Youth choir sets historic first on ‘America’s Got Talent’ with emotional tribute to former contestant who died of cancer in 2022

The 18th season of America’s Got Talent got off to an emotional start when a youth choir from South Africa took the stage and used their audition to pay tribute to a former contestant.

The Mzansi Youth Choir performed “It’s OK, a song by Nightbirde, a season 16 contestant who died from cancer in 2022.

After their introduction, the youth choir took the places on the stage. Once they began singing the first opening notes, the judges were all shocked beyond belief Finally, Heidi Klum uttered “Nightbirde’s song.”

The Mzansi Youth Choir chose to perform Nightbirde’s song “to continue her legacy.”

Nightbirde, born Jane Marczewski, competed on season 16 of the competition show. During her 2021 audition she revealed she had been battling cancer for several years. Unfortunately she had to drop out due to health reasons.

She died February 2022.

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The choir’s stellar performance moved everyone, including Simon Cowell, to tears.

“That was the perfect ‘AGT’ audition,” Sofia Vergara said.

“I’ll always remember Nightbirde and to see that it touched people on the other side of the globe — unbelievable,” Howie Mandel said. “You deserve so much more than a ‘yes’ and to be here. You deserve a ‘thank you.’”

Suddenly the audience began chanting “Golden Buzzer!” and it was a no-brainer.

All four judges plus Terry Crews gathered at the judges’ table and pressed the golden buzzer sending the youth choir through to the next round.

“To come here and see Simon react the way he did, just showed us what a special person he is, and we will never forget his words: ‘You defined what this show absolutely is all about.’ We want to touch people’s hearts with what we do and show the wonderful skills our choristers have… [and] what an incredible opportunity and privilege to continue [Jane’s] amazing legacy,” Jannie Zaaiman, the founder and director of Mzansi Youth Choir, told People.

Their version of Nightbirde’s song was beautiful! I can’t wait to keep up with America’s Got Talent. It’s one of my favotires.