“You can’t wait until life isn’t hard anymore before you decide to be happy.”
Jane Marczewski, more popularly known by her stage name “Nightbirde”, passed away last Feb. 19, 2022 after battling with cancer for four years.
In a statement from NBC, the Marczewski family said, “We, her family, are devastated by her passing and unimaginable loss.”
Nightbirde auditioned last year for America’s Got Talent Season 16 – the video of which has garnered more than 39 million views as of writing.
During her unforgettable audition, after disclosing with the judges that she has been battling with cancer which has spread to her lungs, spine and liver, Nightbirde tells the judges “It’s important that everyone knows I’m so much more than the bad things that happen to me.”
After performing her original song “It’s OK”, the audience and judges were left stunned for a moment before giving her a well-deserved standing ovation for her beautiful voice and spirit.
“You can’t wait until life isn’t hard anymore before you decide to be happy,” she can be remembered sharing after listening to the judges’ positive feedback on her talent and story.
Moved and impressed by Marczewski, judge Simon Cowell, with much approval from the other judges, hit the golden buzzer, advancing her straight to the live shows.
During her backstage interview after that audition, Nightbirde says “I have a two percent chance of survival, but two percent is not zero percent. Two percent is something, and I wish people knew how amazing it is.”
However, she had to withdraw from the competition weeks later due to her worsening health condition.
Simon Cowell recalled telling Nightbirde during their conversations, “’Honestly if I was in your position, I wouldn’t do it because you don’t need the stress right now. It’s just not worth it.”
“You can always re-enter the show or you don’t have to because, at this point, when you put your music out, I think a lot of people are going to buy it. So why put yourself through it. You’re not letting anyone down because that’s what she kept saying to me. You’re not, you’re going to be missed but you’re not letting anyone down,” Cowell assures her.
AGT host Terry Crews, judges Heidi Klum, Sofia Vergara, and Howie Mandel honored the late singer on their social media accounts.
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 have met, heard and known her.”
America’s Got Talent also paid tribute to their memorable contestant on their official Instagram and Twitter accounts saying, “Your voice, your story, and your message touched millions. Nightbirde will always be a member of the AGT family. Rest In Peace, Jane.”
In the article published by PEOPLE, the Marczewski family also stated, “Many remember her from America’s Got Talent, where she performed her song ‘It’s OK’ and inspired millions of people around the globe with her messages of faith and never giving up. 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. Her lasting legacy will be the gift of hope she gave to so many through her music and the strength she found in Jesus. We thank everyone for their messages of love and support,”they added.
At 31 years old, Nightbirde – with her uplifting spirit, courage and talent – definitely made something amazing out of the two percent chance of survival she has been given.