Taylor Swift

For 10-Year-Old Connecticut Swiftie, This Concert Moment Hit All Too Well

Leyton Barnett first met Taylor Swift when she showed up at his house with Christmas presents in 2014. Nine years later, the pop star shared another special moment with the fan.

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For 10-year-old Leyton Barnett, from West Haven, attending Taylor Swift's Eras Tour at Gillette Stadium Saturday night was a full circle moment. After first meeting Taylor Swift in 2014, Leyton's wildest dreams came true once again when the Grammy-winning artist singled him out during the concert and gave him her hat.

Leyton's connection with Taylor Swift is all thanks to his mom, Stephanie Barnett, who caught Swift's attention on social media years ago. Barnett shared that Swift's music helped her through an emotional time when she was having trouble getting pregnant.

"It was amazing that she cared at all," said Barnett.

Then in 2014, when Leyton was a toddler, Swift showed up unannounced at their North Haven home with presents for Leyton.

"I open the door and she's like, 'Hey, Steph!' and it's just her right there, and I lost it," Barnett told NBC Connecticut in 2014. "I lost it for a while."

Fast forward to 2023 and Barnett "lost it" again when Leyton was called to the edge of the stage to share a special moment with Swift.

During her concerts on The Eras Tour, Swift has been giving away the hat that she wears while performing the song "22" to one special audience member. Saturday night at Gillette Stadium in Foxboro, Leyton was that special audience member.

"I was really excited and happy," said Leyton. "Also, since there was 70,000 people there, I was a little bit nervous."

Barnett said she was "mind blown" when someone came over to them during the concert and brought Leyton to the edge of the stage. In a video of the interaction, Swift is heard greeting Leyton like he is an old friend: "Hi, Leyton! It is so good to see you again!"

"She made sure to hold his hand and have that moment with him which was really nice," said Barnett. "Getting to stand back and watch that was amazing. I was trying not to sob and be stable for him, but afterwards I let loose."

Swift gave Leyton her hat and Leyton gave the pop star a bracelet. He reports that the autographed hat is "very comfortable," though he said he will not wear it out in public so it doesn't get damaged. In fact, he already has a special shadow box to store the hat.

Barnett and her son both said Swift has followed up with them every so often through the years and they were amazed that she still cared about them.

"It really does, to me, show her heart. I know she does things for other people, too. It is a testament to not just her talent, but her person," said Barnett. "There is a reason she is as famous as she is right now. She's not just an incredible singer, she is an incredible person."

The pair shared this message for Swift: "Thank you. Thank you for remembering us, thank you for caring about us."

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