Health & Medical

‘America’s Got Talent’ Singer Nightbirde Has Died of Breast Cancer at Only 31

'America's Got Talent' Singer Nightbirde Has Died of Breast Cancer at Only 31 thumbnail

In sad news, Jane Marczewski, who went by the stage name Nightbirde, died on Saturday after four years of living with breast cancer. The Ohio-based singer was a contestant on America’s Got Talent during the most recent season, Season 16, finding fame when she was awarded judge Simon Cowell’s Golden Buzzer. She was just 31 years old. Her family made the announcement on her Twitter account, writing: “Those who knew her, enjoyed her larger-than-life personality and sense of humor. She had a witty joke for every occasion—even if the joke was on her.” The family also encouraged fans to donate to the newly established Nightbirde Memorial Fund, rather than send flowers. “We are raising funds in honor of Jane in order to create a memorial foundation to donate to cancer research & give grants/support to those who may be unable to afford the treatment they need,” her family wrote on a GoFundMe page. So far, they have raised nearly $23,000 of their $500,000 goal.

In June 2021, Nightbirde earned both a standing ovation and the Golden Buzzer on America’s Got Talent when she auditioned with her original song “It’s Okay.” A YouTube video of her audition has garnered more than 41 million views at press time. In August 2021, she was forced to withdraw from the talent show after her cancer symptoms worsened. “My health has taken a turn for the worse and the fight with cancer is demanding all of my energy and attention. 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,” the singer shared in an emotional post on Instagram. After she bowed out of the competition, she appeared on the show via video link, saying, “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.”

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The singer was first diagnosed with breast cancer in 2017. After it went into remission, the cancer returned in a metastatic state, meaning it had spread to a different part of the body. In Nightbirde’s case, it unfortunately spread to her lungs, spine, and liver. In 2021, an estimated 281,550 women in the U.S. were diagnosed with breast cancer, with 6% of these cases being metastatic when they were first diagnosed, according to the American Cancer Society. Breast cancer is the second most common cause of death from cancer in women, causing 43,600 deaths each year. Metastatic breast cancer causes the majority of those deaths.

Since her passing on Saturday, the tributes have flowed. America’s Got Talent judge Simon Cowell tweeted: “Heart breaking news to hear about @_nightbirde, she was an extraordinary person, so brave, so talented. She made a huge impact on AGT and the world. Her determination to fight this terrible illness was remarkable.” The show also issued a touching tribute, tweeting: “Your voice, your story, and your message touched millions. Nightbirde will always be a member of the AGT family. Rest In Peace, Jane.”

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