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Simon Cowell starts crying during emotional tribute to late America's Got Talent contestant Nightbirde

Simon Cowell starts crying during emotional tribute to late America's Got Talent contestant Nightbirde

The choir became the first act to be awarded the Golden Buzzer by the audience

Simon Cowell found himself tearing up during an emotional tribute to late America’s Got Talent contestant Nightbirde.

The Mzansi Youth Choir made history when they appeared on stage to perform ‘It’s OK’, becoming the first act to be awarded the Golden Buzzer by the audience.

They took everyone by surprise with their emotional rendition of the song, which was choreographed beautifully – even if it took some of the judges a few moments to work out where they recognised it from.

When the penny dropped, Cowell turned to co-judge Sofia Vergara with a look of shock, as Heidi Klum said: “Nightbirde’s song.”

Nightbirde, aka Jane Marczewski, was a singer-songwriter who received the Golden Buzzer when she appeared on the show back in 2021, performing her original song ‘It’s OK’.

Sadly, she had to withdraw from the contest before the quarter-finals, as her health was deteriorating due to cancer.

She died on 19 February 2022 at the age of just 31.

Simon Cowell with Nightbirde.

The Mzansi Youth Choir’s performance not only prompted a standing ovation from all four judges, but also the entire room.

“What a wonderful tribute to a beautiful person,” presenter Terry Crews said to the camera, before dabbing his eyes.

After sitting down, Cowell said: “Wow. My gosh, gosh, gosh.”

Klum then explained to the studio audience: “For anyone who doesn’t know, we lost a very, very special person from our AGT family. Her name was Jane, her nickname was Nightbirde and she sang the song.

“So it has a very special meaning in my heart. It was very beautiful. Thank you.”

Vergara said it was a ‘surprise’ to hear the song, telling the Mzansi Youth Choir that their beautifully harmonised voices were ‘fantastic’.

The Mzansi Youth Choir.

Cowell struggled to get his words out as he gave his feedback, saying: “This brought back so many memories for me."

His voice breaking, he added: “I know how much this would have meant to her.”

Cowell then broke down in tears, wiping his eyes as he continued: “Right until the end, she was so passionate about sharing her music.

"This has gone all over the world, and you’ve come back here with the most amazing tribute. It was just breathtaking, honestly.”

Cowell broke down as he reflected on the tribute.

One of Mzansi Youth Choir’s members explained why they picked Nightbirde’s song for their audition, saying they wanted to honour her ‘legacy’.

“When we heard Nightbirde singing this song on this stage, we were very inspired and touched by her story, so we decided to record the song,” they said.

“To our surprise, she responded so beautifully. This song that been such a pillar of strength for us as a choir through difficult times. We just want continue her legacy.”

Cowell then turned to the audience to ask if they felt the choir should be awarded the Golden Buzzer, before the judges and Crews pressed the button.

Featured Image Credit: NBC

Topics: America's Got Talent, Film and TV, Music