Nightbirde, whose passionate song on “America’s Got Talent” earned her a Golden Buzzer, said Monday she will drop out of the show to focus on her fight with cancer.
The Zanesville, Ohio, native had revealed her cancer diagnosis when she auditioned on the show. Her episode aired in June and she became a viral hit.
Nightbirde, whose name is Jane Marczewski, said on Instagram Monday her health has taken a turn for the worse.
“The fight with cancer is demanding all of my energy and attention,” she said. “I am so sad to announce that I won’t be able to continue forward on this season of ‘AGT.’ Life doesn’t always give breaks to those that deserve it — but we knew that already.”
Her performance of “It’s OK” earned a standing ovation from the crowd and all four judges on the show. She said the song was about the last year of her life with cancer.
Simon Cowell, creator of the show and one of its judges, appeared to be fighting back tears as he commented on Nightbirde’s performance. “Your voice is stunning. Absolutely stunning,” he said.
“There have been some great singers this year. And I’m not going to give you a ‘Yes.’ I’m going to give you something else,” Cowell said before hitting the coveted Golden Buzzer, which sent her through to the live shows of the competition.
At the time of her audition, she was 30 years old. She said in an interview on the show she was told she has a 2% chance of surviving her cancer.
“But 2% is not 0%,” she said. “Two percent is something and I wish people knew how amazing it is.”
Her audition performance has been viewed nearly 30 million times on YouTube.
The show has not commented on Nightbirde’s decision to drop out.
“Thank you for all your support, it means the world to me,” she wrote on Instagram. “Stay with me, I’ll be better soon. I’m planning my future, not my legacy. Pretty beat up, but I’ve still got dreams.”