American musician Nightbirde has passed away following a battle with cancer, aged 31.
The singer earned a coveted Golden Buzzer from Simon Cowell on America’s Got Talent after sharing her emotional story with the judges and delivering a stunning audition performance.
Who was Nightbirde?
The singer, whose real name was Jane Marczewski, was best known for appearing on America’s Got Talent before she was forced to pull out of the competition in August.
She was born on 29 December 1990 in Ohio in America and developed a passion for music at a young age.
When she was six, her mother asked her for help with writing the lyrics for a Christmas song for their local church production.
Speaking to News Advance in 2019, Marczewski said: “I think she was just being silly in asking me for help, but I sang her a couple of lines in the places where she was stuck, and then she actually put them in the song. Then I got the solo part for the play.”
After graduating from Liberty University, where she earned a degree in communications, Marczewski released her three song EP in 2012, titled Lines. In 2013 she then released her six song EP Ocean & Sky.
Marczewski released her first song under her stage name Nightbirde in 2019, called Girl in a Bubble.
She got the inspiration for the name after she dreamt about birds at her window singing at night for three nights in a row.
She said: “It felt so poetic that these birds were singing as if it were morning, and yet there was no sign of it yet, and that’s what I want to embody.”
Her other singles that she released alongside her two EPs and Girl in a Bubble were It’s OK (2020) and Brave (2021).
When was she diagnosed with cancer?
Marczewski was first diagnosed with breast cancer in 2017 and while she was declared cancer-free the following year, it unfortunately did not remain that way for long.
She was told in 2019 that her cancer had returned, and was initially given three to six months to live by medical professionals, however Marczewski went on to live for another three years.
Marczewski was then declared cancer-free once again in 2020, however prior to her America’s Got Talent audition, she found out that her cancer had spread to her lungs, spine and liver. Her chance of survival was just 2%.
When was she on America’s Got Talent?
Marczewski, as Nightbirde, appeared on the 16th season of America’s Got Talent where, in her audition, she sang her original song It’s OK.
Talking to the judges after her performance, Marczewski said that she had “some cancer in my lungs, spine and liver” and added: “I have a 2% chance of survival, but the 2% is not 0%.
“2% is something, and I wish people knew how amazing it is.”
She also said: “You can’t wait until life isn’t hard anymore before you decide to be happy.”
Marczewski became Simon Cowell’s Golden Buzzer pick, meaning that she would advance straight to the live shows.
In the 48 hours following her appearance on the show, her original song became No. 1 on iTunes, and her audition became the No. 2 trending video on YouTube. You can watch her audition on the America’s Got Talent YouTube channel.
However, Marczewski was unable to continue in the competition as, following her audition, her health took a turn for the worse.
In an Instagram post announcing her departure from the show, Marczewski said: “Since my audition, my health has taken a turn for the worse and the fight with cancer is demanding all my energy and attention.
“I am so sad to announce that I won’t be able to continue forward on this season of AGT.”
Tributes for Nightbirde
Following the news of her death, tributes have been pouring out for Marczewski online, including the America’s Got Talent Judges Sofia Vergara, Howie Mandel, Heidi Klum and host Terry Crews.
On her Instagram story, Vergara wrote: “Rest in power @_nightbirde. We lost a shining star today.
“You were a true inspiration to all. Sending so much love to Nightbirde’s family and friends.
“She was something special.”
Klum also posted a picture of Marczewski on her Instagram story, with the caption “We love you”.
Crews also expressed his sadness at the news online, writing: “We are saddened to learn about @_nightbirde’s passing.
“Our Condolences goes to her Closest Family & Friends at such a difficult time. We Love you, Nightbirde.”
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