Jane “Nightbirde” Marczewski, a contestant on season 16 of America’s Got Talent, has died following a battle with cancer. She was 31.
The singer passed away on Sunday (Feb. 20), TMZ reports.
“We are saddened to learn about @_nightbirde’s Passing,” AGT host Terry Crews wrote on Instagram Monday. “Our Condolences goes to her Closest Family & Friends in such of This difficult time. We Love you, Nightbirde.”
Judge Heidi Klum also shared a tribute to the singer on her Instagram Story. “We love you. Rest in peace @nightbirde,” Klum wrote alongside a photo of the Zanesville, Ohio, native.
Marczewski soared on America’s Got Talent in June 2021 with a heart-warming, golden buzzer-winning audition featuring her original song “It’s Okay.” The singer revealed during the audition that she had a 2% chance of survival from cancer that had spread to her lungs, spine and liver. The video garnered millions of views on YouTube and her performance warranted a standing ovation from all four judges.
Marczewski exited AGT weeks later to focus on her ongoing cancer battle. “Since my audition, my health has taken a turn for the worse and the fight with cancer is demanding all of my energy and attention,” she wrote at the time.
Marczewski returned to the show remotely in early August to give an update on her health. Judge Howie Mandel called her the “poster human for courage in the face of adversity,” while fellow judge Sofia Vergara thanked the singer for “touching us with your song and who you are and how you are.” Simon Cowell’s voice cracked and tears welled up in his eyes as he recalled speaking a few times with Marczewski since her audition.
The singer reflected the love right back and said the embrace has “restored my faith in humanity a whole lot to see people come together.”
In her final post on Instagram, Marczewski remained positive amid her deteriorating health. “Honestly, things have been pretty brutal,” she wrote on Jan. 11. “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.”