Golden buzzer star, 31, adored by Simon Cowell died after devastating 4 year cancer battle

Jane "Nightbirde" Marczewski received the Golden Buzzer from Simon Cowell
Jane "Nightbirde" Marczewski received the Golden Buzzer from Simon Cowell -Credit:America's Got Talent/Youtube

An America's Got Talent contestant sadly died following a four-year cancer battle.

Jane "Nightbirde" Marczewski was a favourite of Simon Cowell, receiving the honorary Golden Buzzer during the first round of season 16 auditions. But she sadly passed away on February 19 2022, aged just 31.

"There was something really special about Jane, I adored her," Simon told AGT Host Terry Crews after her tragic passing. "The last time I saw her, she did say what that moment meant to her. All these years she had been trying to get recognition as a songwriter, as a singer... I promise you, so many people come up to me and talked about what she did, giving people hope and perspective."

During Jane's audition, she was very open about her ongoing battle with cancer, and Simon was blown away by both her talent and overwhelming message of hope.

Jane "Nightbirde" Marczewski passed away after a cancer battle
Jane "Nightbirde" Marczewski passed away after a cancer battle -Credit:_nightbirde/Instagram

"What was so special about Jane, in my opinion, was she was always optimistic," he said. "She recently passed away, which makes this tough, but all she kept talking about was her music. You know what? It's difficult, I haven't been able to watch [her Audition video] since she passed."

Her family confirmed the sad news in a statement, writing: "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.

"Those who knew her, enjoyed her larger-than-life personality and sense of humour," the family added. "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 also issued a statement mourning her loss, saying: "Your voice, your story, and your message touched millions. Nightbirde will always be a member of the AGT family. Rest In Peace, Jane."

The show's hosts and judges also shared their condolences on social media. Simon lead tributes on Instagram, writing: "Heart breaking news to hear about Nightbirde, she was an extraordinary person, so brave, so talented," alongside a photo of her smiling during her Golden Buzzer-winning audition.

"She made a huge impact on AGT and the world, her courage was incredible and her determination to fight this terrible illness was remarkable. Rest in peace, Jane. I am sending my love to her family. Simon," he concluded.

Nightbirde battled cancer for four years
Nightbirde battled cancer for four years -Credit:Instagram

Host Terry Crews shared a photo of Nightbirde on Instagram, writing: "We Love you, Nightbirde."

Judge Howie Mandel tweeted that the singer was "such a bright inspirational light in all our lives." Heidi Klum shared a photo of Nightbirde on her Instagram story, saying: "rest in peace."

In August 2021, Nightbirde had to withdraw from the 16th season of the competition show after revealing on Instagram that her health had "taken a turn for the worse" since auditioning - an announcement that followed a viral performance of her original song, It's OK.

"I am so sad to announce that I won't be able to continue forward on this season of AGT," she penned at the time. "Life doesn't always give breaks to those that deserve it-but we knew that already."

Shortly after her emotional exit, the Ohio-based singer made a virtual return to the show to update fans on her condition.

"I love all of you and back," she expressed in a call with the judges. "I cannot say thank you enough for the opportunity to have a moment to share my story, and, I think, we're witnessing such a beautiful picture of the human spirit and the triumph of the human spirit."

She added: "It's restored my faith in humanity a lot to see people come together - just over the fact that we all hurt, we all suffer and we all have the potential to overcome."