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‘America’s Got Talent’ contestant Nightbirde dies at 31 following cancer battle

By PINKY S. ICAMEN Published Feb 22, 2022 10:16 am

After a four-year valiant battle with cancer, singer and songwriter Jane Marczewski, who went by the name “Nightbirde” during her America’s Got Talent (AGT) audition in 2021, died on Feb. 19. She was 31.

Hers was a voice that touched the hearts of millions around the world with her original song It’s OK, which she performed during her AGT Season 16 audition and earned her a “Golden Buzzer” from judge Simon Cowell.

Marczewski’s family confirmed her death in a statement. 

“We, her family, are devastated by her passing and unimaginable loss. 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," the family’s statement to People read.

It continued, “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." 

America’s Got Talent paid tribute to Marczewski in an Instagram post, with a photo of the singer during the show’s audition. “Your voice, your story, and your message touched millions. Nightbirde will always be a member of the AGT family. Rest in peace, Jane.”

Host Terry Crews expressed his condolences on Instagram. “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.”

Meanwhile, Season 16 judges Howie Mandel, Heidi Klum and Sofia Vergara who were moved by Marczewski’s heartfelt audition also posted on social media on the singer’s passing.

America's Got Talent hosts Heidi Klum and Sofia Vergara pay tribute to Nightbirde on their Instagram Stories.

“We love you. Rest in peace @_nightbirde,” Klum posted on her Instagram Stories. 

Also on her Instagram Stories, Vergara said, “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.”

Meanwhile, 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 to have met, heard and known her.”

As of this writing, Simon Cowell has yet to release a statement about Marczewski's passing.

During her AGT audition, Marczewski shared that cancer was found in her lungs, spine and liver, which surprised the judges and the audience. 

“I have 2% chance of survival, but 2% is not zero percent,” she said. “Two percent is something, and I wish people knew who amazing it is.”

Marczewski said her song It’s OK  was about “the story of the last year of my life.” 

Among the memorable lines that she said during the audition that resonated with the judges and the audience was,  “You can’t wait until life isn’t hard anymore before you decide to be happy.”

Her audition video that went viral on social media has over 39 million views on YouTube as of this writing, and her song received millions of streams in different music platforms worldwide. 

Weeks after her audition, Marczewski announced on Instagram her departure from the show as her health has “taken for the worse” with her then ongoing battle with cancer. She thanked those who supported her and described her condition at the moment as “Pretty beat up, but I’ve still got dreams.”

In January 2022, in what would be her final post on Instagram, Marczewski shared a photo and updated her fans on her situation.

“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.

Rest easy, Nightbirde.