What happened to ‘AGT’ fan favorite Nightbirde? Singer Jane Marczewski exited the show early amid her cancer battle. She died in February 2022.
After performing her original song “It’s OK” on America’s Got Talent, Jane Marczewski, better known as Nightbirde, became an overnight sensation. Her hauntingly beautiful voice, which sang the story of her life over the past few years, won her Simon Cowell’s coveted Golden Buzzer. Sadly, Nightbirde’s AGT journey came to an early end because of her battle with cancer.
Fans were heartbroken when news of her death broke in February 2022. What happened to Nightbirde? Read on to learn more about what type of cancer she had, along with AGT judges’ reactions to her death and details of the show’s 2023 tribute to her.
What happened to Nightbirde on ‘AGT’?
When Nightbirde first arrived on the AGT stage, the judges and audience praised her for her joyful demeanor in the face of great tragedy. As Judge Howie Mandel asked her about her life, she revealed that she had cancer.
When Simon asked her where the cancer was, she informed him, “Last time I checked, I had some cancer in my lungs, my spine, and my liver,” meaning that the cancer had spread throughout her body.
On Aug. 2, 2021, Nightbirde took to Instagram to reveal that her cancer caused her to have to walk away from AGT.
Alongside a black and white photo of herself, she wrote, “Sharing my heart with the world on AGT has been an honor and a dream come true. My point of view this summer has been astounding. What a miracle that the pain I’ve walked through can be reworked into beauty that makes people all over the world open their eyes wider.”
“Since my audition, 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. Thank you for all your support, it means the world to me. 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,” she concluded.
What cancer did Nightbirde have?
In an interview with WCMH, she gave more information about the disease. She was diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer in 2017. In 2019, she was given three to six months to live.
Backstage at AGT, she told the cameras after her audition, “I have a 2 percent chance of survival, but 2 percent is not 0 percent. Two percent is something.”
Amid her exit from AGT, Nightbirde did not specify in what way her health had taken a turn, just that she needed to put her health first rather than compete on the series. She continued to ask for help for her cancer treatment and greater health issues through her GoFundMe.
Nightbirde died on Feb. 19, 2022.
On Feb. 19, 2022, Jane died at age 31. Direct sources spoke with TMZ and revealed that although Nightbirde lived longer than health experts ever thought, her cancer had unfortunately spread to her lungs, spine, and liver.
“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,” Nightbirde’s family expressed in a statement obtained by TMZ. “Her lasting legacy will be the gift of hope she communicated through music and the strength she found in Jesus.”
AGT judges took to Instagram to share their condolences and remember her joyful spirit.
Howie Mandel tweeted, “@_nightbirde was such 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.”
“We love you. Rest in peace @nightbirde,” Heidi Klum shared on her Instagram story, per People.
Meanwhile, Sofia Vergara wrote on her Instagram story, “Rest in power @_nightbirde. We lost a shining star today. You were a true inspiration to all. Sending so much love to all of Nightbirde’s family and friends. She was something special.”
In May 2023, the Mzansi Youth Choir performed a tribute to Nightbirde on ‘AGT.’
In the premiere of Season 18 of America’s Got Talent, the Mzansi Youth Choir took the stage and performed “It’s OK” — Nightbirde’s song — for the audience. For their moving, tear-jerking performance, they were awarded the show’s first-ever Audience Golden Buzzer.