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A Look Back at Nightbirde's Inspirational AGT Audition

The singer died of cancer on February 19, 2022.

By McKenzie Jean-Philippe
Nightbirde | Simon Cowell's Favorite Golden Buzzer Moments | NBC's AGT

After a four-year battle with cancer, America's Got Talent Contestant Jane "Nightbirde" Marczewski died on February 19, 2022.

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Marczewski won the hearts of both the fans and Judges during AGT Season 16 with a stirring performance of her original song, "It's OK." The Audition has over 45 million views on YouTube.

"We, her family, are devastated by her passing and unimaginable loss," Marczewski's family said in a statement. "Many remember her from America’s Got Talent, where she performed her song 'It’s OK' and inspired millions of people around the globe with her messages of faith and never giving up. Those who knew her, enjoyed her larger-than-life personality and sense of humor. She had a witty joke for every occasion—even if the joke was on her."

Following her Audition, Judge Simon Cowell automatically advanced Marczewski to the Live Shows with his Golden Buzzer of the season. Along with her flawless vocals, the singer's story moved Cowell to tears.

"Your voice is stunning," he said. "There was something about that song, the way you just almost casually told us what you're going through...Everything about that was really special."

Agt Nightbirde Memorial1

"Last time I checked, I had some cancer in my lungs, my spine, and my liver," she said in her Audition video. "It's important that everyone knows I'm so much more than the bad things that've happened to me...I have a 2% chance of survival, but 2% is not 0%. 2% is something, and I wish people knew how amazing it is."

Though Marczewski was unable to move on to the AGT Finals after announcing in August 2021 that her "health had taken a turn for the worse," she continued to keep her more than 1 million Instagram followers updated on her life—up until her last post on January 11.

"Honestly, things have been pretty brutal. But this is a photo of myself from last week where I felt pretty, and alive, and awake, and human, and real. I needed that. We’re all a little lost and it’s alright," she wrote in her final post, above. 

In the wake of her passing, members of the AGT family offered their condolences on their respective social media accounts.

"We are saddened to learn about @_nightbirde's Passing. Our Condolences goes to her Closest Family & Friends in such of This difficult time. We Love you, Nightbirde," Host Terry Crews wrote on Instagram.

Judge Howie Mandel tweeted, "@_nightbirde was such a bright inspirational light in all our lives. We must continue to live and learn from her words and lyrics. As much as I feel horribly about her passing I feel lucky to have met, heard, and known her."

Both Judges Sofia Vergara and Heidi Klum posted statements on their Instagram Stories.

Simon Cowell applauding Nightbirde, who stands next to him onstage

"Rest in power @_nightbirde. We lost a shining star today; you were a true inspiration to all. Sending so much love to all of Nightbirde's family and friends. She was something special," Vergara said.

Klum wrote, "We love you. Rest in peace @_nightbirde."

"Her lasting legacy will be the gift of hope she gave to so many through her music and the strength she found in Jesus," reads her family statement. "We thank everyone for their messages of love and support.”

This story was originally published on February 22, 2022. It was updated on May 30, 2023.