COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) — Singer and Ohio native Jane Marczewski has died after a long battle with cancer at the age of 31.
Marczewski, also known by the moniker, Nightbirde, was a Golden Buzzer winner this summer on NBC’s “America’s Got Talent.” Her viral hit “It’s OK,” which she sang on the show, topped the download charts on iTunes.
TMZ first reported her death. It was also acknowledged Monday by “AGT” host Terry Crews on Instagram.
“We are saddened to learn about @_nightbirde‘s Passing,” wrote Crews. “Our Condolences goes to her Closest Family & Friends in such of This difficult time. We Love you, Nightbirde ⚡️”
“AGT” judge Howie Mandel tweeted about Nightbirde Monday, writing that she was a “bright inspirational light in all our lives.”
“We must continue to live and learn from her words and lyrics. As much as I feel horribly about her passing I feel lucky to to have met, heard and known her,” he wrote.
Marczewski’s last Instagram post, on Jan. 11, kept her trademark honesty mixed with hope.
“Honestly, things have been pretty brutal,” wrote Marczewski. “But this is a photo of myself from last week when I felt pretty, and alive, and awake, and human, and real. I needed that. We’re all a little lost and it’s alright. 🕊”
Watch Nightbirde’s interview with NBC4
Marczewski previously chronicled her cancer battle in her blog.
“On New Year’s Eve, I was diagnosed with terminal cancer. Innumerable tumors were found throughout my lungs, liver, lymph nodes, ribs, and spine. I was on the living room floor leaning over the report, head in my hands,” Marczewski wrote in a Nov. 12, 2020, blog post. “Six months to live. Two percent chance of survival.”
But Marczewski was a survivor determined to succeed, announcing that she was cancer-free in a Twitter post on July 21, 2020, writing, “BUT FOREVER THIS TIME. Go ahead and tag someone who needs this!!!”
However, her cancer battle continued after another diagnosis, which she wrote about in a March 9, 2021, blog post sharing, “I have had cancer three times now, and I have barely passed thirty.”
Eventually, Marczewski made it to “America’s Got Talent,” and her story and musical gifts were injected into the national consciousness.
Her performance on “AGT” rocketed her to fame. On the show, she received a standing ovation and gushing compliments from the judges.
“It’s funny, because singers come on … and I think about authenticity, that you know when you feel it when it moves you. That felt like the most authentic thing I have heard this season,” said judge Howie Mandell.
“It was powerful. It was heartfelt and I think you’re amazing,” added judge Sofia Vergara.
“You gave me chills. I mean, your voice is so beautiful to listen to. It was beautiful all the way around,” echoed judge Heidi Klum.
“Your voice is stunning. Absolutely stunning!” Simon Cowell declared. “And I, I totally agree with what Howie said. You know, about authenticity. There was something about that song and the way you just almost casually told us what you’ve been going through.”
Marczewski then addressed the judges directly and spoke what would become one of her most repeated quotes.
“You can’t wait until life isn’t hard anymore before you decide to be happy,” she said.
Cowell was coy before giving her the episode’s ultimate reward.
“There are, however, there have been some great singers this year,” he then added with a slight smile. “And, I’m not going to give you a yes. I’m going to give you something else.”
He then hit the Golden buzzer, which let gold confetti rain down on her.
After the confetti fell and she received a hug from Cowell, Crews spoke to her backstage.
“You blew us all away,” Crews said. “You are the voice we all need to hear this year.”
Later in the season, after announcing she would drop out of the competition to focus on her health, Marczewski made a surprise remote appearance on the show in a prerecorded clip.
Cowell, visibly moved by Marczewski’s appearance, addressed the singer by her given name.
“Hello, Jane,” Cowell began, his voice cracking. “We’ve spoken a few times, and look, you know you made the decision, rightly so, that your health is your priority right now and I know that the last time we spoke, you, you actually said you feel like you let people down more. I just want to say on behalf of all of us, you haven’t let anyone down.
“Even though you haven’t competed, you’ve already won. As Terry said, I mean, your, your clip has had such an impact on so many people and your courage and who you are. And the most important thing is your well-being and your health and your recovery. And on behalf of all of us here, we’re sending our love our prayers. And we can’t wait to see you again soon. And thank you so much for auditioning on the show and for, for singing such a beautiful song. And, you know it was…”
Cowell trailed off, overcome by his emotions.