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The America’s Got Talent family is mourning the loss of season 16 contestant
Jane Marczewski, also known as Nightbirde.
On Monday, TMZ reported that the singer-songwriter died after a four-year battle with cancer on February 19 at the age of 31. Nightbirde first captivated AGT judges Simon Cowell, Heidi Klum, Howie Mandel and Sofía Vergara when she auditioned for the NBC competition show and performed her original song “It’s Ok.” But before singing, the Zanesville, Ohio native revealed that she had "some cancer" in her lungs, spine and liver. Nightbirde later shared that she had a 2% chance of survival, and it was her third time battling cancer since receiving her initial diagnosis on New Year’s Eve in 2019.
After Simon described her performance as “absolutely stunning,” he gave her the golden buzzer. But she announced shortly after in August 2021 that she wouldn’t be able to move on to the live shows due to her health. Since then, AGT fans have followed her journey on Instagram, and it was there that many honored Nightbirde’s life with heartfelt messages, including the show’s judges.
"We love you. Rest in peace @nightbirde," Heidi wrote on her Instagram Stories.
"@_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," Howie tweeted.
"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," Sofía added in her Instagram Stories.
"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.
AGT’s official Instagram account also paid tribute to the golden buzzer winner. “Your voice, your story, and your message touched millions. Nightbirde will always be a member of the AGT family. Rest In Peace, Jane,” the caption read.
Reacting to the heartbreaking news, both fellow AGT competitors and fans left supportive messages on Instagram. “Rest in peace, beautiful soul. Your unique voice and inspiring spirit will always be remembered. ❤️," Thommy Ten and Amélie van Tass, a.k.a. The Clairvoyants, wrote.
Weeks before Nightbirde died, she shared that despite having a “bad” December, she was “overwhelmed” with joy about her new remix of “New Year’s Eve” quickly climbing the charts. In one Instagram post, she admitted that “things have been pretty brutal” but she was still hopeful.
“I felt pretty, and alive, and awake, and human, and real. I needed that,” she wrote. “We’re all a little lost and it’s alright. 🕊.”
On Tuesday, Nightbirde's family released a statement and the above video message on her Instagram page. The statement reads in part: "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. Her lasting legacy will be the gift of hope she gave to so many through her music and the strength she found in Jesus."
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