call her 12-year-old daughter received from Taylor Swift.  Emily died on May 18, 2015 of cancer.  In this April 24, 2015 photo, Ed Beazley holds his daughter Emily as he stands on a ladder at a street dedication in her honor in Mount Greenwood.

In her post-chaos statement, Swift said: “I’m not going to make excuses for anyone because we asked them, multiple times, if they could handle this kind of request and we were assured they could. It’s really amazing that 2.4 million people got tickets, but it really pisses me off that many of them feel like they went through several bear attacks to get them.

“And to those who haven’t received tickets, all I can say is that my hope is to provide more opportunities for all of us to come together and sing these songs.

“Thank you for wanting to be there. You have no idea how much that means.

Nadia said she’s not sure how Emily, who was 12 when she died, became such a huge fan of Swift, embracing her hits ‘Shake It Off’ and ‘Love Story.’

“She was so into her, for so long. I think she thought Taylor was like any other girl, like someone who lived down the street,” Nadia said.

“Emily would close her eyes and belt out those songs. She really felt it, she could only tell. She wrinkled her nose, screwed up her eyes,’ said Nadia.

And now Ed, Nadia and Olivia are doing the same with many of Swift’s new songs. Their favorites are the 10-minute version of “All Too Well,” which Nadia says is a great motivator when cleaning the house.

And, of course, she said, “Love Story” will always have a special place in their hearts, just like it did in Emily’s.

It was in their eldest daughter’s waning weeks, when doctors were doing their best to keep the girl comfortable, that Swift’s publicists called the now-retired Chicago Police Det. Ed Beazley’s phone.

Ed took Emily to “comfort” radiation treatments whenever he could, while Nadia stayed home to pick Olivia up from school.

The regular sessions had become something of a father-daughter outing, after which the two would head to the mall for Cinnabons.

But when Emily picked up the phone that day, she asked if the singer would mind calling back a little later.

“He lied and said he was going to go into radiation, even though he was already done,” Nadia said. “She did it because she wanted Olivia and I to be there for the call. She wanted us all to have that moment, that memory.

And the already hugely popular Swift respected.

The family was in the car when the call came again. Via Bluetooth, everyone was able to hear.

Nadia said she saw her confident and smart preteen daughter melt into the conversation. But she managed to get Swift’s attention to her little sister.

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Swift seemed to know a lot about the family, Nadia recalled.

“He couldn’t have been nicer,” said Nadia. “And Emily was completely starstruck.”

Nadia, who works for a law firm in South Holland, said the family still listen to Swift’s music because they like it and it makes them feel closer to Emily. They saw Swift when she came to Chicago on her latest tour.

“We will never forget who he was to our family,” Nadia said. “She gave my daughter her last wish. She was so kind. Unsurprisingly, she’s running out of shows. We always thought she was a superstar.”

Ed now works as an investigator for Comcast. The Beazleys continue their mission raise money for childhood cancer research and recently renewed funding for two cancer studies. And Olivia, a member of the National Honor Society, has a goal of becoming a dentist or pharmacist.


Donna Vickroy is an award-winning journalist, editor and columnist who worked for the Daily Southtown for 38 years.